Ministry of Education and Department of Education and Science: Further Education Branch: National Colleges, Registered Files (T Series)
Registered files of the Ministry of Education and Department of Education and Science, Further Education Branch containing policy decisions leading to the establishment of National colleges and records of their development and progress.
In numerical order under their county or county borough. In addition a few files under the heading 'Proposed Institutions' contain papers where attempts to establish national colleges failed to materialize.
Department of Education and Science, Further Education Branch 2, 1964-1970
Ministry of Education, Further Education Branch, 1944-1963
Ministry of Education, Further Education Branch 1, 1963-1964
Ministry of Education, Further Education Branch 2, 1963-1964
Before the second world war the development of technical education had been largely left to local initiative which often paid little regard to the provision made by universities and neighbouring local authorities. Both educationists and industrialists realised that fundamental changes were required in the training of higher technologists.
A special committee chaired by Lord Eustace Percy was appointed in April 1944 to advise the minister on the needs of higher technological education with regard to the requirements of industry, and the maintenance of appropriate collaboration between universities and technical colleges. The committee presented its report in July 1945. One of its recommendations was that selected colleges should conduct, as part of their activities, national schools in particular branches of technological study and receive special financial assistance for performing a national, rather than a local function.
In April 1946 the minister accepted this recommendation. Circular 98 emphasised the need to develop, on a national basis, courses for industries or professions. It was suggested that these courses might conveniently be developed within existing colleges by the industries concerned.
Evidence of such recognition would be provided by the willingness of the industry to support the school, to assist in its direction, to release employees for full time study at it and to accept its students for employment after their training. Each school was to have a separate and autonomous governing body appointed by the minister who would recognise the governors as a responsible body for the purposes of grant under the Further Education Grant Regulations. This governing body was to include national representatives of the industry together with representatives of the local education authority and other interests concerned.
These decisions led to the setting up of the national colleges and in July 1946 the regulations were amended to enable the minister to pay grant at the rate of 100% of the approved net cost of establishing and maintaining them.
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