Association of Assistant Mistresses

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Association of Assistant Mistresses: minutes, 1934-78; Joint Four minutes, 1917-60; Burnham Committee minutes, 1920-43; membership registers, 1953-78; correspondence and subject files, 1920s-70s; News-sheets, 1962-78; Annual Reports, 1885-1978; other publications; branch records (MSS.59).

Anna Westmacott Trust : minutes 1938-81; correspondence files, 1907, 1928 (MSS.59).

Teachers' Guild : minutes, 1888-1938; annual reports, 1883/4-1928/9; some financial records, some correspondence files (MSS.59/TG).

Education Reform Council: minutes, 1916-17 (MSS.59/ERC).

Administrative / Biographical History

Founded in 1884 as the Association of Assistant Mistresses in Secondary Schools Incorporated, the association became the Association of Assistant Mistresses in 1894. It was set up to promote the interests of women teachers in secondary schools in the United Kingdom. British women teaching in similar schools overseas subsequently became eligible to join. In 1921 it ceased to function in Scotland. From 1917 onwards the association acted in co-operation with the Assistant Masters' Association, the Association of Headmistresses and the Headmasters' Association through the Joint Committee of the Four Secondary Associations, more commonly known as the Joint Four. From 1921 all four organisations had their headquarters in a common building. In 1978 the Association of Assistant Mistresses merged with the Assistant Masters' Association to become the Assistant Masters and Mistresses' Association.

After the liquidation of the Education Guild, the Association of Assistant Mistresses became involved with its legacy. The Guild began in 1884 as the Teachers' Guild, becoming the Teachers' Guild of Great Britain and Ireland in 1884. Then Guild was founded as a central professional body to promote the welfare and independence of teachers and create a closer bond amongst members of the profession. The Guild operated through a number of committees, of which the most significant were the Political Committee, the Education Committee and the Thrift and Benefits Committee. In 1916 the Guild established an Education Reform Council and from 1907 it administered the Anna Westmacott Trust, a charity for female teachers set up in 1897. In 1921 it became the Education Guild and in 1929 it went into voluntary liquidation, at which point the funds of the Anna Westmacott Trust and those of the Teachers' Guild Benevolent Fund were passed over to four trustees, one of whom was to be a representative of the Association of Assistant Mistresses.

Reference: Finding aid to the Papers of the Association of Assistant Mistresses


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

The initial deposit of the records of the Association of Assistant Mistresses and related organisations was made in 1974. The records are placed in the Centre on indefinite loan.

Other Finding Aids

The archive has been catalogued to file level. A copy of this catalogue is available in paper format in the Centre's searchroom.

An authority file exists for the Association of Assistant Mistresses (GB 152 AAR1202) and for the related organisations: the Anna Westmacott Trust (GB 152 AAR1209); the Education Guild (GB 152 AAR1207); the Teachers' Guild (GB 152 AAR1598); the Teachers' Guild of Great Britain and Ireland (GB 152 AAR1208); and the Education Reform Council (GB 152 AAR1206).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.

Appraisal Information

This collection has been weeded for duplicates.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre holds further papers of the Teachers' Guild at (MSS.413).

Personal Names