|StorageSite||UCL Institute of Education|
|AdminHistory||The 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.