Educating Londoners – free study day /conference Friday 9 May
I am pleased to be invited to speak at the free conference / workshop organised by the archivist sat the Institute of Education alongside the London Metropolitan Archives. I have spent many hours in both archives. I was one of the first researchers to be allowed to read the wonderful archive of the National Union of Women Teachers at the Institute of Education before it was properly catalogued – hence references in my Deeds not Words such as ‘file in orange folder in the tea chest’.
My talk is called ‘Remembering the 11+ : what’s in (and what isn’t in ) the archive.’ I am going to be discussing the research for the article I wrote with Brenda Kirsch on finding the mark book and a class anthology owned by our former primary school teacher when we sat the 11+. The pretentious poem above was included in that collection : while the teacher chose to keep it I think I might well have destroyed it decades ago if it had been in my possession then …
I will also be considering what is and isn’t in archives: very few specimens of this once widespread and notorious 11 + exam exist in public archives. The exam was so commonplace that they were not collected – yet even today the exam still looms large in the collective memory of the nation.
I will also be thinking about the material we have in our own archives (inspired by re-finding my old school reports dumped in the attic) and why some material is kept – and others destroyed –in archives.
(Other speakers include Ken Jones both a professor of education and former strike leader / general secretary of Barking & Dagenham NUT speaking about teacher trades unionism in London in the 1970s.)