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Teacher Records (Education & Occupations) (including Ireland & Scotland)

Nature of Source

Records from those that taught in schools, colleges and universities. The first teacher training college opened as the Battersea Training College in Battersea in 1840 by Sir James P. Kay-Shuttleworth. The college was later taken over by the National Society in 1843. Many teacher records such as application forms and contracts of teachers can be found together with pupil and student records. Teaching staff will also be listed in census records if resident at the educational establishment.

The first form of a teacher register was established by the College of Teachers in 1846 the year the organisation was founded. The college is succeeded by the Chartered College of Teaching. The College was set up in Bloomsbury, London by teachers to provide a society to represent the teaching profession and to certify qualified teachers. In 1849 the College was incorporated by royal charter as the College of Preceptors and in 1998 re-launched as The College of Teachers. The archive material is held by the Institute of Education Library and Archives.

Many teachers will appear in the teacher register set up by the Teachers' Registration Council in 1902 following the Education Act of 1899. The register was independent of the Board of Education and operated purely on a voluntary basis, so is far from comprehensive. The register did not become fully operational until 1914 but will include those who began their career from 1870 onwards. The register containing around 100,000 registrations lasted up to 1948 and in the following year the council itself was abolished. Unfortunately the first two volumes of each series have been lost (A to Aleflower and A to Boait) .

The register records provide the following information:

·  Teacher's name (and for married women teachers often their maiden name as well)

·  Date of Registration

·  Register Number

·  (Professional) Address

·  Attainments

·  Training in Teaching

·  Experience

The records of the council were deposited with the Society of Genealogists with the indexes and scanned images now available on The council was replaced by the National Advisory Council on the Training and Supply of Teachers until its demise in 1965. An option for teacher research after 1949 is to consult Teachers' Pensions which oversees the teacher's pension scheme. Under certain conditions they will release information about the person being researched. Between 2000 and 2010 the General Teaching Council for England operated a legally obliged register for teachers employed in the public sector but not necessarily for those working in private schools. The remaining General Teaching Councils for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland remain in operation. Members of the public can check online for the Welsh and Scottish Councils for basic details of registered teachers and by post with the Northern Ireland Council. Ireland operates a similar scheme called the Teaching Council and registered teachers can be searched online.

See also
Occupational and Labour Records (Includes links and guidance on calculating historical wage rates and the cost of living)
School Records
University & College Records

Where Found

The National Archives (Series ED, Records created or inherited by the Department of Education and Science, and of related bodies; ED 10/61, Teachers' Registration Council and Royal Society of Teachers including registers of teachers, 1902-1912)
Institute of Education Library & Archives (The archives holds extensive collections of current and historical materials on education and related areas of social science. The archives consist of collections deposited by people and educational organisations and of the Institute of Education itself. The library houses a collection of journals, books and documents on all aspects of education)
Individual School Archive
Education Departments
Society of Genealogists (Teachers' Registration Council registers, 1902-1948)

Period Covered

1840 - Onwards

Genealogical Value

Name and career of teacher.

Further References

Chapman, Colin. The Growth of British Education and its Records: Lochin Publishing, 1992

Chapman, Colin. Basic Facts about Using Education Records: Federation of Family History Societies, 1999

Cleland, Elizabeth. The Church of Scotland Training College in Aberdeen: Records of the Classes from 1874-75 to 1894-95: Aberdeen, 1896

Cowper, Alexandrina Stewart. SSPCK Schoolmasters, 1709-1872: Scottish Record Society, 1997 (Society in Scotland for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge)

Craigie, James. A Bibliography of Scottish Education before 1872: Scottish Council for Research in Education, 1970

Dobson, David. Scottish School Masters of the Seventeenth Century: Heritage Books, 2007

Elverstone, Robert. Absent Through Want of Boots: Diary of a Victorian School in Leicestershire: The History Press, 2014

Harwood, Elain. England's Schools: History, Architecture and Adaptation: English Heritage, 2010

