Catalogue descriptionBoard of Education and Ministry of Education: Drafts and Papers of Official History of Education, Second World War and General Historical Survey

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Details of ED 138
Reference: ED 138
Title: Board of Education and Ministry of Education: Drafts and Papers of Official History of Education, Second World War and General Historical Survey

Draft chapters of an official history of education written by Dr. Sophia Weitzman and a collection of her source material, some of it of an earlier date than 1939.

At the time of Dr Weitzman's death, the draft history had been conceived as two volumes, the first volume to contain the chapters dealing chronologically with the impact of defence preparations on education up to 1939, and the general review of the war years, followed by "special studies" chapters dealing with such topics as the nutrition of the schoolchild, medical services, the 'under-fives' and the employment of children in agriculture.

The second volume was intended as an historical survey of the growth of the national system of state education from the first half of the 19th century culminating in a detailed discussion of the 1944 Education Act. The draft survey ends with a summary of the Green Book (Education after the War) which was circulated in June 1941. An abridged version of the whole history was drafted but not completed.

The series also contains files containing the material of Mr D. du B. Davidson.

Date: 1907-1954

Draft versions of the chapters of the history form the first part of the series list. The source material follows in chronological order and is sorted under subject headings.

Related material:

Other papers relating to Dr Weitzman's history, including unpublished narratives on particular topics, as well as extracts from the diary of J C Chuter-Ede, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Education, 1940-1945, are in pieces 238-262 in

CAB 102

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Board of Education, 1899-1944

Ministry of Education, 1944-1964

Physical description: 96 file(s)
Selection and destruction information: In most cases only the final draft versions of the chapters of the history have been preserved.
Administrative / biographical background:

In September 1939, Mr D. du B. Davidson, who was at the time the Board of Education's Accountant General, was appointed as the board's official war diarist. Files were opened and relevant documents collected and a number of drafts on various aspects of education in wartime were written by Mr Davidson and other officials of the board.

In 1945 Dr Sophia Weitzman was appointed by the Cabinet Office (Historical Section) to write the official history of education. She was assisted in the initial stages by other Cabinet Office historians and Miss I E Brown from the ministry. Additional source material was collected, notably from HM Chief Inspector Mr Charles, various branch officials of the ministry and from the official files etc. A number of chapters were written but the history had not reached a stage where it was suitable for publication at the time of Dr Weitzman's death in 1965.

After Dr Weitzman's death it was decided to abandon the plan to write two volumes and the papers connected with the draft history were collected together and made available at the department to serious students. All the original files borrowed from other government departments and the London County Council were returned.

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