Records of the Assistant Masters' Association (AMA)

Scope and Content

Records of the Association from 1898 until its amalgamation with the Association of Assistant Mistresses (AAM) in 1978, including minutes, officers' files, correspondence and publications. The personal papers of Arnold Whitehouse, who was a Treasurer of the Gloucester City branch of the AMA, have also been incorporated into this collection (series Q). The collection also includes one box of material from the years following the amalgamation with the AAM, and the creation of the Assistant Masters and Mistresses Association (AMMA) in 1978 (see series R).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Assistant Masters' Association was an association of male teachers in secondary schools. Founded in 1891 by a small group of London schoolmasters, including Robert Blair, later Chief Education Officer of the London County Council, the Association quickly expanded to a nationwide membership and was incorporated in 1901. Its main objectives were the promotion of professional status and standards for secondary school masters, including conditions of service, security of tenure, salaries and pensions, although it also took an interest in wider educational policy including the school curriculum and examinations.

Some of the gaps in the papers may be explained by the facts that the Association moved its headquarters once, and the second site, in Gordon Square, was bombed during Word War II. Gordon House was shared with the Association of Assistant Mistresses, and the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' respective organisations. These four organisations formed an amalgamated group for specific purposes and occasions, called the 'Joint Four', to whose existence reference will be found in this list, in particular series G.

Throughout most of its history the Association referred to itself as the IAAM (Incorporated Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary Schools), however around 1960 it began referring to itself as the Assistant Masters' Association (AMA).

Following the passing of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the AMA merged with the Association of Assistant Mistresses (AAM) to form the Assistant Masters' and Mistresses' Association (AMMA) in 1978. The AMMA changed its name to the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) in 1993, and in 2017 the ATL merged with the National Union of Teachers to form a new union called the National Education Union.


The collection was arranged by Roberta Routledge (Routledge Associates), when they catalogued the papers in 1975 and 1989. The Whitehouse papers and the AMMA papers have been kept separately as their own series (Q and R respectively), even though there is some overlap with the rest of the collection.

Access Information


Some files are either closed or restricted in-line with data protection legislation. Please see file level descriptions for full access conditions. Please note, we require a minimum of two weeks' notice to provide access to this collection. Please contact the IOE Archives for further information.

Acquisition Information

The material was transferred to the IOE from the AMA in two deposits: the initial major deposit in 1974 via the LSE Historical Records Project, and a second smaller deposit from the AMA in 1988. The Whitehouse Papers (series Q) were donated to the IOE via the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick, October 1982.

Archivist's Note

The first deposit of material was catalogued by the HMC/ Routledge Associates in 1975. The second deposit was catalogued by Roberta Routledge Associates, contract cataloguers, in 1989. This listing was part-transferred onto Calm in 2010, and this transfer was then completed over Winter 2019/2020.

Conditions Governing Use

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Archivist or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Related Material

The Modern Records Centre at the University of Warwick holds the archives of the Association of Assistant Mistresses' (AAM), and the Assistant Masters' and Mistresses' Association (AMMA). The AMA merged with the AAM to become the AMMA in 1978.