School of Education

Welcome to the School of Education's digital timeline. The timeline is split into three strands as follows: External Developments School of Education History School of Education Research

Browse the timeline to find out more about the national and international developments in education, as well as the research and community engagement projects the School of Education has contributed over the decades.

1918-11-11 22:01:57

Armistice Day - University Endowment

On Armistice Day in 1918, a public fund for the endowment of a University College for Leicestershire was set up - Later to become the University of Leicester. The University College was envisaged as a ‘living memorial’ to those local men who had lost their lives in the First World War. Leicester was to have, as the local paper put it, “more than a mere artistic war memorial”. The University motto 'Ut vitam habeant' ('so that they may have life') stands as a permanent reminder on every publication and degree certificate issued since.

1921-01-01 19:22:33

Proposal for a Department of Education Submitted

A scheme to establish a Department for the Training of Teachers was submitted to the College Council for consideration.

1921-10-04 22:01:57

University of Leicester Opens its Doors

On 4 October 1921, less than three years after Dr. Astley Clarke's initial donation, University College Leicester opened its doors with eleven students, three lecturers and the principal, Dr RF Rattray (remembered in the name of a lecture theatre in the centre of campus).

1928-01-01 00:20:22

Gateway College Opens

Gateway College opened in 1928 as a boys’ grammar/technical school and became a Sixth Form College in 1976 as part of the reorganisation of secondary education in the city of Leicester. Today the College is a mixed open access college hosting 1,700 full time students, mostly aged 16-19

1928-01-02 00:00:00

1928: First Lecturer in Education appointed - a Historian, H.D. Barnes B.A.

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1928-06-01 23:28:16

Department of Education Formed

The University of Leicester's Department of Education is formed to teach the 1-year Post graduate Certificate of Education course

1929-07-01 08:43:00

The Sandon Act & The 1918 Act

The Sandon act was passed through parliament in 1876, and this made primary education for all children in Britain compulsory, stating that it was ‘the duty of the parent to see that his child receives and education’, and under 10’s were then forbidden from working full time. The 1880 Elementary Education Act built upon this foundation, making it compulsory for all children between the ages of 5 and 10 to be in education. After WWI ended in 1918, a bill was passed which raised the school leaver age to 14, and sought funding for more part time education for 14 to 18 year olds.

1929-07-01 08:43:00

First Cohort of Students Welcomed

The first cohort of 17 graduate students were recruited from the Universities of London, Manchester, Birmingham, Wales and Leicester. Students were trained for both elementary and secondary schools on an intensively school-based course, spending four days a week in school.

1929-10-01 00:00:00

1929 Local Government Act

The 1929 Local Government Act abolished schools in work houses, transferring them instead to local councils which made them into elementary schools. This meant that children were no longer allowed to work in the poor houses, meaning they were able to utilise the free school places made available by the Sandon act.

1930-07-01 00:26:39

17 students complete course

17 graduates complete Teacher’s Certificate exams. 3 were awarded distinctions. “The first year has proved highly satisfactory. All concerned are satisfied as to the soundness of the methods of training…”(pg 13. 1929 -30 Annual Report).

1933-01-02 00:00:00

1933: Ronald Hitchcock MA replaces H.Barnes.

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1934-10-01 00:00:00

Changes to Postgraduate Education Programme

1934: Changes to Post Graduate Education programme included placement in Junior Schools in Term 1. Courses on method teaching Of Maths, Science, Art and Craft introduced. Principal gave lectures on appreciation of the Arts. Further courses in Physical Training, constructional needlework, laboratory craft and biology being “contemplated for future sessions” (Annual Report 1934-5, p.16)

1941-02-01 08:37:05

Course Discontinuation

Due to the war only seven students, all women, joined the course. The Board of Education decided to discontinue recognition of the course.

1943-01-07 13:35:08

General Certificate of Education (GCE) O-levels and A-levels introduced

General Certificate of Education (GCE) O-levels and A-levels were introduced, replacing the School Certificate and the Higher School Certificate

1944-07-01 10:17:54

Education Act 1944

The Education Act of 1944 or 'Butler Act' as it was otherwise known, promised Secondary education for all which meant no school fees were charged in any school maintained by public authority. The other major reform involved the clear distinction between primary, Secondary and Further Education, introducing a new tripartite system at Secondary level involving three different types of school: Grammar, Secondary Modern and Technical. To assess which pupils should attend which school, they took an exam known as the 11-plus. The system was intended to allocate pupils to the schools best suited to their abilities and aptitudes.

