General files of the Education Department and Board of Education concerning the administration of the Education Acts embracing educational matters common to, or not peculiar to, elementary or secondary education.
Files preceding the current (1954) series (in which the subject headings are keyed to a registration of consecutive numbers, i.e. G. 401 onwards) were known as the 'Unnumbered' series. A number of the files contain indexes.
The 'Numbered' (current) series commenced in 1921 and absorbed papers of an earlier period wherever a comparable subject appeared under the provisions of the 1921 Act. They contain, inter alia, papers defining the internal arrangements of the board's administration; the board's relation to, and co-operation with, local government; drafting of schemes relating to educational charities and of various regulations and other parliamentary documents; the board's spheres of function regarding educational matters also within the purview of other government departments; financial matters; the formation and growth of certain educational and semi-educational bodies; and the effect of non-educational legislation upon the work of the board.
The files also record the effect of the second world war upon educational buildings (air raid precautions, requisition of premises, structural damage); upon personnel (evacuation, national service of teachers and other local education authority staff, refugees); upon supplies (clothes rationing, allocation of equipment, control of building labour and materials); and upon legislation ( Defence (General) Regulations and other emergency provisions).
They also contain a history of education in wartime, including that of cultural organisations such as the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts, and proposals for postwar reconstruction of the education system.