TitleRecords of the Tower Hamlets Institute for Adult Education and its Predecessors
DescriptionRecords of the Tower Hamlets Institute for Adult Education and its predecessors.

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Extent192 files/items
AdminHistoryThe Tower Hamlets Institute for Adult Education was created in 1982, effectively a merger of the Bethnal Green and Lansbury Adult Education Institutes. The antecedents of the Institute, however, can be traced back to the nineteenth century and the establishment, in 1883, by the School Board for London (founded in 1870) of evening continuation schools. Initially these provided instruction in elementary education only. One such school, the Atley Road, Evening Continuation School, Old Ford, is represented in the records [see I/THI/A/2/3].

The School Board for London was succeeded as education authority in 1904 by the London County Council (LCC) and in 1913 a major reorganisation of evening education establishments took place which were no longer to be known as "schools" but as "institutes". For the first time a distinction was made between "vocational" and "non-vocational" education. Among the variety of new institutes created were women's institutes offering instruction in domestic, needlework, health, humane subjects and light physical exercises. Among such institutes represented in these records are the Olga Road Women's Institute founded 1913 [see I/THI/A/2]. Non-vocational men's institutes were introduced in 1920 and it was at this date that the Bethnal Green Men's Institute was created [see I/THI/A/1]. A feature of such institutes was the affiliation of clubs such as the Bethnal Green and District Caged Bird Society.

A major re-organisation took place between 1957 and 1959 with the introduction of general (mixed) institutes to replace women's and men's institutes. This led to the creation of the Bethnal Green and Shoreditch Adult Education Institute (subsequently known as the Bethnal Green Adult Education Institute) [see I/THI/A/4] and the Bow and Poplar (known from 1966 as the Lansbury) Adult Education Institute [see I/THI/A/3]. These institutes operated from a range of centres and buildings, mainly shared with school use.

In 1965 responsibility for education in inner London transferred to the Inner London Education Authority (ILEA). In 1973 governing bodies were introduced for institutes and in the mid 1970s a thorough review of adult education provision in inner London was conducted. This resulted in the merger of the Bethnal Green and Lansbury Institutes to create, in 1982, the Tower Hamlets Institute of Adult Education the boundaries of which were co-terminus with those of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. As a result of the 1988 Education Reform Act, the Institute transferred to the newly-created Education Department of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1990.
CustodHistThe records were deposited by Peter Huntington, Principal of Tower Hamlets Institute in 1991. It is not known why those records in the section C should have been amongst the records of the Institute.

The exception from this first deposit are papers of Peter Gibson, relating to his time as Head of Area for Docklands (I/THI/B/15). These were deposited by Peter Gibson in 2018.
Related MaterialNewspaper cuttings, reports and prospectuses of the Institute and some of its predecessors are held in the Tower Hamlets Local History Library.

Museum Pieces 657-659 formed part of this deposit.

See also P/RAM for papers of Edith Ramsay who was involved with the Institute and Clubs.
Subject(s)Adult education institutions
Adult education
Higher education
Vocational education
Access StatusOpen
Access_ConditionsMaterial within this collection has been closed under current Data Protection legislation as the records concerned contain sensitive personal data. Please check specific item level descriptions for details, and refer any queries to the Heritage Officer (Archives).
RequestNO - This does not represent a physical document. Please click on the reference number and view list of records to find material available to order at file or item level.


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