1945-03-01 11:04:37

Department of Education Re-opens

The Ministry of Education granted permission to re-open the Department of Education after the war and offer a four year undergraduate course in addition to the one-year PGCE. In 1946 the first cohort of 19 (largely ex-service personnel) attended the University College to study the 1 year Postgraduate Certificate in Education. During this time, there was no formal examination at the end of the course, assessment being on the students' records, practice, performance and special essays and surveys. The emphasis of the course went on teaching with the whole of the Spring term devoted to teaching practice and in the other two terms two days each week were allocated to method work, one of which would be spent in school. Topic courses were also established on Comprehensive Education, A Critic of Mental Testing and Streaming, A History of Education, Child Development, Delinquency and Religious Knowledge

1946-04-01 08:44:46

Department of Education welcomes J.W Tibble as Principle

J.W.Tibble became Principle of the Department of Education. Tibble studied English at Leeds University under the lecturship of J.R.R. Tolkien. According to Brian Simon who was recruited by Tibble to cover Economics and Social Studies "Tibble was profoundly interested in human development. He saw the potential of people and wanted them to develop. He believed that a School of Education should be concerned with all round personal development and provide scope for self-realisation and for individuals to find their own direction in a caring, helpful environment; people should not just be put into categories." He developed the concept of the educative environment.

1946-10-01 04:27:32

School Milk Act

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1957-01-01 08:37:04

The Leicestershire Experiment

The Leicestershire Experiment is implemented by Stewart Mason whilst taking on the role of Director of Education at the Council.

1957-03-01 11:04:37

University College Leicester is granted University Status

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1957-03-01 21:33:11

Creative Play in the Nursery

Creative Play in the Nursery is an Infant School video created by University College Leicester Education Department. Part of MACE (Media Archive for Central England)

1965-10-01 00:00:00

Organisation of Secondary Education

The Government Circular 10/65 was a Government Circular which requested the local authorities in the UK to switch from the tripartite system of post primary education to the comprehensive system. This drive for comprehensive schools only lasted for 5 years, as the Conservative Party victory in 1969 led to the creation of Circulation 10/70, effectively reversing the 10/65 Circular, and leading to the reprise of Tripartite Educational systems. - Haigh. C, The Cambridge Historical Encyclopaedia of Great Britain and Ireland, (Cambridge, 1986), 333.

1967-01-01 02:27:45

Professor John. F. Kerr Inaugural Lecture 'The Problem of Curriculum Reform'

Source for story: The Moral Foundations of Educational Research

1967-05-02 04:25:07

Diploma in Education launched

Diploma in Education launched in 1967. Enrolment was limited to 20 students and meetings were held Monday and Wednesday evenings during term time.

1970-01-01 16:24:03

STEP (Science Teacher Education Project)

STEP (Science Teacher Education Project) funded by the Nuffield Foundation aimed at producing a large bank of resources for use in training science teachers. Ultimately eight books were published.

1973-01-01 02:27:45

The Work Experience Act

The Work Experience Act of 1972 allowed students to participate in work experience on an employer’s premises in the final year of their compulsory education.

1975-01-01 11:38:05

David Martin & Lis Martin (nee Tombs)

Dave and Lis took the PGCE in Modern Languages at the School of Education in 1975-76. We were based at 21 University Road and studied with Jim Jerman (there was a second MFL group with Roy Dunning). We had taken our degrees at Oxford and we chose the University of Leicester for the PGCE because we were interested in teaching in a developing country and therefore in EFL. Unfortunately the course in EFL was no longer being offered by the time we arrived! The course was set up so that the first and third terms were based at the School of Education and the second term was spent in a local school for a term's teaching practice. Dave spent the term at Lutterworth Upper School and Lis at Oadby Beauchamp Upper School. We each then began our teaching careers at our respective schools and taught at them for three years. As well as the subject method courses all students had to attend four weeks of lectures in the History, Sociology, Philosophy and Psychology of Education. At the end of the four weeks we had to choose two disciplines to continue and in which we had to produce essays. Particularly memorable from the lectures were Robin Barrow's Philosophy lectures (very intense, but very clear - though most people opted out of them!) and Gerry Bernbaum's Sociology lectures (always challenging and amusing - including a memorable comment about, no matter what you do to a sow's ear, you can never make a silk purse out of it!). A short time after arrival at Leicester, Dave bumped into Robin Barrow in front of the School of Education. Robin asked him if he played football. He was delighted to say yes (a sport he had always played with much enthusiasm, though little skill!) and Robin quickly recruited him to his team. Robin was a new convert to football and had recently put together this team. We played each Wednesday afternoon - Dave seems to remember we usually lost quite heavily, but it was a very enjoyable experience. Dave was also very grateful to his Head of Department at Lutterworth who designed his timetable to leave him free on a Wednesday afternoon. Whilst at Leicester, Dave lived in Elms Road Houses and Lis in Mary Gee Houses (handy for an engaged couple, as they were close by each other), each sharing a house with about 9 other students. Dave's main memory of his house is the maggots that we regularly bred in the dustbin! Lis remembers the kitchen in her house being rather cleaner! One other strong memory of Leicester is late night dashes between pubs in and out of the city, as in those days of strict closing times, one closed at 10.30 and the other at 11.00! After leaving Leicester, Dave spent 40 years in secondary education in a number of schools across the country (and one in Germany) and Lis spent many years in development education. We are now happily retired!

