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Bloomsbury Institutions


Manchester Street School

Also known as Argyle Primary School


It was founded in 1880 to educate local children; it was the biggest school in the local area

Its staff co-operated with Mary Ward when she opened the Passmore Edwards Settlement in October 1897 in Tavistock Place, to provide learning and play facilities for poor children in the area in the hours after school but before their parents finished work (Janet Penrose Trevelyan, The Life of Mrs Humphry Ward, 1923)

It continues to educate local children between the ages of 3 and 11; the diversity of its neighbourhood is demonstrated by its website, which runs in Somali and Bengali as well as English, as some 90% of its pupils have a language other than English as their mother tongue

Its OFSTED inspection in 2007 said it was in an area where levels of deprivation were twice the national average, and almost a fifth of its pupils were refugees or asylum seekers (report published 29 January 2007)

In 2006 it was praised by the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, for its sustainable policies; it also runs an organic garden in the school grounds

What was reforming about it?

It was part of the reform of education under the provisions of the Education Act 1870

Where in Bloomsbury?

It was built on a large plot of land between Manchester Street and Tonbridge Street

Website of current institution

www.argyle.camden.sch.uk (opens in new window)

Argyle Street Primary School

Books about it

None found


Some of its records are in London Metropolitan Archives, ref. LCC/EO/DIV2/MAN/LB/001–006; details are available online via Access to Archives (opens in new window)

This page last modified 14 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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