Children and young people have been cared for at St. John’s for nearly 130 years. The founder, Miss Jane Borradaile opened St. John’s as a seaside convalescent home in 1886.

Miss Borradaile had been campaigning for over 10 years to open a free institution for the care of the poor and needy from the east and south-east of London. She organised appeals to raise money for the project.

In her first appeal she wrote, “In the first place, I am anxious to make an entirely free home, no weekly payment to be required for any patient”.

In 1956 St. John’s transformed into a school for children with learning disabilities and it has continued to provide the very best in education, care and support to this very day, maintaining the vision of our founder in protecting and helping those most vulnerable in our society.


First appeal for funds made by Jane Borradaile


Secured funds to open St John's on Walpole Road (where we are to this day!)


Foundations laid for the chapel (now the performing arts studio)


Jane Borradaile died, leaving St John's more than £500 (a lot of money in those days!)


St John's becomes a school for children with learning disabilities


Walpole Road site refurbished


New classroom block (Sea View) opened


Further education unit opened to provide for students up to 19 years of age


St John's opens the school in Seaford


Age range at the College extended to 25


New Chief Executive, Mark Hughes arrives and total refurbishment of St John's begins


Refurbishment work completed


St John's re-brands and launches new website.


St John’s celebrated it’s 130th year with a varied programme of events which culminated in a two day creative arts festival for our learners.


Simon Charleton appointed as new Chief Executive.


Launch of ten new service developments.

St John’s has seen the turn of two centuries and is very proud of its heritage and the young people who have been the most important part of it.