This film is part of Free

Downham School Opening

Downham School opens its doors to deliver a very special education.

News 1963 1 mins Silent Not rated


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Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


Downham School was opened in 1963 by Lady Roborough in Plymouth. Fourteen out of the first seventy pupils were residential boarders in the school's new hostel. The children started at the school aged four and stayed until aged between sixteen and nineteen. The overall aim was to provide individual learning programmes and to prepare the students for the outside world. Many pupils went on to work and continue their educational development in adult training centres.

Downham School has since been demolished and the site in Plymstock redeveloped. The School became Cann Bridge School in Estover with purpose-built facilities and opened in September 2012 on the Tor Bridge Partnership site. The school continues to specialise in the education of children with special educational needs such as children with spina bifida, Down syndrome or other learning disabilities but on a shared site. Mainstreaming in education of children with disabilities has helped to reduce discrimination, enhance understanding and increase participation of these vulnerable groups effectively ending their marginalisation from society.