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Special schools

Schools H to M

Horn’s Lane Blind School, Norwich

The Elementary Education (Blind and Deaf Children) Act 1893 made local school boards responsible for the education of blind and deaf children.

In Norfolk, blind children were taught at the Norwich Blind Institution (see the following chapter) until 1900.

The city then established a school for the blind at Horn's Lane to which other local authorities also sent children.

This was superseded by the East Anglian School for the Blind and Deaf in 1912 (see the previous chapter).

  • For a school log book of Horn’s Lane Blind School, 1909-12, see N/ED1/13B
  • For an admission register, 1901-10, see N/ED 8/18

John Grant Special School, Caister

This school began as the Great Yarmouth Borough Council Health Department’s Occupation Centre for mentally handicapped children and young adults.

In 1945, the school was based at Park Baptist Chapel and later moved to St Mary's Church, on Southtown Road.

In 1956, it was based in a school on Suffolk Road and became known as the John Grant Special School. The borough council’s education department administered the school from April 1 1971.

It is now located in St George’s Drive, Caister, and educates children, aged three to 19, with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

The school was designated as a specialist sports college in July 2009.

  • For governors’ minutes of the John Grant Special School, Caister, 1972-75, see ACC 2005/63
  • For a scrapbook and photograph album relating to Mrs Betty Colby’s class at the school, c1977, see ACC 2005/284

Kelling Sanatorium (later Hospital) School, near Holt

During the early 20th century, many sanatoria were built for tuberculosis patients.

In 1904 Marion Rumball, a nursing sister at the Homeopathic Hospital in Great Ormond Street, London, became concerned about the lack of provision for patients under the age of 16.

She began raising money to establish a sanatorium for children and eventually land was purchased on Kelling Heath, situated in pine woods and near to the sea, for the purpose.

Accommodation was provided in a new home adjoining the site in July 1906, pending the construction of a permanent building.

Fifteen children were in residence by December 1908 and there were many more awaiting admission.

Theodore Hamilton Beit, son of the benefactor Otto Beit, laid the foundation stone of the permanent sanatorium on 19 December 1911 and patients were transferred to the new building from April 1913.

The school was held in the dining hall at first and then in old sheds or in the open air. School hours were between 10am to noon but later changed to 9.30am to 11am and 2pm to 4pm. Lessons included singing and drill.

A new schoolroom was designed and built by Arthur B Knapp-Fisher in 1933, with part of the late Otto Beit’s legacy.

The new schoolroom is described in the Kelling Children’s Sanatorium, ‘Twenty-Eighth Annual Report’ (see ACC 1999/219):

“The building within is divided by a glass partition, which can be moved back when the whole of the room is needed. In school time the younger children are taught in one classroom and the older in the other, where there is a platform or stage which has already proved of great service when, as at Christmas, an entertainment is given for or by the children.”

The Kelling Sanatorium closed to children in the mid-1960s and there is no separate body of records for it.

However, some information about the school is given:

  • For records of the Children’s Sanatorium including annual reports, 1907-33; Committee minutes, 1904-12; visitors’ book, 1913-66 and press cuttings, 1904-c1918, see ACC 1999/219
  • For Kelling Children’s Sanatorium managers’ minutes, 1920-45, see ACC 2005/63
  • For a log book of the Holt Children’s Hospital Special School, Kelling, 1915-65, see reference C/ED 2/134. Please note that this log book is closed to general public access for 50 years.
  • For a full history of the Kelling Sanatorium, see Dr James Slator, Kelling Hospital: The First Sanatorium for Working Men, (Larks Press, Dereham, 2000).
  • High Kelling Society History Group’s The Birth of a Village: A History of High Kelling, (High Kelling Society, 2000) contains chapters on the Kelling Sanatorium and the Kelling Children’s Sanatorium. 

Morley Hall, Wymondham

The Norfolk education committee established a home for older boys with behavioural and learning difficulties at Morley Hall, adjoining Wymondham College.

It is mentioned in the Norfolk education committee’s report, Education in Norfolk, 1950-1960, but there are no records of this school deposited with us.