Jacobs, Phyllis M. Registers of the Universities Colleges and Schools of Great Britain and Ireland: Institute of Historical Research, 1964

Mccall, Alison. Aberdeen School Board Female Teachers 1872-1901: A Biographical List: Aberdeen & N.E. Scotland Family History Society, 2007  

May, Trevor. The Victorian Public School: Shire Publications, 2009

May, Trevor. The Victorian Schoolroom: Shire Publications, 1994

Oates, Jonathan. Tracing Your London Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians
Pen & Sword Books, 2011

Ogilvie, Joseph. The Church of Scotland Training College in Aberdeen: Records of the Classes from 1895-96 to 1905-07: Albany Press, 1907

Oldham Hughes, Walter. The Register of Tonbridge School from 1820 to 1886: Beecroft, 1886 (available to download or read online at the Internet Archive)

Steed. H.E. The Register of Tonbridge School from 1826 to 1910: Rivingtons, 1911

Torrance, D. Richard. Scottish Trades, Professions, Vital Records and Directories: A Selected Biography: Scottish Association of Family History Societies, 1998 (The book contains a bibliography of works which contain lists of Scottish people trades people including students and teachers)

Webb, Cliff. An Index of London Schools and their Records: Society of Genealogists, 2007

Wilkes, Sue. Tracing Your Ancestors' Childhood: Pen and Sword Books, 2013

Willis, Richard. The Struggle for the General Teaching Council: RoutledgeFalmer, 2005 (Limited preview available from Google Books)

Woolf, Alex. Past in Pictures: A Photographic View of Schools: Wayland, 2014

TNA Research Guides:
Education history records held in the UK
Teacher training
Teachers and pupils
Technical colleges and further education

Websites (Guide to Teacher's Registrations) (TNA Guide: Looking for records of a teacher or pupil) (College of Preceptors, also known as College of Teachers/Society of Teachers) (Institute of Education Archives Subject Guide No. 12 Teacher Training) (Institute of Education Archives Subject Guide No. 9 Education in London, 1870-1990) (Institute of Education Archives Subject Guide No 8 Family History) (Building on History: the Church in London: Researching Schools) (Ancestry Message Boards: Occupations)

Online Databases

Online Catalogues (Listing of online catalogues for the partial whereabouts of records including Access to Archives [A2A], National Register of Archives [NRA], TNA Catalogue, Aim25, Scottish Archive Network, National Register of Archives for Scotland) (Teachers' Registration Council Registers 1914-1948 produced in association with the Society of Genealogists. The Society has partnered with to publish online record sets from its unique collection. For more information on the available records see here. Members of the Society will be able to view these records for free at SoG Data Online via their existing membership) (Trade Union Membership Registers. Digitised images of original records books from 9 different trade unions from the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. Search for an individual in the records including admission books, annual reports and membership lists and include details about individual members such as payments made, benefits received and the names of spouses. The unions include the Incorporated Association of Assistant Masters in Secondary School, 1919 and the National Union of Teachers, 1914-1920) (Official List of Registered Teachers, 1917) (Information on industrial and reformatory schools in England and Wales in the 19th and 20th centuries, including lists of children and the teaching staff at several schools) (Heritage Builds Bridges - catalogue of the holdings of London Borough of Hillingdon, the British and Foreign School Society & Brunel University) (Sherborne, Dorset School Register 1550-1937; Accounts of St. Albans Grammar School, 1587-1685; The Staff of Rossall School, Fleetwood, Lancashire, 1844-1938; Trinity College, Glenalmond, Scotland staff register, 1845-1929; Birmingham Blue Coat School Benefactors, 1722-1859; Admissions and pupil and staff register of Leeds Grammar School, 1566-1900)
(First World War Occupational Service Records. Service records of skilled professionals who were part of membership organisations, professional bodies and unions. Datasets include: members of the National Union of Teachers; members of the Institute of Electrical Engineers; Lawyers from the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple)