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  • info@newdeafacademy.org.uk

September 2016

The Deaf Academy purchased the seven acre Rolle College site in Exmouth from Plymouth University.

In conjunction with the architectural and town planning studios at Stride Treglown, we presented a proposal for the site which met our ambitions for the New Deaf Academy.

The Deaf Academy is working in partnership with architects Stride Treglown to incorporate the latest thoughts in Deaf friendly design. Our New Deaf Academy will be a place of light, colour, enjoyment, discovery and achievement. Designed with Deaf children for Deaf children, there will initially be space for 50 students and bespoke facilities for our increasing number of Deaf students with additional complex needs.

May 2017

The public were invited to give their feedback on the proposals.

Months of extensive consultation began with our students and staff to inform the key design principles for their New Deaf Academy.

July 2017

The New Deaf Academy planning application was submitted to East Devon District Council.

August 2017

Early demolition works commenced as part of the initial enabling works previously agreed with East Devon District Council.

November 2017

September 2018


Planning permission was granted by East Devon District Council.

The designs for the New Deaf Academy were presented with architects Stride Treglown at “The Future of Deaf Education” event, held at the House of Lords on the invitation of the Baroness Butler-Sloss GBE.

Guests were shown artist's impressions of the new education building, student accommodation and refurbishment of the existing Owen Theatre.

Speakers included Dame Esther Rantzen DBE who spoke passionately about her personal experience of deafness and the importance of specialist Deaf education in the UK.

Guests included representatives from some of the largest charitable trusts, key figures from the media including the BBC’s health correspondent Hugh Pym and individual supporters such as the owner of the Daily Express and OK Magazine Richard Desmond, whose father became suddenly deaf when he was a child.

One year on from purchasing the site and the main build for the New Deaf Academy in Exmouth has begun.

A £250,000 New Deaf Academy Appeal is launched.

Over 30 businesses, organisations and sports clubs in Exmouth host events to support the first Exmouth Deaf Awareness Week.

The doors of our New Deaf Academy will be open in the academic year 2019/20.

The story continues…

How you can help

School Atrium

At the centre of our New Deaf Academy is the Atrium. With Soaring ceilings and leaf like acoustic panels it will provide an inspiring place where all students can come together and which will underpin our specialist work around building confidence. The space will provide clear sightlines to allow our young Deaf students to communicate, dine and learn together in the heart of our new Academy. With windows throughout the Academy being designed with strategically angled frames that minimise glare and allow in lots of natural light, creating an ideal environment for visual communication and the use of British Sign Language

The Rt Hon. The Lord Bruce of Bennachie
Special Representative, DeafKidz
"The new Deaf Academy is designed for sign language users. By incorporating a design which encourages visual communication and takes into account natural lighting, I believe that the Deaf Academy will be an exemplar for how public spaces can be accessible for Deaf people and as such will have a far wider impact that just on the students who use it."


Large uncluttered classrooms, bathed in controlled natural daylight, allow for specialist teaching supported by cutting edge technology. The room size and table design enables visually led teaching and learning in British Sign Language (BSL) with a ‘horseshoe’ formation. Classrooms have connected breakout spaces and quiet rooms to meet the unique needs of each individual child.

Carl Harding
Senior Associate Architect, Stride Treglown
"The needs of Deaf people are unique. The development of the design for the new Academy buildings as inclusive and “Deaf Friendly” spaces has been a fascinating process. We have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and it has been inspiring to work on a project that will improve the lives of students and enhance their learning outcomes."

Living Areas

Our students will live in a home from home. Bright, welcoming, residential ‘family’ clusters will share a living space designed for accessibility and with technology and domestic facilities to help develop life skills for future independence. Lifts and widened corridors provide access to all clusters for all students, irrespective of additional needs.

Find out more

For more information about Exeter Deaf Academy, including admissions, visit our main site.