Meldreth Manor set to mark historic 50th anniversary

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Meldreth Manor School for children and young people with special educational needs marks its 50th anniversary this October. 

Meldreth Manor School is celebrating half a century supporting and educating children with severe and complex learning difficulties. Many of the students have additional physical disabilities, sensory impairment or health needs. 

Dan Alipaz, Director of Operations

Dan Alipaz, Director of Operations

Dan Alipaz, Director of Operations, said the school had helped many hundreds of young people over the years. He said: “It’s testament to the original vision of the school that we are still here 50 years later supporting children who often lead incredibly challenging lives. 

“It’s so inspiring to think of all the young people who have come through Meldreth over the years and the benefit they have got from this wonderful school and from Orchard Manor, our transitional service for young adults. 

“It seems fitting that as we mark this important milestone we are well underway with the multi-million-pound renovation that will make the service a centre of excellence for many years to come.  

“Aurora wants to say a huge thank you to everyone who has worked with Meldreth over the last half century and for all the support so many people have given, including families, the local community and Friends of Meldreth. Together you’ve created something very special that has changed the lives of so many people and we are committed to continuing this.”  

Meldreth Manor opened its doors to students on October 25th, 1967 and was officially opened by HRH Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent. 

Opening in 1967, Headteacher George Crabb stood at the front on the right

Opening in 1967, Headteacher George Crabb stood at the front on the right

At the time, it was the first specialist school of its kind in the UK, and possibly the world. Under the leadership of the first Headteacher, George Crabbe, the school provided education for 120 children aged five to 16 who were mainly diagnosed with cerebral palsy. 

Under the ownership of the then Spastics Society (which later became SCOPE) the school consisted of four self-contained houses. Over the years the site was continually upgraded as the complexity of the student body changed. 

Meldreth Manor is still evolving to this day to support an increasingly complex range of needs including the growth in the number of young people diagnosed with complex communications difficulties and additional health needs. Today, under the ownership of The Aurora Group the school, and neighbouring Orchard Manor care home, are undergoing a massive renovation to accommodate an evolving needs base. Once completed Meldreth Manor School will support 40 children. Orchard Manor will be home to 30 young adults as they prepare for more independent living. 

With this brings new jobs and, anyone interested in making a difference every day can talk to us about career opportunities. Go to www.the-aurora-group.com/jobs/cambsherts or contact the school on 01763 268 000 for more information.