Mann was educated at Romford County High School for Girls and then studied art at the South-East Essex Technical College and School of Art. Here in 1942, she met the artists David Bomberg (1890–1957), who was teaching there, and Dorothy Mead. She and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1945, but left after a year because of opposition to Bomberg's ideas there.
Edna Mann and Dorothy Mead followed Bomberg to the City Literary Institute, where they met Cliff Holden, and then the Borough Polytechnic (now London South Bank University) from 1946. She was a founder member of the Borough Group of artists influenced by Bomberg at Borough Polytechnic, together with Cliff Holden (the first president), Dorothy Mead and Peter Richmond. She exhibited with the group until she became pregnant, when Bomberg asked her to resign. He believed that it was impossible be a serious artist while raising young children.
- "Edna Mann (1926–1985): Biography". Mark Barrow Fine Art. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "The History of the Borough Group". Cliff Holden, UK. 2004–11. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
- "The Borough Group". Artonline. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
- "Cliff Holden, FCSD". Honorary Awards 2006. London South Bank University, UK. 2006. Retrieved 20 April 2011.
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