The technical department at the Harborne site is designated as a Technical College and new buildings are added. It is formally opened in June and known as the Queen Alexandra Technical College for the Blind.
Image: Mechanical department.
A new assembly hall and library funded by the Ministry of Education for £17,000 and a new indoor swimming pool for £14,000 are provided at the Lickey Grange school.
New buildings at Lickey Grange opened by Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who arrives by helicopter in the school grounds!
Image: HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
Queen Alexandra College is invited by the Department for Education to become a Vocational Assessment Centre for Blind Adolescents, providing pre-vocational assessment, further education and training. By 1964 there are 40 resident and 10 day students.
The Elizabeth Gunn Centre on the Harborne site is opened, built using a substantial bequest. It provided workshops for Radio services which, at that time, maintained 1400 mains and battery wireless sets issued to blind people and for the occupation centre. This provided work for 18 people whose additional disabilities meant that they could not gain access to a workshop for the blind and also supported another 15 people at home. Rehabilitation was also offered in the welfare room.
Pre-school peripatetic teaching to counsel and advise parents of children in the Midlands is introduced.
The number of pupils at Lickey Grange school declines for the first time and the following year, ordinary schools began to integrate children who are partially sighted. However, numbers continue to decline and the school is eventually closed and the site sold in the early 1990s.
Brib Housing Society established with the aim of providing suitable accommodation for people with multiple disabilities.
£350,000 funding appeal launched to modernise Queen Alexandra College . Over £100,000 is launched in the first year and the target is reached by 1985. New subjects are added to the curriculum, including for the first time, bicycle repairs.
A disastrous fire at the Lickey Grange school destroys two classrooms and the gym. These buildings are rebuilt by 1981.
Image: Cycle mechanic training.