Was your ancestor or relative a teacher in England and Wales between 1870-1948? Then they may be among the 100,000 teachers who registered their details with with the Teachers Registration Council between 1914-1948. Discover their personal details, date of registration, attainments, training details and experience using these records.
The amount of information listed varies, but Teachers' Registration Council Registers usually include the following information about your ancestor:
When registration started, many people, of course, had been teaching for some time. So the date of registration, particularly for teachers who registered in the early years (i.e., from 1914) was often much later than the date when they started teaching. The records include teachers who had begun their careers from the 1870s onwards.
Address This is generally that of the latest institution where the person was teaching, but quite often is the home address, when the word 'professional' will be deleted. In the latter case it is likely that the teacher was retired, and this is usually confirmed from the experience section, where the last position shown will have a termination date, as here: '18991932'.
Attainments This section may contain information on certificates, degrees, etc, which need not be directly related to teaching.
Training in teaching This section will identify the institution where the person received formal teacher training.
Experience This section is particularly valuable because it includes the establishments and places where they taught. Some teachers taught all over the country, and you can trace their movements over long periods. Though most registrants were from England and Wales, there were many from Scotland, India and elsewhere.
The Teachers' Registrations give details of every teacher, nearly 100,000 people, who taught in England and Wales between 1870 and 1948. More than half of those are women.
From 1914, many teachers in England and Wales (and elsewhere) registered with the Teachers Registration Council. The original registration records for the period up to 1948 (after which registration was abandoned) were deposited with the Society of Genealogists. Registration only started in 1914; however, since people who were already teaching registered, the records cover teachers who started their careers from the 1870s onwards.
An important aspect to these records is the proportion of women included: well over 50%. The earliest registrations were during World War I, so it is not surprising that the proportion of women teachers then was particularly high. Many records for men who were teaching before and after World War I contain a note referring to their absence on war service.
History of the Teachers's Registrations The Education Act of 1899 made provision for the establishment of a register of teachers and the Teachers' Registration Council was accordingly set up in 1902. The register was not well received by teachers and the Council was withdrawn in 1907 and not reconstituted until 1912. Independent of the Board of Education, the Teachers' Registration Council issued lists of teachers.
Registration was voluntary; however, neither the Board of Education nor the local education authorities used it for selecting candidates for promotion, and so registration was not universal. In 1929 the Royal Society of Teachers was formed with the Teachers' Registration Council as its executive committee. After that date teachers were entitled to use the initials MRST (Member of the Royal Society of Teachers). Registration was abandoned in 1948 and the Council the following year.
The original records Registration only started in 1914; however, since people who were already teaching registered, the records cover teachers who started their careers from the 1870s on. The original registration records are loose sheets, one per teacher, held as two alphabetic series in loose-leaf binders. The first series of 149 volumes covers teachers who were still registered in 1947, while the second series, of 11 volumes, contains the records of teachers who were deceased.
Missing records Unfortunately the first volume of each series has been lost or destroyed, so that about 1.5% of the total number of records is missing. The first extant volume of the first series starts with the surname Alefounder, and the volume covering names Aaron to Aleflower is missing. The first extant volume of the 'deceased' series contains surnames from Boait, so we can assume that in this series all the records for surnames preceding this one alphabetically are missing. In total, essentially all names starting A... to ALD... will be missing plus about 7% of names starting with ALE... to BL... The digitised images do not distinguish between the two series, though you can identify records from the 'deceased' series for they will contain a note that the person has died.
'Died' notes on the records The records for deceased teachers normally contain a small handwritten box saying 'DIED', with in most cases some further information. Including, for example, 'Vide returned voting card' (i.e., relating to the Teachers Registration Council), 'Press cutting', 'Vide letter from H.M.'. Sometimes a date might be given, e.g., 'Sept 1919'. Often there is no information other than that the person has died, however, and it can be impossible to get a fix on when the death occurred.