Ancestry UK

Homerton Residential School for Deaf Children, Homerton, London

The Homerton Residential School for Deaf Children was established by the London School Board and certified for operation in September 1899, though appears not to have come into use until the following year. Its premises, at High Street, Homerton, had previously been occupied by training college for teachers. The first superintendent and matron were Mr and Mrs F.G. Barnes.

In 1902, the school began to offer specialised for children with additional intellectual or physical impairment.

In 1904, the School Board was abolished and its responsibilities taken over by the London County Council Education Department.

In 1906, the school's 46 residential and 24 day scholars spent the whole of June at Osea Island in Essex. It was hoped that the complete change of environment, with plenty of walks, drill, bathing etc., in addition to their normal education, would prove beneficial to the children. It was reported that in the party, "some are entirely deaf and dumb, and so defective that after several years of patient trial, they have been found to make little or no progress by the methods employed in the ordinary deaf schools; some are partially deaf and suffer from defective speech, coupled with aphasia, word-blindness, and defects of a similar nature; some are blind; some partially blind."

On 8 October 1909, the establishment was certified as a Special Industrial School, allowing it to receive deaf children whom the courts had committed to detention, as well as voluntary cases. The school could accommodate up 45 such children, aged 6 to 16 years at their date of admission.

There was a special day school for the deaf at the rear of home, which was attended by the children. In addition to classroom instruction, the boys were taught carpentry and shoemaking, and the girls needlework and knitting.

In February 1912, it was reported that there were 28 boys and 18 girls in residence, but only three boys have been committed under the 1908 Children Act. All the others were London Board of Education cases. In addition, to the resident scholars there were 14 day scholars. All these were children, who in addition to being deaf and in many cases also partially or wholly dumb, suffered from some other physical or mental incapacity, and had usually been transferred from other non-residential schools for the deaf.

In 1921, the School transferred to new premises near High Wycombe.


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