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Miss E. Carter’s Deaf School, Church Gate, Leicester

H Dominic W Stiles8 June 2012

Miss E. Carter‘s School at Church Gate, Leicester, was not as I first said here, comparatively short lived. It was started as early as 1884, with a deaf class in the local Education Board School in Milton Street, and fell under the auspices of the Leicester Education Committee, as we see from the Deaf Handbook compiled by the National Bureau for Promoting the General Welfare of the Deaf (1913, p.3).  In 1888, according to the British History Online website (see link above), another class was started at a school in Elbow Lane.   In 1894 a school in Archdeacon Lane became dedicated to the education of the deaf.  In 1903 the school moved to Short Street, in space hired from the Friends’ Adult School.  Exactly when after that the school moved to Church Gate, I cannot be sure, but suppose it was not long after.In 1913 the school held up to thirty pupils from the age of five, and they were taught with the Oral method. Miss Carter was a member of the National Association of Teachers of the Deaf – and she gave a paper at a National Congress in 1913, on the education of deaf girls.  I have struggled to find out more about her, like her first name, but I have discovered from Selwyn Oxley’s card index, that when she retired, Miss A. Metcalf from Tottenham was appointed, and the school closed at Church Gate, moving to a building called ‘Stoneleigh,’  in Stoneygate Road,* then on the outskirts of the town, in 1927.  It closed in the 1980s.

In the 1920s the Leicester Deaf Missioner was Leslie Edwards.  I looked  through a number of the mission reports, expecting to see mention of the school, but there was nothing that jumped out.

As well as local authority schools, there were quite a few small private schools across the UK in the 19th and early 20th centuries which obviously filled a need.  Some managed to thrive like Mary Hare’s, but eventually most of them would close when the leading teacher(s) retired.   These photos are from the Oxley collection so date from some time from approximately 1914 to the mid or late 1920s.

Click onto the pictures for a larger size.

Blog re-written 15/9/2017

UPDATE: 9/9/2019

The greater part of records concerning the Stoneleigh School for Deaf Children are held by the Record Office of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, while there are also some at the National Archives at Kew: although those at Kew cover the years 1935-1942. The National Archives’ reference is ED 32/968: no indication of what the material consists of was given on their catalogue.

The Record Office of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland has the Logbook for the Deaf School for the years 1955-1981 (reference DE 2275/3), the admissions register for the years 1932-1969 (DE 2275/8), the Summary Register (Deaf) for the period September 1959 to July 1964 (DE 2275/12) and the subsequent volume covering September 1964 to July 1969 (DE 2275/13).

These records are partially closed under the Data Protection Act, and you would need to contact the Record Office to discuss access; you will be able to see information relating to you, if you attended the school, but there will be restrictions on the information regarding other people you can see. Their email address is recordoffice@leics.gov.uk and their website is http://www.recordoffice.org.uk/.

*Stoneygate Street is a tautologous name, as ‘gate’ is Danish for ‘street’ and is a loan word from the time of Scandinavian settlement!