Rachel McMillan was born in New York in 1859, the daughter of Scottish immigrants. On visiting Edinburgh at the age of 28, Rachel was influenced by Socialism and the following year moved to London to be near Margaret, her governess sister and also attend socialist meetings, write articles, and give free evening lessons to working class girls. The sisters moved to Bradford and joined the Fabian Society, Social Democratic Federation, and Labour Party. In 1892 Margaret with Dr James Kerr published a report on the health of elementary children in Britain and began campaigning for improvements. Rachel returned to London and was active in the Labour Party movement. In 1906 the sisters campaigned for, and had passed, the Provision of School Meals Act. In 1908 they opened the country's first school clinic in Bow and another in 1910 in Deptford as well as a Night Camp for children. In 1914 they started an open-air nursery & nursery staff training centre in Peckham which was accorded recognition by the Board of Education in 1919.Rachel McMillan died in March 1917 and the re-named Rachel McMillan College moved premises to Creek Road, Deptford in 1930. The new buildings housed students studying on three-year full-time courses leading to a Froebel Certificate. In 1961, at the invitation of the governors, the College was taken over by the London County Council (LCC). The LCC created an annexe of the College on the New Kent Road, which provided accommodation for part-time students studying nursery, infant and junior teaching courses leading to a London University Certificate in Education after a four-year part-time course. The New Kent Road annexe merged with South Bank Polytechnic in 1976 to become part of the Faculty of Education, Human & Social Studies. The rest of Rachel McMillan College merged with Goldsmith's College in 1977. In 1989 students and staff were relocated to the Polytechnic's main site.