Fears that Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education could close following a major investigation have been allayed today after the school announced it is set to move to the former Rolle College campus in Exmouth.
Plans have been revealed to build a new "world-class" deaf education and residential care academy on the seven acre site, currently owned by the University of Plymouth.Work is now starting on a planning application which will be submitted to East Devon District Council.
The academy's chief executive Jonathan Farnhill said: "We are excited to have found a new site which would provide a permanent home for the deaf academy after 190 years in Devon. "There are many opportunities that a town like Exmouth can offer our deaf students. The town itself is a real draw for us. It's a large vibrant town with great amenities, housing and opportunities for leisure activities.
"However, it's also a town with a strong sense of community and we feel that it could become a truly deaf friendly environment, a model for integrated living between deaf and hearing communities."
Speaking about the Rolle site plans, he continued: "We would have the space to build an academy with distinct identities for school and college, but also with ground level accessibility for students with physical disabilities. We would also be able to build enough residential accommodation to keep pace with a growing student population with increasingly complex needs."
He added: "We are eager to open the next chapter in our proud history, and we look forward to that being in Exmouth. The new deaf academy will transform the lives of deaf children and their families and will be a place where deaf and hearing people can come together."