Papers of Rose Kosky

Scope and Content

These papers of Rose Kosky, [1960s-1990s], chiefly relate to the Barking Reading Project, and include copies of manuals; reading schemes; policies; guides to the Early Phonic Steps Teaching Programme; teaching resource packs; cassettes; teaching resource material; and reading and mathmatics tests. Also included is material relating to a campaign to prevent funding cuts which would reduce the number of teaching staff employed by Barking and Dagenham Schools' Psychologist Service, containing, reports, speeches, and correspondence, as well as a small number of Rose Kosky's personal items and documentation, including material relating to her academic studies.

Administrative / Biographical History

Rose Kosky was born in London's East End in 1922 and was of Polish descent. She won a scholarship to grammer school but was unable to attend due to the school being too far away and the uniform being too expensive, instead she attended Mile End Central School. During her adolescence she attended Young Communist League meetings, where she would have been involved in discussions concerning Marxism and socialism. During the 1930's she joined the Communist Party and remained a member until the 1960's. She married Maurice Kosky, a fellow communist, when she was 19.

At the beginning of the Second World War she was working as a temp in the Soviet section of the Ministry of Information typing pool, she later became co-ordinator and editorial assisstant of this section. When the Soviet Union entered the war on the side of the allies in June 1941 Kosky became responsible for supplying British news to a Moscow based news sheet, and for providing stories about the Soviet Union to be published in the British press.

After the war she worked for a range of bodies that promoted women's issues, and in 1952 she became the first employee of the National Assembly of Women helping to re-establish International Women's Day in the UK. She also worked for the fundraising office of a charity for handicapped children before studying for GCEs and later a BEd in Psychology at London's Sydney Webb College in the 1960's.

During the 1970's she taught at various schools before joining the teaching staff of Barking and Dagenham Schools' Psychological Service in 1975, remaining there until 1987. As part of her work there she advised schools on how to deal with children who had behavioural difficulties; collaborated with psychologists on research editing their subsequent papers; and worked on the Barking Reading Project, which aimed to help teachers to teach children with reading difficulties in the classroom rather than referring them to external experts. The scheme was aimed to help children aged 7+, who had failed to learn letter sounds completely and were unable to use them quickly in blending tasks. The teachers from Barking and Dagenham Schools’ Psychological Service working on the project alongside Rose Kosky were Jo Addington, Freda Cookson, Beryl Cooper, and Kathy Conway.

An active campaigner for women's equality and socialism throughout her life she became involved in the early 1980's in a campaign to prevent cuts being made to the Barking and Dagenham Schools’ Psychological Service teaching staff. In 1987 she retired from teaching, and in the late 1980's joined the Labour Party. Rose Kosky died in 2003.


This collection has been split into three series, which reflect the three strands of Rose Kosky's Archive. The Barking Reading Project forms one series, along with resources that were used to support its aim. Material relating to funding cuts and the schools' psychological service make up another series, and the final series consists of Rose Kosky's personal belongings and documentation.

It has not been possible to construct the exact original order of this collection but where it has been apparent it has been abided by. Where the original order has been lost an order has been constructed with the needs of researchers in mind.

Material held on digital storage media have been removed from the body of the collection and placed in the Digital Physical Media Storage Area (Jessica Womack, March 2014)

Access Information


Open, subject to signature of Reader Application Form. Material in KOS/A/6 requires a cassette player to be accessed. File KOS/B/1/2 is closed until 01/01/2049 under the data protection act, 1998. File KOS/C/1/1 requires a floppy disc reader in order for the material to be accessed.

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.

Appraisal Information

Duplicates of paper material have been removed.

Custodial History

The collection was deposited at Barking & Dagenham Archives in November 2004 by Rose Kosky's family, before being transferred to the Institute of Education Archives in August 2005.

Related Material

Educational records relating to the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham can be found at the borough archives for Barking & Dagenham. Records for The National Assembly of Women are housed at The Women's Library, London. The Dorothy Gardner (DG) archive also held by the Institute of Education Archives also contains material relating to reading schemes.