This film is part of Free

Lufton Manor for the Learning Disabled

Lufton Manor offers residential care for the mentally handicapped.

News 1972 19 mins Not rated


From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


This film documentary takes a look at residential placements for the learning disabled at Lufton Manor near Yeovil in Devon. TV reporter Del Cooper follows a student after his two-year residential course back to Dodsworth near Barnsley in South Yorkshire where he works as a dustbin man or in today's terminology as a refuse collector, not the only terminology to have changed in half-century as society aims to appropriately address people with cognitive disabilities.

Intellectual and developmental disabilities often precluded further education and employment for children with a mental handicap but new laws following the 1959 Mental Health Act meant that the Ministry of Labour actively sponsored residential courses for young people with learning disabilities, courses that were aimed at students finding gainful employment. Today, special educational needs or SEN teachers and the mainstreaming in education of children with learning disabilities have helped to change attitudes and enhance social acceptance with more colleges and universities offering courses for all.