Ancestry UK

Forde Park School for Boys, Newton Abbot, Devon

On 7 October 1940, the Forde Park Approved School was formally certfied to begin operation at College Road, Newton Abbot. It could accommodate 110 boys sentenced to detention by magistrates.

In February 1949, the school premises were expanded to include the adjacent property of Milton House, on Church Road.

In 1973, the school became a Community Home with Education (CHE) under the control of Devon County Council. The Home closed in 1985 and the buildings no longer survive.

In more recent times, 80 former inmates of Forde Park successfully brought a legal case involving allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse at the School over a period of four decades.


Note: many repositories impose a closure period of up to 100 years for records identifying individuals. Before travelling a long distance, always check that the records you want to consult will be available.

  • Devon Heritage Centre, Great Moor House, Bittern Road, Sowton Exeter EX2 7NL. Holdings include: Admission and Discharge register (1956-73).
  • The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU. Holds a number of papers, for example:
    File BN62/1942 - Inspection reports (1963-71).


  • Higginbotham, Peter Children's Homes: A History of Institutional Care for Britain's Young (2017, Pen & Sword)
  • Hyland,Jim Yesterday's Answers: Yesterday's Answers: Development and Decline of Schools for Young Offenders (1993, Whiting and Birch)
  • Millham, S, Bullock, R, and Cherrett, P After Grace — Teeth: a comparative study of the residential experience of boys in Approved Schools (1975, Chaucer Publishing)