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DC/MD Papers of Michael Duane

Identity Statement
Reference code: GB/366/DC/MD
Title: Papers of William Michael Duane
Dates of creation: 1940s-1990s
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 6 boxes

Biographical history: (William) Michael Duane, headmaster and lecturer, was best known for his 'progressive' educational views, his belief in inclusivity and a multi-racial approach, his encouragement of informal relationships between staff and pupils and his opposition to corporal punishment. He was educated at the Dominican School at Archway, North London; St Ignatius' Grammar School in Stamford Hill, London. In 1938 he graduated from Queen Mary College, London, with a degree in English Language and Literature. He trained as a teacher from 1938-1939 at the Institute of Education and afterwards took up his first teaching post at Dame Alice Owen's Grammar School, Islington, until 1940 when he started war service. He was demobilised in 1946 and returned briefly to Dame Alice Owen's Grammar School. Lectured at the Institute of Education on the English Method, 1946-1948 In September 1948 he was appoint the Head of Beaumont Boys' School, St Albans. In 1949 he became the Head of a newly opened school, Howe Dell Secondary School in Hatfield, Hertfordshire. Duane's headship of Howe Dell was marked by controversy and the school closed shortly after he resigned in 1951. From 1951-1959 Duane was Head Master of Alderman Woodrow Secondary Boys' School, Lowestoft. Head of Risinghill School, Islington from 1959. The school became the subject of much public and media attention and controversy focused on his non-authoritarian approach. There were difficulties with the London County Council and Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools, Risinghill was closed in 1965 and Duane became a peripatetic lecturer mainly based at Garnett College in London. He never worked as a head teacher again but wrote and lectured widely on the subject of education. In 1977 he recieved MPhil at the University of Nottingham for his research on 'The Terrace', an experimental ROSLA (raising of the school leaving age) scheme to provide education for 15 year olds who no long saw relevance in standard education. The research was later used by Duane to write The Terrace: An Educational Experiment in a State School' (London, Freedom Press, 1995). Michael Duane died in January 1997

Content and Structure
Scope and content: Papers reflecting many aspects of Duane's career. In particular, the collection includes reports, memoranda and correspondence relating to Duane's headships of Howe Dell Secondary School, Hatfield (1949-1951); Alderman Woodrow Secondary Boys' School, Lowestoft (1951-1959);  and Risinghill School, Islington (1959-1960). Also included are published and unpublished writings, lectures, correspondence, press cuttings and transcripts of interviews reflecting Duane's broad interests in education including on the following topics: the nature of intelligence, teacher training, discipline and punishment, 'delinquency', 'de-schooling', religious instruction and moral education, comprehensive education, non-authoritarian and 'progressive' education. Background research material, drafts and correspondence relating to his MPhil thesis at the University of Nottingham 'An Experiment in Progressive Education in a State School' (1977) [later published as The Terrace: An Educational Experiment in a State School (London: Freedom Press, 1995)] are also included.

Subject terms: Comprehensive schools; Secondary school leaving; progressive education; School discipline; Student teacher relationship; Moral Education; Alternative education; Corporal Punishment; Sex education; Socialism; Educational administrators; Teacher Education; Religious education; Intelligence; Educational Management

Personal names: Duane, William Michael (1915-1997); Newsom, Sir John; Leila Berg;

Corporate names: Howe Dell Secondary School, Hatfield, Hertfordshire; Alderman Woodrow Secondary Boys' School, Lowestoft; Risinghill School, Islington; Northcliffe Comprehensive School, Conisbrough, Yorkshire; Inner London Education Authority; London County Council; Beaumont Boys' School, St. Albans, Hertfordshire; Dartington Hall School, Conisbrough, Yorkshire

Conditions of Access and Use
Access conditions: Generally available for study though some papers containing personal data are closed.
Finding aids: Available on the on-line catalogue. Paper copy of the catalogue can be accessed in the Archives' search room.

Allied Materials
Related Units of Description: Duane's personnel file is held in the records of the Institute of Education (IE/PER/A/74).
Associated Materials: Leeds University Special Collections: Papers of the RT Hon Edward Charles Gurney Boyle, Baron Boyle of Handsworth  (MS 660) contains correspondence with Michael Duane; the London Metropolitan Archives holds the London County Council records in relation to Risinghill School.