Institute of Education

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The Institute of Education (IOE) is a public research university located in London, UK specialised in postgraduate study and research in the field of education, and a constituent college of the University of London. The IOE is generally recognised as one of the best institutions focusing on educational research and offering teacher training and Education studies (for example, it was accorded joint first place, alongside Oxford University, in the 2008 Research Assessment 'Education' subject rankings, according to both Times Higher Education and the Guardian). In 2013, the Institute of Education was also ranked 7th worldwide in the field of Education in the annual World University Rankings by Subject.

The IOE is the largest education research body in the United Kingdom, with over 700 research students in the doctoral school. It also has the largest portfolio of postgraduate programmes in education in the UK, with approximately 4,000 students taking Master's programmes, and a further 1,200 students on PGCE teacher-training courses.

At any one time the IOE hosts over 100 research projects funded by Research Councils, government departments and other agencies. The Institute publishes Educate~ The Journal of Doctoral Research in Education.


In 1900, a report on the training of teachers, produced by the Higher Education Sub-Committee of the Technical Education Board (TEB) of the London County Council, called for further provision for the training of teachers in London in universities. The TEB submitted a scheme to the Senate of the University of London for a new day training college which would train teachers of both sexes when most existing courses were taught in single sex colleges or departments. The principal of the proposed college was also to act as the Professor of the Theory, History and Practice of Education at the University. The new college was opened on 6 October 1902 as the London Day Training College under the administration of the LCC

Its first Principal was Sir John Adams, who had previously been the Professor of Education at University of Glasgow. Adams was joined with a mistress and master of Method (later Vice-Principals). The bulk of the teaching was carried out by the Vice-Principals and other specialists were appointed to teach specific subjects, including Cyril Burt. Initially the LDTC only provided teacher training courses lasting between 1 and 3 years.

In 1909 the LDTC became a school of the University of London and was wholly transferred to the University and was renamed the University of London, Institute of Education. Gradually the Institute expanded its activities and began to train secondary school teachers and offered higher degrees. It also moved into specific areas of research with its Child Development Department, administered by Susan Sutherland Isaacs and the training of teachers for the colonial service. At the outbreak of World War II, the Institute was temporarly transferred to the University of Nottingham.

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John Adams Hall, the IOE's main hall of residence, named after the first principal.

As a result of the report of the McNair Committee, which was established by the Board of Education to examine recruitment and training of teachers and youth leaders a new scheme for teacher training was established in England. 'Area Training Organisations' (ATO) were created to co-ordinate the provision of teacher training and were responsible for the overall administration of all colleges of education within their area. The ATO for the London area was based at the University London under the name University of London, Institute of Education, which was responsible for around 30 existing colleges of education and education departments, including the existing Institute of Education. The colleges (known as 'constituent colleges' of the Institute) prepared students for the 'Certificate in Education' of the Institute, and latterly for the Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Humanities degrees of the University. The existing Institute (referred to as the ‘Central Institute’) and the new ATO (referred to as the ‘Wider Institute’) had separate identities, but confusingly were administered from the same building and by the same administrate staff. This dual identity continued until the Wider Institute gradually disappeared and was finally dissolved in 1975, coinciding with the closure (or 'merger' with local polytechnics and other institutions) of many of the colleges of education.

In 1987 the Institute once again became a school of the University of London and was incorporated by Royal Charter.

The Institute of Education and University College London formed a strategic alliance in October 2012, including co-operation in teaching, research and the development of the London schools system.


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The main building of the Institute of Education, located just off Russell Square in the centre of London.

The first home of the Institute of Education (as the London Day Training College) was Passmore Edwards Hall on Clare Market, which belonged to the London School of Economics. It moved again in its second year to the Northampton Technical Institute in Finsbury and the College of Preceptors building in Bloomsbury Square. In 1907 the College moved to its first purpose built building on Southampton Row. In 1938, the Institute moved to the Senate House complex of the University of London on Malet Street. After World War II, the Senate House complex became unworkable due to a sharp increase in numbers of students. The Institute began to expand into other buildings in the neighbouring area, including four houses on Bedford Way which were leased as a residential hall for students in 1946, a building on Tavistock Square as home of the music department in 1958, and a few 'huts' on Malet Street (formerly belonging to the University of London Student Union) where the library was transferred. In 1960, plans were prepared for a new building on Bedford Way designed by Denys Lasdun, though only part of his initial design was completed. The library was one of the aspects dropped from the design and in 1968 it was moved from huts into a converted office block on Ridgemount Street. The Bedford building was completed in 1975 and was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother, Chancellor of the University of London in 1977. The library finally moved into an extension of the Bedford Way building in 1992 and was renamed the 'Newsam Library' after Peter Newsam, the Director who oversaw the new construction.

In 2004, the Institute of Education and Birkbeck, University of London, jointly founded London Knowledge Lab, an interdisciplinary research unit concerned with learning and technology. It is located in Emerald Street, Holborn.<ref name="London Knowledge Lab">London Knowledge Lab website. Available online at:</ref>


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The IOE's Newsam Library, the largest education library in Europe.

