The College of Preceptors was a Victorian institution that aimed to improve the standard and status of teaching by providing proper qualifications. It was founded in 1846 by a group including Joseph Payne (its first professor of education) and the formidable Miss Frances Buss, headmistress of the North London Collegiate School.
The rather grand building was erected in 1887, designed in a sort of Flemish Renaissance style by one F. Pinches.
The College, now known as the College of Teachers, moved out a few years ago and the building has been rather well restored as a suite of meeting rooms for the Bonnington hotel group.
Busts of famous educators stare down from the facade. Matthew Martin, chief executive of the College of Teachers, very kindly identified them as: