Seashell Trust

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Seashell Trust
Seashell Trust.JPG
Established 1823
Type Special
Chair Tony Snape
Location Stanley Road
Cheadle Hulme
Greater Manchester
United Kingdom
DfE URN 106166 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff approx. 500 (whole Trust)
Students 109 (and rising)
Gender Mixed
Ages 2–25

Seashell Trust (formerly known as Royal Schools for the Deaf) is a charity based in Cheadle Hulme, near Stockport in Greater Manchester, for children, young people and adults with sensory impairment, profound and multiple learning difficulties, and profound communication difficulties. It is the oldest deaf children's charity in the north west of England and it operates Royal School Manchester and Royal College Manchester, as well as children and adult care and residential homes including a supported tenancy.


The Trust's special school is called Royal School Manchester, the Trust's independent specialist college [ISC] is Royal College Manchester. In addition, the Trust also operates 7 adult care homes and 3 children's homes as well as an adult residential care home: Griffin Lodge.[1][2] and Domiciliary Care Services.


The Seashell Trust now has a new strategic vision for 2020 which will lead the charity to become a "World Class" provision in the field of low-incidence services and provision. The Charity's vision is:

... for the children, young people and adults in our care to be safe, happy and achieve the best life outcomes so that they are valued and valuable members of their communities


The original school was established in 1823 by Robert Phillips, a Manchester merchant, with the assistance of fellow merchant William Bateman. It attained its royal status by Queen Victoria in 1897, and the current queen is its patron. The school has been located in different places over the years. It was first opened in Salford in 1825, with just 14 children, but it was soon deemed necessary to move to a larger site, this time to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Old Trafford, which was opened on 21 June 1837.

It remained there until 1956 when a new campus was built in Cheadle Hulme, built due to a wish for more suitable site. The school in Trafford remained open until 1982 and the charity now operates solely from the one site.[3] The name was changed to Seashell Trust in 2008 because the former one (Royal Schools for the Deaf) was "misleading", according to governors.[4]

National accolades[edit]

  1. Royal School Manchester - Ofsted 2009 "Outstanding"
  2. Seashell Trust Children's Homes - Ofsted 2011 "Outstanding"
  3. Griffin Lodge Residential Home - CQC 2009 & 2010 "Excellent"
  4. Autism Accreditation Award (NAS) 2009
  5. Driving for Better Business Award, 2009
  6. BBC Power of Sport Award 2010
  7. National Lottery Winners of the Inclusive Sports Award 2010

Deafness impairment[edit]

The reference to deafness in the name of the school had become obsolete because an increasing number of the students enrolled had communication difficulties but were normally hearing. In particular, the Seashell Trust had developed considerable expertise in working with normally hearing autistic students. The deaf students now admitted by Seashell all have very complex additional needs, including visual impairments, physical difficulties and low general ability.


The Seashell Trust as a charity is effectively the parent body of the former Royal School for the Deaf and Communication Disorders. In changing the name of the school, it was decided to make a clear distinction between its school and its college (which occupy different parts of the campus). It was also decided to remove the reference to disability in the name. The school accepts students from preschool through to 19 years. The college runs a three-year programme, usually commencing when a student is 19 years old.


  1. ^ "Christmas tree lights up charity's campus". United Utilities. 11 December 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  2. ^ "About Us". Seashell Trust. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 
  3. ^ "History". Seashell Trust. Retrieved 9 January 2009. [dead link]
  4. ^ "New name for historic deaf school". Manchester Evening News (Guardian Media Group). 12 November 2008. Retrieved 9 January 2009. 

External links[edit]