Our history

Some two years after their initial meeting at Manchester’s Corn Exchange on 11th June 1823, Robert Philips and William Bateman, the founders of the original charity, opened their school for deaf children in rented premises in Salford. Eight girls and six boys were given places funded entirely by public subscriptions. Within four years demand grew and a purpose-built school was needed.

After more concerted fundraising, Old Trafford opened its doors on 21 June 1837 – the same day that Queen Victoria ascended the throne. She was later to bestow royal patronage on the school during her Diamond Jubilee. An Infant and then Upper school soon followed.  It was not until 1894 and after much pressure on the government from the school’s President at the time, Lord Egerton of Tatton, that legislation was passed which extended much-needed state education to deaf children.



1880 saw the first experimental audiophone used at the school. In the same year a landmark conference in Milan imposed wholly oral methods of education on all deaf schools. This remained in place until the 1970s.