City of Leicester Training College for Teachers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Records of the City of Leicester Training College for Teachers, later known as the City of Leicester College of Education, and afterwards the School of Education of Leicester Polytechnic.

The records include prospectuses; photographs of buildings, staff, students, events and classes; items relating to the social life of students such as event posters, tickets, invitations and programmes; press cuttings; student magazines; student handbooks and regulations; and annual reports of the Students' Union. The foundation and early years of the College are particularly well represented by three albums or scrap books containing photographs, circulars, invitations, tickets, posters, greetings cards, class lists, time tables, press cuttings and newsletters, 1945-1954.

Administrative / Biographical History

The 1944 Education Act promised secondary education for all, but the sector was challenged by lack of a substantial teaching force. Emergency teacher training colleges were opened while longer term solutions were sought. The City of Leicester began to plan the first post-war two-year training college in the country, the City of Leicester Training College for Teachers. The course started in September 1945 with an intake of 54, but as no College building had yet been prepared students were asked to observe lessons in their local schools and remain at home. By January 1946 the Civil Defence Depot building in Humberstone Road had mostly been converted into suitable premises, although there were no student hostels and students were billeted in local homes.

At first only female students were admitted. The course was suitable for those wishing to become primary or secondary modern teachers. Compulsory courses in Principles and Practice of Education, the Science of Health and Physical Education and English Language were taken, alongside a choice of four modules from English Literature, History, Geography, Biological Science, Divinity, Handicraft, Art, Music, Housecraft, and Physical Education. Examinations were taken under the University of Birmingham and the Midland Training College Joint Board.

From 1951 men were admitted on a special one-year supplementary course, and then from 1958 they were admitted to the full two-year course, if they were under 25 years of age and single. By this point the Humberstone Road buildings had become far too small for the intake of the College. In 1954 the Council bought Scraptoft Hall with the surrounding 44 acres of land. The Hall was a Queen Anne manor house which was converted into offices, while new buildings were added on the grounds including an assembly hall, dining hall, library, kitchen, main teaching block, arts and crafts block, music pavilion, gymnasium, administration offices and halls of residence. The College was able to move into these new premises in 1960.

In 1962 further expansion began, including more teaching blocks and halls of residence, a drama theatre, dance studio, language lab and computer link. At some point between 1962 and 1968 the College changed its name to the City of Leicester College of Education. The College was a constituent member of the School of Education of the University of Leicester, through which degrees were conferred. In 1968 a School of Speech Therapy was added as a new department of the College.

Department of Education and Science (DES) Circular 7/73 "Development of Higher Education in the non-university sector" encouraged Local Education Authorities to review higher education facilities under their control. The Education Committee considered the future of the City of Leicester College of Education and on the 7 January 1976 resolved that it should merge with the other institution under their control, the Leicester Polytechnic. A Merger Working Party was formed which revised the structure of the Polytechnic's Faculties and Schools to incorporate staff from the College. Teacher training would continue under the School of Education, part of the Faculty of Education, Humanities and Social Science. The merger officially took place in September 1976. The Polytechnic began operating across two sites, the Central Campus and the Scraptoft Campus. This arrangement continued when the Polytechnic became De Montfort University.

The Scraptoft Campus was sold in 2003 for development. De Montfort University continues to offer a course in Education Studies.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for general access. External researchers are advised to contact the Archivist to make an appointment.

Acquisition Information

Part of the institutional records of the University. Some individual items were donated by alumni and added to the collection.

Archivist's Note

This entry compiled by Katharine Short, Archivist, April 2013, with additions June 2015.

Related Material

Information relating to the merger of the College of Education and Leicester Polytechnic can be found in the committee minutes and annual reports of the Polytechnic.