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Girls' Day School Trust: An introduction

Introduction to the archive of the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST)

Collection snapshot


What is the Girls' Day School Trust (GDST)?

Established in 1872 as the Girls' Public Day School Company, the GDST is an independently run but centrally supported group of girls' schools initially created in 1872 to advance the education of women. Initially the schools only provided secondary education but soon opened junior and kindergarten departments. Most of the schools had teacher training departments and provided domestic science courses for girls over 17. Some of the schools also developed specialisms, such as Kensington High School which trained music teachers and Liverpool High School (later Belvedere School) which trained art teachers. Headmistresses were also an important part of the oragnisation's policies and were engaged in experimental education techniques. Today the Trust runs 29 schools across England and Wales.

The collection comprises records relating to the central administration of the Trust, as well as many of its schools. It covers the period from the Trust's establishment in 1872 to the present day and includes committee papers, annual reports, constitutional and financial records. It is one of our most heavily used collections which can be used to support a range of subject areas including: teacher training, curriculum, examinations and assessment, gender in teaching and learning, social policy and social history for the late nineteenth century to present day, class, and school inspections. It also contains a large number of photographs capturing life at the GDST schools.

Contact the archive team

Telephone us on:

020 7612 6983

or e-mail our dedicated enquiry service at

You can also write to us at:

Newsam Library and Archives
UCL Institute of Education
University College London
20 Bedford Way