I recently started cataloguing the records of the Colonial Department, which include some of the oldest Institute records we hold in the archive. I won’t try to sum up the entire history of the department in this post as it is pretty complicated, but as it’s also very interesting I’ll try to write a few posts as I go along.
In 1927, Percy Nunn, Director of the IOE (then the London Day Training College) became a member of the Colonial Office Advisory Committee on Native Education in British Tropical Africa, and it was proposed that a probationary year at the LDTC should be established for those selected to enter the educational services in Africa.
The course was launched in October 1927 under the direction of James Fairgreve, with 10 students, all missionaries. Intake for the course increased year by year, in 1934 the Colonial Department was formally instituted. In the same year, the Division of Overseas Students was created with Fred Clarke as Adviser, providing training for students from colonial countries.
Fairgreve retired in 1935, and Dr WB Mumford was created head of the Department, which was subsequently reorganized. Throughout the 1930s the main aims of the Department were pre-service training, gathering information, research into problems associated with education in the colonies.
So, hopefully I got some attention with the inflammatory title! Needless to say the department changed with the times both in name and practice. Check back for more posts as I explore the history of this fascinating part of the IOE’s collection.