D714 - McNair, Arnold Duncan - 1906-1944
Papers of Arnold Duncan McNair as Chairman of the Board of Education Committee on the Recruitment and Training of Teachers and Youth Leaders. In addition to the papers there is a small collection of pamphlets and McNair's own notebook which contains a variety of questions, reflections, and brief not...
|Archive level description:||Sub-sub fonds|
|Physical Description:||1.5 boxes|
|Summary:||Papers of Arnold Duncan McNair as Chairman of the Board of Education Committee on the Recruitment and Training of Teachers and Youth Leaders. In addition to the papers there is a small collection of pamphlets and McNair's own notebook which contains a variety of questions, reflections, and brief notes of statements by witnesses. This is followed by a Numerical Index of papers dated 1 Oct 1943 of the papers 1 to 163. In this set and in that formerly belonging to Sir Philip Morris there are unlisted papers numbered 164 to 182. Some papers are also present in a revised form|
|Custodial History:||These papers were originally deposited in the School of Education Library by Sir Arnold McNair in 1945 following his chairmanship of the Committee. His file of papers on the Committee on the Recruitment and Training of Teachers and Youth Leaders contains his note This box contains an almost complete set of the papers laid before the Committee by witnesses and others ... their contents might be of value to the Professor of Education in the future. I propose, therefore, to leave them in his custody and rely upon his discretion in regard to the use of them. The file at D714/3 was transferred from the manuscript sequence, Aug 2018.|
Sir Arnold McNair, who died on 22 May 1975 aged 90, had a distinguished career as an academic lawyer and as an outstanding exponent of international law. He became President of the International Court of Justice from 1952-1955 and from 1959-1965 was the first President of the European court of Human Rights at Strasbourg. From 1937-1945 he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and during this period, amongst a number of such public duties, he was appointed by the President of the Board of Education, R A Butler in March 1942 to investigate the present sources of supply and the methods of recruitment and training of teachers and youth leaders and to report what principles should guide the Board in these matters in the future. Other members were Sir Fred Clarke (Director of the Institute of Education, University of London), Dr A P Fleming (Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. Ltd.), Mrs Lionel Hitchens (member of Oxfordshire County Council), Sir Frederick Mander (General Secretary, NUT), Mr P R Morris (Director of Education, Kent Education Committee and later Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol), Miss A H Ross (Organising Secretary, London Union of Girls' Clubs), Mrs J L (Mary) Stocks (Principal, Westfield College, University of London and widow of McNair's predecessor at Liverpool), Mr B B Thomas (formerly warden of Coleg Harlech, Merioneth which provided a war time home for some Liverpool University departments, including Education) and Mr S H Wood (head of Teachers branch of the Board of Education). Wood also acted as Secretary to the Committee with the help of Miss E C Oakden, HMI. In addition, Mr C A Richardson, staff inspector of training colleges, provided a number of papers. Mr H W Hazlewood acted as Clerk to the committee and he received its public tribute of thanks for "his orderly handling of the mass of documents that we have accumulated". Early in 1943 two sub-committees were appointed. One was to advise on the training of teachers in technical colleges and schools and the other on the training of youth leaders. The terms of reference gave the chairman powers to co-opt other persons to serve on sub-committees. Other sub-committees were formed to advise on the supply and training of teachers of art and crafts, music, physical education and domestic subjects. The committee and its sub-committees toured institutions and held discussions with "a variety of persons".
In the introduction to their report they said, "We record in Appendix 11 a list of the bodies and persons whom we have consulted orally or who have submitted statements of evidence to us. In addition, many teachers and others, too numerous to mention by name, have corresponded with us on aspects of our enquiry. Our practice has been to invite witnesses whom we wished to consult to submit a statement to us beforehand if they felt so inclined but to emphasise that it was informal consultation with them at one of our meetings that we most desired". A brief record was made of these discussions. the report itself did not include these papers and, indeed, it was felt that extensive quotations would have "unduly lengthened our Report". The report was published in May 1944, that is three months before the Education Act received the Royal Assent, and the committee was aware that its deliberations were being undertaken against the background of wider developments. The report "was warmly acclaimed as an educational contribution of the first magnitude" at a conference in August 1944 at St Mary's College, Bangor and its influence continues although much of the structure it created has been obliterated in recent years.
Sir Arnold McNair left Liverpool in 1945 for the chair of Comparative Law at Cambridge and from 1946 to 1952 he was a judge of the International Court of Justice at the Hague