School of Education

Scope and Content

The collection comprises most of the governance records of the School including minutes of the Delegacy, 1948-1971 (post-1971 minutes not present), and the Professional Board (1948-1975), plus minutes of several School sub-committees including the Board of Studies for individual subject areas, and for support services such as Resources in Learning and Libraries. Minutes of the General Board of Studies for the degree of B.Ed. in Colleges of Education and the minutes of the subject boards for the affiliated colleges are also present. There are also annual reports of the School and copies of the School's publication, the Gazette.

Administrative / Biographical History

The School of Education was established in 1948 in light of the recommendations of the McNair Report 1944 on post-war teacher training. The School was responsible as the Area Training Organisation (ATO) for the organization of teacher training within its designated area.

The School was administered by the University, and was responsible to the Council and Senate of the University. The School was governed by a Delegacy for the Training of Teachers, made up of University staff and representatives of the L.E.A.s and local training colleges, which dealt with high-level policy. There was also a small Professional Board, chaired by the Director of the School, which included representatives of training colleges affiliated to the Board, which dealt with the practical administration of the School. The School was headed by a Director, who together with a Deputy Director and a small staff undertook research in matters of related interest and provided in-service training courses for working teachers. The first Director was Professor R.A.C. Oliver.

Originally four colleges were affiliated to the School, but by the mid 1960s it had nine affiliates. These included: De la Salle College, Didsbury College, Elizabeth Gaskell College, John Dalton College, Manchester College of Education, Mather College, Padgate College, Sedgley Park College, and Bolton College of Education (Technical).

The School's main function was to oversee the admissions procedures, curricula and examinations of its affiliated colleges (which for these purposes also included the University's Department of Education) and to recommend that students who had successfully taken their teaching qualifications be recognised as qualified teachers by the Ministry of Education. The main qualifications involved were the Teacher's certificate, and from 1966, the B.Ed. degree. The School recognized staff in the affiliated colleges as qualified to teach for this degree.

This system continued until the 1970s when the system of teacher training was radically overhauled, following publication of the James Report and the White Paper, A framework for expansion(1972). This led to teaching training colleges expanding the range of teaching, including non-education degrees; the Teacher's Certificate was also gradually phased out, and replaced by the B.Ed. As the University's role in supervising teacher training colleges correspondingly diminished, the School (known as the Colleges of Education Division from 1973) lost its status as an ATO in 1975. Eventually, most of the affiliated colleges merged with Manchester Polytechnic, after certification of trainee teachers came under the control of the Council for National Academic Awards [CNAA]. However, a number of Colleges continued to have their courses validated by the University for several years to come. This work was supervised by the Board for Awards in Affiliated Colleges, established in 1973 along the lines of the Faculty Boards. The Board included University and college representatives. The Board in turn had a steering committee, responsible for most executive decisions. Quality control work was also undertaken by the University's Committee for the Recognition of Departments and Teachers for Awards in Affiliated Colleges.


The records are arranged as follows:

  • FED/3/1 - Minutes of the Delegacy for the Training of Teachers
  • FED/3/2 - Minutes of the Professional Board
  • FED/3/2 - Minutes of the Board of Studies for Resources in Learning
  • FED/3/4 - Minutes of the Committee of Principals
  • FED/3/5 - Minutes of the Board of Studies for Libraries
  • FED/3/6 - Annual Reports
  • FED/3/7 - School of Education Gazette
  • FED/3/8 - Syllabuses
  • FED/3/9 - School Publications
  • FED/3/10 - Minutes of the Board of Studies for B.Ed. in History.
  • FED/3/11 - Minutes of Subject Boards of Studies
  • FED/3/12 - Examiner's reports
  • FED/3/13 - Minutes of the General Board of Studies for the degree of B.Ed. in Colleges of Education.