Knowl View Special School for Boys – Sexual & Physical Abuse

The late Liberal Democrat MP Sir Cyril Smith (1928-2010) is alleged to have played an implicit role in operating a paedophile ring that physically and sexually abused boys under his protection.

The abuse took place at Knowl View School, Rochdale, where the allegations began in the 1970s.

Abuse at Knowl View

Knowl View was a state run special school opened in 1969. The school housed vulnerable boys and emotionally disturbed boys, with space for 48 boys as full time residents.

In 1994, the then head of care at the school, Martin Digan, compiled a dossier of evidence relating to abuse at the school, and contacted the police. The institution closed its doors in 1995.

Cyril Smith was the Chairman of the Governors at Knowl View. Within his dossier, Digan highlighted his suspicions of abuse at the school.

Mr Digan commented at the time:

“There was only one reason for Cyril Smith to be on that governing body.
He knew their vulnerability and saw an access to young boys.”

Digan also claims to have uncovered evidence that Smith had attempted to strategically re-assign the school under a policy called Local Management of Special Schools.

If Smith had been successful, he would have been granted full control of the school.

An independent review of the case is due to be completed next month.

Support from Hampson Hughes

If you would like to have a confidential conversation about the physical and sexual abuse of boys at Knowl View School, Rochdale, contact Hampson Hughes Solicitors today on 0800 888 6888 or email

Our trained and friendly advisors will treat your call with respect and compassion. Our aim is to work with you in securing justice for all those who have suffered abuse at Knowl View.


Guardian article
Telegraph article
Independent article
Manchester Evening News article