Photograph of schoolboys sharing an apple, 1904 (Catalogue reference: COPY 1/479)

The National Archives holds the administrative and policy files of the government departments concerned with education, but not staff records of teachers or information about individual pupils. Where these survive, they are held by local archives.

  • What do I need to know before I start?

    • Try to find out:

      • the county or local authority
      • the name of the school
      • a date range to focus your search
  • What records can I see online?

    • Teachers' registration records (1870-1948)

      Search teachers' registration records on the Findmypast website (£) for teachers in England and Wales from 1870 to 1948.

  • What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?

    • There are no records of individual teachers or pupils at The National Archives at Kew.

  • What records can I find in other archives and organisations?

    • Records held locally

      Search the Access to Archives (A2A) and National Register of Archives (NRA) databases to find records held in local archives. These may include parish records and records of schools run by nonconformist churches.

  • What other resources will help me find information?

    • Books

      Read Education and the State from 1833 by Ann Morton (PRO, 1997).

Did you know?

Information about staff or pupils, including school log-books and admission and discharge registers, can sometimes be found in the relevant local archive.
 
Teacher training run by the state began in 1902, but denominational teacher training colleges began in the 19th century. Many schools existed as parish, national, Church of England, or voluntary schools, and their records may be found in the papers of relevant parishes. The records of non-conformistnon-conformist records - records kept by various religious denominations independently of the parish registers kept by the Church of England and the Catholic church churches may also contain information about schools.