London College of Communication (LCC) is the largest College of University of the Arts London with approximately 9000 students. The College has been at its present site at Elephant and Castle [South London] since 1962, having been expanded in 1973 to accommodate the Design and Management School and in 2003 to accommodate the School of Media [which moved from Back Hill, London] and a new entrance. See below for a list of former locations.]
The College has formed over a number of years from the inception of the first predecessor organisation in 1894 until the present day through developments of curriculum, name changes and mergers. Name changes reflect mergers and changes in emphasis in the subjects taught. Four institutions form the basis of the College. These are the St Brides Foundation Printing School, the Guild and Technical School (later better known as the Bolt Court Technical School), the Printing Department at the North Western Polytechnic and the Westminster Day Continuation School (later better known as the College of Distributive Trades).
The St Bride's Foundation was established in 1883 and opened the St Brides Foundation Printing School in November 1894. In the same year another predecessor of the LCC, the Guild and Technical School was established. The Guild school began its life on Clerkenwell road but in 1895 moved to 6 Bolt Court, just off of Fleet Street.
In 1911 the Guild school was rebuilt and changed its name to the Bolt Court Technical School. Later still when it fell under the control of the London County Council its name was changed again to the London County Council School of Photo-Engraving and Lithography but continued to be known as Bolt Court.
In 1912 St Brides appointed their first full-time principle, Mr J. R. Riddell and teaching moves from being textbook based to practical. However teaching continues to be on a part-time basis until the first full-time courses begin in 1919.
The third predecessor to LCC was founded in 1921 with the establishment of the Westminster Day Continuation School.
In 1922 the St Brides Foundation Printing School was re-named the London School of Printing and Kindred Trades when it too came under the London County Council's direct jurisdiction.
In 1929 the fourth constituent of LCC began life as the printing department of the newly founded North Western Polytechnic. In the same year the Westminster Day Continuation School changed its name to the School of Retail Distribution. It would later merge with the Smithfield Institute and undergo a further name change to become the College of Distributive Trades.
In 1949 the London County Council School of Photo-Engraving and Lithography (Bolt Court) and the London School of Printing and Kindred Trades (St Brides) merged to become the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts. In 1953 the Bolt Court operation moved to the Old Daily Mirror building at Back Hill in Clerkenwell.
In 1954 the renowned poster designer Tom Eckersley joined the staff of the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts establishing the first ever undergraduate course in graphic design in Britain. Eckersley was to be head of design at the LSP from 1957 - 1977.
The LSP moved to a brand new building in Elephant and Castle in 1962 and the institution's name was changed once again to the London College of Printing (LCP). The building was officially opened in 1964 by Sir Isaac Hayward and was expanded in 1973 with the building of the design and management block.
In 1986 both the College of Distributive Trades and the London College of Printing joined Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, the Central School of Art and Design, Chelsea School of Art and Design, London College of Fashion and St Martin's School of Art to form the London Institute.
In 1990 the College for Distributive Trades and the London College of Printing were merged and the institution changed its name again to the London College of Printing and Distributive Trades to reflect the new disciplines offered and a shift in course focus however it reverts back to the London College of Printing in 1996. From the year 2000 many improvements are made to the Elephant and Castle buildings including the establishment of a new entrance linking the tower block and the design block and culminating in the opening of the new media block and the moving of the media school from the Back Hill site to Elephant and Castle in 2003.
Also in 2003 the London Institute is granted University title and becomes the University of the Arts London (UAL) in 2004. The college also undergoes another name change becoming the London College of Communication (LCC). In the same year the first UAL research centre, the Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC), opens at LCC under the directorship of Professor Val Williams. This is followed by the Centre for Research in Sound Arts Practice (CRiSAP) in 2005.
In 2009 the college underwent major changes in its structure with the reduction from four schools (Printing, Design, Media and...) to two (Design and Media). The subsequent closure of 16 courses and 26 full-time staff redundancies led to student protests with approximately 100 students trying to occupy the office of the then head of college Sandra Kemp in protest over lack of supervision for dissertations. Students later occupied a lecture theatre and private security guards were brought in to remove protesting students. This failed when a member of academic staff questioned their right to touch the students and police were summoned who prevailed upon the protesters to leave the building. Several students faced disciplinary action, including suspension. In 2011 an inquiry by the Quality Assurance Agency into restructuring at LCC, found standards were badly affected by course closures and some students' marks were raised to compensate. The report followed complaints by students relating to the restructuring, including claims that quality had been 'severely compromised' and that those studying were not informed of the plans before enrolment. The investigation was the first of its kind under the QAA's revised "whistle-blower" process for investigating concerns about academic standards and quality.
In recent years the London College of communication has established a number of annual high profile events including the annual Cudlipp lecture on journalism. The inaugural lecture being given by Michael Grade, chairman of the BBC. The Talking Graphics Lecture series begins in the same year hosted by the School of Graphic Design.
Although formed from a range of teaching bodies the different institutions have similar roots and ethoses. St Bride's, the Guild and Technical School and North Western Polytechnic were established by the City of London Parochial Charities Act, 1883, and thus have always been rooted in London and its communities. The Act aimed to provide better management of charitable funds and grants established to benefit the inhabitants of City parishes through the improvement of education and related employment. The need for improved technical workforce was realised against a background of changing technologies and foreign competition, especially in the field of printing and its allied trades.
The College continues to be part of its local community for example, lending student work to the Cuming Museum, Walworth Road in 2008-2009 and also continues its partnerships with industry therefore carrying on the links between education and employment.
Today the College is made up of two schools:
School of Design School of Media
The various constituent institutions have occupied a number of different buildings in the past including:
Saint Bride Foundation Institute Printing School opened in Saint Brides Lane, moved to 61 Stamford Street, 1922. Guild and Technical School opened in Clerkenwell Road, moved to 6 Bolt Court in 1895 and then to the Old Daily Mirror building at Back Hill, Clerkenwell, 1953. Westminster Day Continuation School opened in Leicester Square. The roots of the London College of Printing (LCP) lie in the City of London Parochial Charities Act of 1883, which aimed to provide better management of these charitable funds, and inter alia, benefit the inhabitants of these parishes by improvement of education and employment prospects. The need for improved technical education of workforce was clearly felt against a background of changing technologies and foreign competition, and particularly so in the field of printing. The Act established the St Bride Foundation Institute Printing School, which opened in Nov 1894. In the same year the Guild and Technical School opened in Clerkenwell Road to improve the craft skills of apprentice and journeymen engravers and lithographers, and then moved the following year to Boult Court, where it became known as the Bolt Court Technical School. The School was subsequently renamed the London County Council School of Photoengraving and Lithography.
In 1921, the Westminster Day Continuation School (the forerunner of the College for the Distributive Trades) opened. In 1922 St Bride's School moved to larger premises at 61 Stamford Street and now under LCC control was renamed the London School of Printing and Kindred Trades (LSPKT). In 1949 the Bolt Court School of Photoengraving and Lithography merged with the LSPKT to form the London School of Printing and Graphic Arts (LSPGA). The LSPGA was renamed the London College of Printing in 1960. New premises at the Elephant and Castle were opened in 1964, and the North Western Polytechnic Department of Printing merged with LCP in 1969. On 1 Jan 1986, the LCP joined Camberwell School of Arts and crafts, the Central School of Art and Design, Chelsea School of Art, the College for the Distributive Trades (CDT), the London College of Fashion and St Martin's School of Art to form the London Institute.
The LCP and CDT subsequently merged in 1990, and the LCP was renamed the London College of Printing and Distributive Trades.