Mary Hare School

Our vision

That all deaf children should receive the education and support which will enable them to achieve their full potential at home, school and in their subsequent careers


  • Achieve the highest possible standards of educating deaf children, from early learning to tertiary education 
  • Be a major influence of national policy, practice and guidance in relation to deaf children and their education 
  • Enable families to achieve their vision and aspirations for their deaf child 
  • Support deaf children and young people in their emotional and social well-being 
  • Be recognised as a key provider of the highest quality training for all practitioners working with deaf children and young people 
  • Provide consultancy, advisory support, assessment and technical services that support the vision

Our history

Towards the end of the 19th Century, a number of prominent women were beginning to influence events in ways which were to have a profound effect on developments in 20th Century society. One such woman was the educationalist Miss Mary Hare. Her vision was that deaf children were capable of realising the full potential of their intellect and that they had no need of shelter from the rigours of hearing society in the growing number of asylums for the deaf and dumb. Such shelter served only to deny them opportunities and fundamental rights. She set about overturning the short-sighted view that the deaf child's prime needs were for care and protection, by establishing a small school in London in 1883. By 1916 this centre of learning had blossomed into the Dene Hollow Oral School for the Deaf based in Sussex and widely regarded as one of the best schools for deaf children in the Kingdom. During these twenty or so years of growth and development, Mary Hare had been able to show that her vision was not only justified and realistic, but achievable. 

It was to honour the great contribution that this pioneer had made to the education of deaf children, that shortly after her death in 1945, Dene Hollow School was redesignated as the National Grammar School for the Deaf. Bearing her name, The Mary Hare Grammar School came to serve the needs of potentially able severely and profoundly deaf children throughout the United Kingdom. The rapid growth that this change brought necessitated a move to larger premises, and in 1948 the school acquired and occupied its present beautiful site close to Newbury in Berkshire. It is our hope that half a century after Mary Hare's death, the achievements of our pupils today still serve to honour her name and her vision. 

Local information and facilities 

Newbury is a market town located in West Berkshire in England in the UK with good bus, rail and road links and is located 50 miles south west of London. There are a wide selection of hotels in Newbury offering good hotel accommodation and bed and breakfast accommodation for visitors in and around Newbury. The Kennet and Avon Canal disects the town which has many historical buildings and places of interest including the Corn Exchange Theatre and the Museum by the Canal. The Newbury Racecourse is within 1 mile of the town centre and nearby are Highclere Castle, Donnington Castle, Snelsmore Countryside Park, the Ridgeway, the Downs and a host of other attractions. 

School Information

Mary Hare School is the largest school for profoundly and severely deaf children in the UK. Mary Hare teaches using an auditory oral approach, so that children learn though spoken and written English – no sign language is used in teaching. The school has maintained a high standard, with over 85% of pupils gaining 5 or more GCSEs for the last 5 years and 95 % pass rate at A level. Nearly all leavers go on to further education.