1975-05-01 00:46:40


Brian Simon and Maurice Galton are awarded a large grant from the Social Science Research Council to undertake a 5 year research programme into primary school classroom interaction named ORACLE

1976-02-01 00:24:44

Prof. John. F. Kerr elected President of the Association for Science Education

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1977-03-01 11:23:13

Proposal for A-level Reform

The Standing Conference on University Entrance (SCUE) considered proposals for a new sixth form curriculum and for 'N' (Normal) and 'F' (Further) examinations to replace the existing A-level system. This change proposed that five subjects should be studied at A-level - typically three at Normal level and two at Further level. Professor Meadows and Mr J.R. Baker represented the University of Leicester on the SCUE steering groups.

1980-05-01 00:00:00

University of Leicester Launches Sixth Form Fortnight Programme

The University maintains contact with local schools through a Liaison Committee an which East Midland Headteachers are represented, and it was one of these which suggested that the University could provide an experience of university study for local sixth-formers. After consideration, the University decided to implement a programme of 13 one-day courses held during the period 12-23 May 1980. This programme was funded by the Leicestershire Education Authority. The Fortnight was intentionally offered to schools as a package. It was aimed at first-year sixth-formers and invitations to take part were restricted to schools and colleges in Leicestershire – a total of 27 institutions were represented. The courses offered included: Modern Languages, Philosophy, Religion, Sociology, Economics/ Economic and Social History, Classics, History/ Politics/ Victorian Studies, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Geology, Geography, Chemistry and Mathematics. The number of places on each course varied from 150 on Mathematics and History/ Politics/ Victorian Studies courses to 20 for Philosophy, Religion and Classics. A total of 920 course places were made available and 736 of these were taken up. - University of Leicester Staff Bulletin, May 1980, pg. 9

1981-06-01 00:00:00

Centre for the Evaluation and Development in Teacher Education Launched

A Centre for Evaluation and Development in Teacher Education opened in the School of Education in 1981. It was funded by the Department of Education and Science to maintain and extend the work of the IT-INSET (Initial Training and In-Service Training of Teachers) Project which the DES originally funded at the Open University. Dr Pat Ashton was seconded from Leicester to take up the post of Senior Research Fellow and returned to direct the new Centre in the School of Education.

1983-11-01 09:30:45

White Paper - 'Better Teachers'

This paper limited the recruitment of graduates to teacher education to those whose degrees (later revised to A level GCEs) were closely related to 'selected areas of the curriculum'

1984-01-02 10:58:29

Professor M. Galton Inaugural Lecture “Time to Learn".

Professor Galton from the School of Education delivered an inaugural lecture entitled “Time to Learn” – The Study of Teaching and its Implication for Teachers.

1984-10-01 15:37:42

School of Education receives 5 star rating

School of Education receives a 5 star rating for research excellence as part of the UGC research assessment.

1984-12-03 01:12:02

Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) Established.

The Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE) was set up in 1984 to offer advice to the Secretary of State on the approval of courses of initial teacher training. Such accreditation must be distinguished from academic validation, which is the responsibility of universities and the Council for National Academic Awards (CNAA). Initial training courses must now satisfy published criteria as to qualifications for entry, length, balance of content, professional experience, and curriculum coverage. In particular, undergraduate courses must include at least two years of subject study at a level appropriate to higher education. Staff concerned with pedagogy are also required to have recent and successful experience of school teaching. The membership and procedures of the Council are described, and some of the issues that have arisen during its first two years of operation identified. - European Journal for Teacher Education, Vol. 10, 1987, Issue 1

1986-01-01 23:09:01

CATE Inspection of School of Education Recommends QTS Accreditation

Following the two visits to the School of Education by Her Majesty’s Inspectors in 1984 and 1985, senior members of the department appeared before the Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (CATE). The Committee was set up by the recently retired Secretary of State for Education, Sir Keith Joseph, and is charged with the task of ensuring that the courses of teacher training institutions meet with a set of defined criteria. The criteria cover matters such as minimum entry qualifications, interview procedures, length of course, its content and its assessment. In arrive at a judgment, CATE relied heavily on the evidence contained within reports by H.M. Inspectors. CATE recommended to the Secretary of State for Education and Science, that both the secondary and primary post-graduate Certificate of Education courses at Leicester be approved. Students at Leicester continued to gain qualified teacher status upon the award of the PGCE. - University of Leicester Staff Bulletin, June 1986, pg. 12

1987-01-01 02:19:58

School Partnerships

The School of Education develops key 'Partnerships' with local schools to allow students to spend two full days a week in school. On one of the days each week a cross-curricular group meeting was held in the partnership school, chaired by a university tutor in which professional issues were discussed.

