StorageSiteUCL Institute of Education
Reference Number GDS/12
TitleCurrent Schools
DescriptionMiscellaneous material relating to the schools which belonged to the Girls' Day School Trust at the time the collection was deposited with the Archives in 2006.

The files only contain records of schools which were collected by the Trust and content does vary. Generally they contain a file list; early circulars; prospectuses; papers regarding facilities for education of pupils at the end of the official education at the school, including domestic science and teacher education; school regulations; papers regarding distinguished 'old girls'; papers regarding events; and press cuttings. Some of the files also contain correspondence with the Board of Education which appears to have been removed from the main correspondence series.

There are no papers for the most recent schools to join the Trust, namely Great Houghton Preparatory School, The Hamlets School, and Northampton High School.
Extent9 boxes and 1 oversized box.
AdminHistoryThe schools established by the Girls' Public Day School Company (GPDSC) were designed to be academic high schools for girls of all classes to provide a high standard of academic education, together with moral and religious education. School fees were kept low and schools were expected to become self-supporting, though the GPDSC Council maintained overall control of curriculum and finance. The policy of the Council, the executive body of the GPDSC, was to only found a school were it was most needed, with a local committee being formed and funded by shares taken up by local people. The first school opened at Durham House, Chelsea in January 1873 (later Kensington High School) with 16 pupils.

Most schools were organised into three departments, preparatory, junior, and senior. A kindergarten was opened in most preparatory departments. Initially schools only taught girls in the mornings and afternoons were free. The senior departments taught classes in ancient and modern languages, history, mathematics, elements of moral science and logic, physiology as applied to the laws of health, and elementary economics. The schools were fitted with laboratories with the most advanced scientific equipment.

The schools played down domestic subjects while encouraging social service, though in the early 20th century many schools offered domestic science classes for pupils over 18. Some schools also offered other specialised further education courses, such as Belvedere which had a specialised arts and crafts course for students over 18. Most the schools offered provision for student teachers and some had separate teacher training Departments.

The schools were day schools but most of the schools also ran boarding houses. Initially these were run by individuals and later became licensed by the Council at the turn of the 20th century. By 1902 the following schools (which appear in this series) had boarding houses licensed by the Council, Bath, Blackheath, Brighton and Hove, Croydon, Ipswich, Liverpool (later Belvedere), Norwich, Notting Hill and Bayswater (later Notting Hill and Ealing), Oxford, Portsmouth, Sheffield, Shrewsbury, Streatham Hill and Brixton (later Clapham and Streatham Hill), and Wimbledon. Most boarding houses were closed by the end of World War Two, but some continued into the late 1970s.
ArrangementThe papers were originally in folders by the Trust known as 'School Wallets' but were transferred by the Trust into individual boxes as more material was acquired. Each 'wallet' also contained a file list. The original file lists record that the 'school wallets' also contained inspection records but these were removed from the wallets and placed in a separate series before the collection was deposited with the Institute of Education. The Trust arranged the 'School Wallets' alphabetically by the name of the school and they were numbered from 1-25. This order has been retained and where possible the material from each wallet has been arranged to reflect the original file list. The material on Heathfields School, Pinner was found elsewhere in the collection and added to the end of the list.

It seems the Trust originally pasted in press cuttings about the Trust and its schools into a set of scrap albums. At some point these volumes were dismantled and the press cuttings were dispersed throughout the collection. The press cuttings about schools were transferred into the appropriate school wallet. In some cases where press cuttings about different schools were pasted onto both sides of a page in the original volume, the page was transferred to one of the schools mentioned and it appears that the other cuttings were photocopied and placed with the papers of the school they refer to. Therefore some
AccessStatusRestricted access
AccessConditionsAll unpublished administrative material has been closed for 30 years. All papers containing personal data are subject to closure under the Data Protection Act.
Related MaterialMaterial on closed schools can be found in GDS/13. The main records of each school are retained by the individual schools. Published histories of the schools can be found in GDS/23/2. Other prospectuses for individual schools can be found in GDS/19/2/2.
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