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|Type||School for pupils who are deaf or who have communication difficulties|
|Depute Headteacher||Carol Binnie|
|Old location||West Coates, Edinburgh, EH12 5JJ|
Headteacher and management team
Laura Battles is the Principal & Chief Executive of the Donaldsons trust; she is assisted by the Headteacher Mary O'Brien and Depute Headteacher Carol Binnie.
Donaldson's was founded in West Coates, Edinburgh in 1851 as Donaldson's Hospital by Sir James Donaldson (1751–1830), who, for a time, was publisher of the Edinburgh Advertiser. The original benefaction allowed for special bursaries for poor children. Not all were deaf, although applications on behalf of deaf children were encouraged. From 1938, pupils were exclusively deaf. This benefaction was similar in style to the benefaction of George Watson, who founded and supported other schools in Edinburgh.
After more than 150 years based in the Playfair building, Donaldson's finally concluded that the building was no longer fit for purpose. Many of the rooms were no longer in use, classrooms were unable to utilise the latest educational technology and the Trust could no longer afford to maintain the building. In 2003 the school's building was put up for sale and was purchased by Scottish property developer Cala Homes.
The school retained use of the building until a new, purpose-built Donaldson's campus opened in Linlithgow in January 2008. The new campus has facilities for up to 120 pupils.
As a national Grant Aided Special School (GASS) supported by the Scottish Government the central location of the new site makes the facilities more accessible to pupils from all over Scotland and the north of England.
Donaldson’s uses British Sign Language (BSL), Signed Supported English and spoken English, and caters for children and young people from two and a half years to 24 years. The curriculum is delivered by an interdisciplinary team of teachers who are supported by classroom assistants and residential care workers, providing round the clock education and care. The team includes: teachers of the deaf; speech and language therapists; an educational psychologist; an educational audiologist; a physiotherapist; an occupational therapist; deaf studies tutors; and subject teachers.
Shared teaching, sports and dining facilities form a hub linking two teaching wings — the nursery / primary and secondary schools. Both schools are grouped around individual play spaces with links and views across the surrounding area. Facilities include a gym, swimming pool, fitness room, dining room, library, and assembly hall as well as a "life skills room" and art studio. Classrooms, each of which accommodates six pupils, feature soundfield systems and interactive whiteboards.
Donaldson's Lodge (residential accommodation) has 24 rooms placed in a separate building at the edge of the site.
- Couper, William James (1908). The Edinburgh periodical press: being a bibliographical account of the newspapers, journals, and magazines issued in Edinburgh from the earliest times to 1800 2 (Digitized August 14, 2007 ed.). E. Mackay. p. 109.
- Veitch, Jennifer (2009). Edinburgh then and now. Batsford. p. 139. ISBN 978-1-906388-37-9. Retrieved 2012-05-29.
- Official site
- Donaldson's College page on Scottish Schools Online
- Canmore listing for former Edinburgh site
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