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GDS - Girls' Day School Trust

Identity Statement
Reference code: GB/366/DC/GDS
Title: Records of the Girls' Day School Trust
Dates of creation: 1843-2006
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 180 boxes and approx. 33 oversized  boxes

Administrative history: The Girls' Day School Trust is an independently run but centrally supported group of girls' schools initially created in 1872 to advance the education of women.

It was created in 1872 as the Girls' Public Day School Company to found good and cheap academic day schools for girls of all classes above the level of elementary education. In 1906 it was reconstituted as The Girls' Public Day School Trust Ltd, and became the Girls' Public Day School Trust in 1950 and the Girls' Day School Trust in 1998.

The first school opened in Chelsea in 1873 and by 1901 the Company owned 38 schools educating girls from the age of 3-18. Before 1945, many of the schools also had teacher training departments and provided domestic science courses for older girls. Some of the schools developed specialism, such as Kensington High School which specialized in music education and Belvedere School in Liverpool which offered training in art and crafts. Headmistresses were also an important part of the Trust's policies and were engaged in experimental education techniques. At the beginning of 2009 the Trust was responsible for 24 'all-though' schools; 4 preparatory schools; and one academy. 

Content and Structure
Scope and content: Central records of the Girls' Day School Trust and its predecessors split into the following series: constitutional records, 1872-1992; papers regarding honorary members of the Trust, [1889]-2004; records of the Council of the Trust, 1872-2005; papers regarding annual and extraordinary general meetings, 1872-1968; annual reports, 1871-2002; papers regarding the committees of the Council, 1872-1998; shareholders' records, 1872-1966; financial records; general administration records, 1876-1994; papers regarding the relationship between the Trust and local and central government, 1876-1986; papers regarding the central governance of Trust schools, 1920-2000; miscellaneous papers regarding schools owned by the Trust, 1873-2006; miscellaneous records regarding former Trust schools, 1873-1997; property records, 1906-1965; records regarding staff, 1875-2001; records regarding pupils, 1901-2005; papers regarding the curriculum in Trust schools, 1868-1985; papers regarding teacher training in Trust schools, [1900]-1952; papers regarding examinations and assessment in Trust schools, 1916-1994; school inspection records, 1879-2005; scholarship records, 1894-1994; publicity material, 1879-2005; publications, 1923-2002; papers regarding events, 1890-1998; artifacts, [1872-1992]; photographs; papers regarding old girls' associations and the Minerva Network, 1976-2004; and miscellaneous papers regarding the development of the Trust, [1870-2004]. 

The collection also contains the papers of Maria Grey and Emily Shirreff, 1843-[2000]; and records of the Friends of the Girls Public Day School Trust, 1946-2003.

Subject terms: Private schools; Educational organizations; Educational Fees; Home Economics Education; Educational institutions; Home Economics Education; Women teachers; Teacher Education; Educational administration; Educational grants; Pre-school education; Primary Education; Secondary Education; State and Education; School Governors; School Records; School inspections; Curriculum; School examinations; Educational Reform; Scholarships; Educational history; women.

Personal names: Grey, Maria Georgina; Shirreff, Emily.

Corporate names: Girls' Public Day School Company; Girls' Public Day School Trust Limited; Girls' Public Day School Trust; Girls' Day School Trust; Birkenhead High School; Blackheath High School; Brighton and Hove High School; Bromley High School; Central Newcastle High School; Croydon High School; Heathfield School, Pinner; Hilden Grange School; Howell's School, Llandaff; Ipswich High School; Kensington Preparatory School; Norwich High School for Girls; Notting Hill and Ealing High School; Nottingham High School for Girls; Oxford High School; Portsmouth High School; Putney High School; Royal High School, Bath; Sheffield High School; Shrewsbury High School; South Hampstead High School; Streatham and Clapham High School; Sutton High School; Sydenham High School; The Belvedere Academy; Wimbledon High School; Clapham Modern School; Clapton and Hackney High School; Carlisle High School; Charters-Ancaster School; Clapham High School; Dover High School; Dulwich High School; East Liverpool High School; Gateshead High School; Highbury and Islington High School; Kensington High School; Paddington and Maida Vale High School; Tunbridge Wells High School; York High School; Weymouth High School; Swansea High School.

Conditions of Access and Use
Access conditions:
General available for study, though administrative records are subject to 30 year closures and records containing personal data are subject to 80 year closures.
Finding aids: Online Catalogue. A paper list is also available in the Archives Reading Room.

Allied Materials
Related Units of Description:
The records of the individual schools are held by the schools or the at the appropriate local archive repository. Papers regarding the Trust can also be found in other collections in the Archive, including SM/1/1 and NCE/N/248. Members of the Institute of Education Library can access the journal of the Women's Education Union through the 19th century periodicals database and the original journal is held in the British Library.