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About Us

About Us

Carnegie Physical Training College was officially opened by Lord Irwin, President of the Board of Education, on 13th October 1933.  The college was built in response to the perceived need for quality training for male teachers of physical education. A requirement identified as early as 1923 by Captain Grenfell's Survey of boys secondary schools in which he lamented the lack of male teachers and the 'inefficiency' of the training.

Throughout the late 20s and early 30s this need was highlighted by headmasters and education authorities across the country. The authorities recognized a tradition of excellent physical training for women had already been established. In 1929 the Government and Carnegie UK Trust had established a joint committee to look into the establishment of a college of physical education for men teachers.  The following year the Carnegie Trust offered a grant for £30,000 toward the cost of building such a college.

James Graham, former Director of Education for Leeds was the driving force behind Leeds bid to be the venue although sadly he died in 1931 before completion of the project. He envisaged the new Carnegie Hall being sited next the existing City of Leeds Training College. This location and proximity was to prove fruitful to both institutions over the coming years.

Carnegie Hall was built as a replica of the original 1912 Halls of Residence, and contained 60 study bedrooms, a common room, dining room, lounge and library. Many of the facilities of the neighbouring training college were enjoyed by Carnegie students, including the swimming pool and social functions such as dances and concerts. Ernest Major was appointed first Warden of Carnegie his leadership set the foundation for Carnegie's reputation as a centre of quality in the teaching of physical education at both a national and international level. In 1938 he negotiated further funds to allow extensions to Carnegie Hall to take place, which included a second gymnasium.

During the Second World War Carnegie College was closed and the City of Leeds Training College site was commandeered by the Army for use as a military hospital. The expected number of casualties did not materialize and the college site instead became a Royal Army Medical Corps Training Centre.

In 1946 Carnegie was re-established under the warden-ship of Edwin Bouffler who for the next 22 years steered Carnegie to even greater prominence, arguably the most important centre for the study of sport and sport science in the country.

1968 saw the merger of Carnegie with its (by then renamed) neighbour the City of Leeds College of Education to form the City of Leeds and Carnegie College. John Evans was appointed Director of Carnegie School a post he held until 1976. In the early 1970s renovation took place of the original 1912 swimming pool and expansion and improvement of the sports facilities, including a new all weather running track. 1976 saw the College merge with Leeds Polytechnic and Clive Bond was appointed Head of Carnegie School with John Evans taking on the role of Deputy Director of Leeds Polytechnic.

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