Royal School for the Blind, Liverpool

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Royal School for the Blind)
Jump to: navigation, search

The Royal School for the Blind in Liverpool, England, is the oldest specialist school of its kind in the UK, having been founded in 1791.[1] Only the Paris school is older, but the Royal School for the Blind is the oldest school in the world in continuous operation, and the first in the world founded by a blind person, Edward Rushton, who was also an anti-slavery campaigner,[2] it was also the first school in the world to offer education and training to blind adults as well as children.[3]

The 1932 extension was designed by the architects Anthony Minoprio and Hugh Spencely.[4]

In 2010, the School's headmaster, Joseph Byrne, was appointed OBE.[5]

In 2011, the school was cited as one of the reasons (along with local blind charity Bradbury Fields) for UK supermarket Sainsbury's choice to use a store in nearby Woolton for its trial of Braille signage.[6]

The Redwall series of books was first written for pupils at the School[7] when its author Brian Jacques worked there as a delivery driver.[8] From 2016, the History of Place project carried out archival research at the School,[9] uncovering and making public documents including diaries of some of those who attended the school,[10] uncovering architectural heritage of the school, which moved several times in Liverpool.[11] The Museum of Liverpool is holding an exhibition featuring the history of the school in 2018.[12]

Historical abuse allegations[edit]

In January 2017, various media outlets reported allegations of historical physical abuse against a deceased former headmistress, Margaret McLenan, who was in post in the 1950s;[13] in response, Susan George, president of the school, was reported to be saddened by the allegations.[13]


  1. ^ "Special Schools". You and Yours - 12-04-04. BBC. 
  2. ^ Unsung: life story of Edward Rushton.
  3. ^ The Blind in British Society: Charity, State and Community c1780-1930 Gordon Phillips, 2004 Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
  4. ^ "The Blind School Extension". Friends of Liverpool Monuments. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  5. ^ "Rugby commentator Ray French appointed MBE". BBC News. 
  6. ^ "Sainsburys in Woolton is first in UK to have braille signage for blind customers". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  7. ^ "Redwall author Brian Jacques dies aged 71". BBC News. 
  8. ^ "About". 
  9. ^ Liverpool School for the Indigent Blind Timeline
  10. ^ Our evacuation diary
  11. ^ History of place - maps and the Liverpool school for the indigent blind
  12. ^ Museum of Liverpool exhibition about the School for the Blind.
  13. ^ a b West, Kate (9 January 2017). "Liverpool Royal School for the Blind headmistress 'abused children'". BBC Radio Manchester. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 

Coordinates: 53°23′44″N 2°54′59″W / 53.3955°N 2.9164°W / 53.3955; -2.9164