The Institute's Newsam Library is the largest in its field in Europe, containing more than 300,000 volumes and nearly 2,000 periodicals.

Main collections

  • Educational collection of publications covering every aspect of education in the United Kingdom.
  • International collection covering aspects of the organisation of education outside the UK
  • Reference collection including reference works, indexes, legal guidance, statistics of education in the UK and recent official government publications.
  • Other subjects collection containing publications on educational related subjects including psychology, sociology, linguistics etc.
  • Large selection of teaching materials for all subjects and stages of the curriculum with children's fiction and picture books.

Basic Skills Agency Resource Centre

The Basic Skills Agency Resource Centre, which was established in 1993 by the Basic Skills Agency, contains teaching materials for adult education and is available for anyone interested in basic skills. In 2005 the Basic Skills Agency passed responsibility the funding for the collection onto the Institute and the collection now sits within the Newsam library's teaching resources collection.

Special collections

There are over 20 special collections of publications held by the Newsam Library. Some of the collections relate to a specific subject area or have been collection by a single source. The collection contains a comprehensive range of documents on education in the UK, the National Textbook Collection, and other unique resources.


The Institute has been amassing archive collections since the 1940s, and now holds over 100 deposited collections as well as the records of the Institute itself. The deposited collections contain the personal of educationalist and other notable people involved with education and the records of educational organisations such as trade unions, and education projects. The Archives are open to both internal and external researchers by appointment only.

Centre for Longitudinal Studies

The Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS) is an ESRC Resource Centre based at the IoE. CLS houses three of Britain's internationally-renowned birth cohort studies:

National Child Development Study (NCDS)

1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70)

Millennium Cohort Study (MCS): 2000 birth cohort

The studies were key sources of evidence for a number of UK Government inquiries such as the Plowden Committee on Primary Education (1967), the Warnock Committee on Children with Special Educational Needs (1978), the Finer Committee on One Parent Families (1966–74), the Acheson Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health (1998) and the Moser Committee on Adult Basic Skills (1997–99). A study of working mothers and early child development was influential in making the argument for increased maternity leave. Another study on the impact of assets, such as savings and investments on future life chances, played a major part in the development of assets-based welfare policy, including the much-debated 'Baby Bond'.

Notable people

Notable former faculty and staff

  • Basil Bernstein (1924–2000), sociologist and linguist
  • Max Black (1909–1988), philosopher
  • Cyril Burt (1883–1971), educational psychologist
  • Rosemary Firth (1912–2001), social anthropologist
  • Harvey Goldstein (1939–), statistician
  • Susan Sutherland Isaacs, (1885–1948), educational psychologist and psychoanalyst
  • George Barker Jeffery (1891–1957), mathematician and educationalist
  • Leonard John Lewis, international educationalist
  • Karl Mannheim (1893–1947), sociologist
  • Richard Stanley Peters (1919– 2011), philosopher, professor of philosophy of education
  • Marion Richardson (1892–1946), artist, educator and author who published workbooks on penmanship and handwriting
  • Harold Rosen (1919–2008), educationalist, professor and head of English department
  • Christian Schiller (1895–1976), HM Inspector and senior lecturer
  • Philip E. Vernon, (1905–1987), psychologist

Notable alumni

  • Quentin Blake (born 1932), cartoonist, illustrator and children's book author.
  • Reginald Horace Blyth (1898–1964), author and devotee of Japanese culture.
  • Valerie Davey (b. 1940), former Labour Member of Parliament for Bristol West.
  • Michael Duane (1915–1997, controversial head teacher.
  • Bryan Davies, Baron Davies of Oldham, PC, (b. 1939), Labour member of the House of Lords.
  • U. A. Fanthorpe (1929–2009), poet.
  • Beryl Gilroy (née Answick) (1924–2001), novelist.
  • Sally Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Huyton (b. 1959), British Labour Party politician
  • William R. Newland (potter) (1919–1998), New Zealand born studio potter.
  • Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula (1917?–1983), Zambian nationalist leader who assisted in the struggle for the independence of Northern Rhodesia.
  • Harry Rée (1914–1991), British educationalist and member of the Special Operations Executive.
  • Harold Rosenthal (1917–1987), music critic.
  • Brian Simon (1915–2002), educationalist and historian.
  • Katherine Weare (born 1950), Professor of Education
  • Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (1912–1966), first Prime Minister of independent Nigeria.

Principals and Directors

Principals of the London Day Training College

  • 1902–1922 – John Adams (1857–1934)
  • 1922–1932 – Sir Percy Nunn (1870–1944)

Directors of the Institute of Education

  • 1932–1936 – Sir Percy Nunn (1870–1944)
  • 1936–1945 – Sir Fred Clarke (1880–1952)
  • 1945–1957 – George Barker Jeffery (1891–1957)
  • 1958–1973 – Lionel Elvin (1905–2005)
  • 1973–1983 – William Taylor
  • 1983–1989 – Denis Lawton
  • 1989–1994 – Peter Newsam
  • 1994–2000 – Peter Mortimore
  • 2000–2011 Geoff Whitty
  • 2011– Chris Husbands



External links

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