1987-01-01 12:10:32

Maths, Physics and Technology event at the Royal Institution

The shortage of Maths and Physics teachers in schools was a subject of great concern nationally. The Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals organised a one-day event at the Royal Institution to highlight the problem and to draw attention to the efforts being made by University and Polytechnics towards a remedy.

1987-04-01 22:06:01

Research Grant - Assessing Children's Creative Skills

‘Little is known about the development of creative skills in primary school children, or about how teachers assess them. Professor Maurice Galton and Dr David Hargreaves have received a grant of £29,000 from the Economic and Social Research Council to investigate the creative work of pupils at different ages, and to examine teachers’ assessments of them.

1991-01-01 00:00:00

Alumnus: Karen Stuart

Karen Stuart Head Teacher at Overdale Infants School Subjects Studied at the University of Leicester: BSc Hons Psychology, PGCE, PGCert Primary Science Year of Graduation: 1991

1995-01-01 00:00:00

Alumnus: Nik Foster

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1997-01-01 00:22:10

Awarding of QTS

Employment agencies, independent training organisations, local authorities and schools approved by the TTA (Teacher Training Agency) were given the power to recommend the award for Qualified Teacher Status.

1997-03-01 07:17:15

School of Education Supports National Campaign for Citizenship Education

THE Coalition for Citizenship - a group of organisations which includes the University’s Centre for Citizenship Studies in Education - has written to key political figures including the Prime Minister, Labour Leader Tony Blair and Liberal Leader Paddy Ashdown asking them to support moves to promote citizenship education for children of all ages.

1997-09-01 09:18:11

Mother and Daughter Celebrate Degree Success

Mutual congratulations were the order of the day for mother and daughter, Sue and Jennie Mailley, as they received their degree certificates. Sue received an MA in Professional Studies in Education, and Jennie a BSc

1998-02-01 09:18:10

THE PRIMARY CURRICULUM Learning from international perspectives Edited by Janet Moyles and Linda Hargreaves (School of Education)

Designed for ease of use by students,this book is concerned with the relationships and tensions in education between children’s needs and societies’ demands, tensions which primary teachers everywhere face on a daily basis.

1998-12-01 00:24:39


THE UNIVERSITY’S School of Education has been awarded £90,000 to develop primary science education in the city. The Zeneca Science Teaching Trust made the award from 1 January 1999 to develop new forms of intensive in-service in the area of primary science which will have a profound effect on primary science education in the City of Leicester. The Project is based in collaboration between the School of Education, the SCIcentre, Leicester City Local Education Authority and the Leicestershire Education Business Partnership. The work will begin in January 1999 with 16 schools receiving intensive support in the form of courses at the School of Education and extra material resources

1999-06-01 22:23:44

Staying Ahead: The Middle Class and School Reform in England and Wales

COMPREHENSIVE schools with sixth forms encourage pupils to achieve better results, a study involving a leading Leicester educationist has discovered. Professor Ken Fogelman, of the School of Education, pictured, teamed up with Professor Alan Kerckhoff and Jennifer Manlove of Duke University, North Carolina for the study Staying Ahead: the middle class and school reform in England and Wales (published in Sociology of Education).

1999-06-01 22:23:44

Professor Maurice Galton Retires from the School of Education

A MEMORABLE OCCASION A farewell dinner was held on 5 March in the Garendon Restaurant to mark the retirement of Professor Maurice Galton. The dinner was attended by over 80 colleagues and friends, including the Vice-Chancellor, Professors Simon and Mathieson, Mrs Betty Kerr, Pam Galton and other members of Maurice’s family. Professor Gerald Bernbaum, Vice-Chancellor of South Bank University and a former colleague of Maurice’s in the School of Education, made a speech celebrating the various aspects of Maurice’s contributions to the University, including his research, teaching and sporting activities.

1999-12-24 22:23:44

Charity Benefits From Memorial Event

On the afternoon of 24 June 1999, the Social Science PGCE group held a Memorial Rounders and Picnic afternoon on Victoria Park for Jarrod Potter, the student teacher tragically killed last September on his way to the School of Education. Over 100 fellow students and tutors turned out for a roundrobin of rounders matches and a communal picnic. The Geography PGCE group eventually won through against Domino’s Pizzas, who sponsored the event. Other donations came from Asda, Tesco and Safeways.

School of Education

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