Our History

We are very proud of our history; over a century ago a benchmark was set in sporting history for women, and since then we have continued to drive the legacy that was Madame Bergman-Österberg. 

Part of the Oakfield Lane campus in Dartford, Kent, was purchased in 1895 by Martina Bergman-Österberg, who created a physical training college specialising in gymnastics for girls and young women. She is also credited for the introduction of the use of gymslips for women playing sports, and played a key role in the early development of netball. Physical education continued on the site until 1986.

The training college was left in the hands of a management committee by Madame Bergman-Österberg, as a gift to the nation shortly before her death in 1915.

During its expansion it continued to provide the country with physical training teachers, before it became the Dartford College of Education in 1945. After which, it came under the control of the then London County Council in the early 1960’s. It was amalgamated with Thames Polytechnic in 1976.

The campus became the base for a School of Civil Engineering and Surveying and a School of Architecture and Landscape, after the final sports and leisure students graduated in July 1986, following a decision to discontinue teacher training.

The site was home to part of the University of Greenwich up until North West Kent College’s move across Dartford, from Miskin Road to the Oakfield Lane campus in 2002. Its sporting facilities including the cricket and football pitches, and tennis courts, saw the return of sports and leisure learning there after a 27-year absence.

On 14th September 2015 North West Kent College changed its name to North Kent College to reflect the extended catchment area of the College across the whole South East London to Medway Thames Gateway area.