About Us

Apply for the Grant

The Establishment

Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education (YLCE) was established in 1875 by a group of prominent Yorkshire women who recognised the need to help other women living in overcrowded and unhealthy conditions in the industrial areas. They also realised that to be effective, this help should be accompanied by improvements in educational opportunities for girls.

From the start YLCE has initiated or supported a range of ambitious projects which once established are passed over to other charities or organisations to continue. You can see some of the Events and Schemes that YLCE have been connected with on our Timeline below.    


Major projects

Some of the major projects in which YLCE has been influential include in 1874 the opening of the Yorkshire College of Cookery and in the 1870s the opening of Leeds Girls High School, Wakefield Girls High School and Bradford Girls Grammar.

In 1903 The Yorkshire Training Fund for Women was formed. The 20th Century saw YLCE involvement in a range of areas including the establishment of Leeds Babies Welcome Clinics, lobbying Parliament on the Factory Bill and the start of the Meals on Wheels Service.

Today we offer education awards to British women, over 21.

Our Timeline

  1. Yorkshire Board of Education sets up a Ladies Committee

    January 1st, 1866

    The Ladies Committee was set up to supervise and support women and girls taking Oxford and Cambridge Local examinations. It was involved in national initiatives to develop primary and advanced education for women and girls.This was the forerunner of YLCE   

  2. Ladies Honorary Council of the Board of Education founded in Leeds

    January 1st, 1871

    The original remit of the Ladies Honorary Council was to encourage "some improvement of female education of all classes". This was an enormous task at a time when a  national system of rudimentary "elementary" education for girls (and boys) was only just being established through the new Board Schools.

    Councils were also set up in many Yorkshire towns eg Wakefield, York, Skipton and Halifax

    Classes in health, hygiene and cookery are sponsored, and sometimes taught  by YLCE members themselves.


  3. Yorkshire Board of Education lectures developed by Emily Kitson

    May 1st, 1871

    In the spring of 1871, the Yorkshire Board of Education sponsored lectures on health and hygiene for working women. However, these were delivered by a doctor and professional lecturer and were far too highbrow for the audience. Mrs Kitson, one of the founders of what was to become YLCE suggested and developed more hands-on sessions that proved hugely successful. The sessions had two syllabuses "Sanitary Lectures to Working Women in Leeds" and "Two Winters' Experience in Giving Lectures to my Fellow Townswomen of the Working Class on Physiology and Hygiene" Both were practical sessions involving illustrations, diagrams and simple demonstrations. There were many sessions delivered until the Spring of 1873. 


  4. Death of Emily Kitson

    October 1st, 1873



  5. Opening of Yorkshire Training College of Cookery

    January 1st, 1874

    The decision had been taken by the Ladies Honorary Council of the Board of Education that cookery classes should be provided for women and girls in an attempt to help the 'poor' raise their standards of hygiene and nutrition. Members of the Council, notably women who were soon to establish the Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education, were instrumental in setting up The Yorkshire Training School of Cookery, affectionally known as 'The Pud School'. 

  6. The Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education established

    January 1st, 1875

    In 1875 the Ladies Honorary Council became independent of the Yorkshire Board of Education and renamed themselves The Yorkshire Ladies Council of Education. 


  7. Opening of Bradford Girls Grammar School

    September 1st, 1875
  8. Opening of Leeds Girls' High School

    January 1st, 1876
  9. YLCE supports Yorkshire College of Science

    January 1st, 1878
  10. Opening of Wakefield Girls High School

    September 1st, 1878
  11. New President and Honorary Secretary appointed

    March 2nd, 1885

    In 1885 Lady Frederick Cavendish became President of YLCE and Mrs Anne Eddison became Honorary Secretary remaining in office until 1912 and 1910 respectively.   

  12. Yorkshire Loan Training Fund developed

    January 1st, 1892

    The Yorkshire Loan Training Fund was set up to help women to meet expenses incurred in establishing a career. 

  13. Yorkshire Loan Training Fund becomes an independent body

    January 1st, 1903

    Training Fund helps women to meet expenses incurred in establishing a career. 

  14. Yorkshire Ladies Council is Incorporated

    January 1st, 1904
  15. West Riding Nursing Association developed

    January 1st, 1907

    The West Riding Nursing Association was developed by a Committee set up by the YLCE.

  16. Establishment of Leeds Babies Welcome Clinics

    January 1st, 1909

    YLCE takes responsibility for the Babies’ Welcome organization

  17. Leeds Babies' Welcome

    January 2nd, 1909

    The Leeds Babies' Welcome Association was originated from a Standing Committee pioneered by Dr Ina Kitson Clark 

  18. Babies’ Welcome becomes independent of the YLCE

    January 1st, 1913
  19. Foundation of Yorkshire Ladies’ Secretarial College

    January 24th, 1918

    Yorkshire Ladies' Secretarial School opened at 7 Cookridge Street, Leeds.

  20. YLCE offices move to Blenheim Terrace

    January 2nd, 1928

    In 1928 18 Blenheim Terrace Leeds became the office and centre of the Council.

  21. Kate Turberville becomes Honorary Secretary

    January 1st, 1930

    Mrs Turberville remained as Honorary Secretary for 16 years. 

  22. Occupation Centre and Social Club set up

    January 2nd, 1933

    An Occupation Centre and Social Club for unemployed men and their wives was set up at Pottery Fields, Hunslet   

  23. YLCE lobbies Parliament on the Factory Bill

    January 1st, 1937
  24. The Personal Service and Citizens' Advice Bureaux established

    January 3rd, 1938
  25. Old Peoples Welfare work initiated

    January 1st, 1941

    This, together with the Personal Service set up in 1938, eventually led to the formation of the Leeds Council of Social Services in 1944. YLCE Honorary Secretary, Mrs A S Turberville was closely associated with this development.  

  26. Beginning of a Meals on Wheels Service

    January 1st, 1944
  27. Formation of the Leeds Council of Social Services

    January 3rd, 1944

    YLCE Honorary Secretary, Mrs A S Turberville was closely associated with this development.  

  28. West Yorkshire Branch of the English Speaking Union formed

    January 1st, 1946

    This was pioneered by the Council.

  29. Leeds and Lower Dales Branch of the Council for the Preservation of Rural England promoted

    January 1st, 1948
  30. HRH Princess Royal presided as Patron at Jubilee Lunch to commemorate the Incorporation of the Council

    January 1st, 1954
  31. Scheme to provide Residential Home for Elderly launched

    January 2nd, 1954

    This eventually led to the formation of Forest Hill Residential Home in 1960 

  32. Opening of Forest Hill Residential Home for the Elderly

    January 13th, 1960
  33. Extension to Forest Hill Residential Home

    January 1st, 1965

    The extension was opened by Lady Parkinson, President of the Council.

  34. Jillian Rennie becomes Chairman

    March 1st, 1985

    Jillian Rennie took the position of Chairman in March 1985 and served for ten years in the role. 

  35. YLCE Secretarial College closed

    January 1st, 1988
  36. Start of the Educational Awards Fund

    January 20th, 1989
  37. YLCE Blue Plaque unveiled

    March 1st, 1995

    A Blue Plaque was unveiled at 18 Blenheim Terrace Leeds to honour the work of the YLCE Victorian Pioneers in Education. 18 Blenheim Palace was the site of the Secretarial College and YLCE offices until it was sold to the University in 1988. 

  38. Nancy Donner becomes Chairman

    March 18th, 1995

    Nancy Donner was voted Chairman in 1995 and served for 20 years in the role.

  39. Launch of the Jillian Rennie Appeal

    February 4th, 2013

    Following the death of Jillian Rennie in 2012, an appeal in her name was launched to raise money for the Awards Fund. Jillian was dedicated to the education of women and had been instrumental is setting up the Awards Fund in 1988. She was a member of the Awards Committee for twenty four years and Chairman for eight of those years. 

  40. Jillian Rennie Appeal ends having raised £26,000

    February 2nd, 2015

    The Jillian Rennie Appeal ended in February 2015, 25 years after the establishment of the YLCE Awards The appeal raised a total of £26,000 for the Fund.

Newsletter Sign Up