Hearing Support Service

Who is our service for?

Our specialist team of teachers of the deaf and support practitioners work directly with children and young people with a hearing loss aged 0-25 years.  We support children and young people, their families and education providers by providing bespoke advice and support.  Hearing logo

We offer different tiers of support depending on the child, family or school’s needs. 

At a universal level, we can offer deaf awareness training and quality first teaching strategies.  Our language specialists in conjunction with a Speech and Language Therapist also deliver ELKLAN, a 10 week accredited course on speech and language support for education professionals. 

At a targeted level, we can provide small group projects.  These groups have different focuses, for example, developing language and vocabulary, improving social communication skills, developing positive self esteem and deaf identity in addition to life skills work.  Additionally, we have pre-school family support groups, training and acoustic environmental audits for schools. 

At a more specialist level, we can assess individual need and provide bespoke advice and interventions where these are needed.  At this level, we also look at different communication approaches to ensure that families are well informed about the choices available to them.  For families requiring additional support in the home, onward referrals and assessments through Early Help Assessment Tools or Children and Families Assessments may be beneficial.

We offer peripatetic support to all educational settings in St Helens, in addition to supporting families who reside in St Helens.    

Where children and young people are educated outside of the Authority, we liaise closely with our neighbouring Sensory Support Teams to ensure that children’s needs are being met.  

For any private schools or post 16 colleges and universities, we can offer initial assessment and advice free of charge on request.  Any educational interventions/training beyond this will incur a reasonable fee.  We can, however, still provide some family support free of charge.  

For children with Education, Health and Care Plans, any support required from our Service should be clearly detailed within the child’s plan. 

Whilst we are an educational support service, waim to offer a holistic service to our service users which looks at the needs of the child/young person taking into consideration their environment.  This could be specific advice for the child’s educational establishment or signposting and support for families.    

Some examples of the support and services we provide include: 

  • Assessment and advice around the language and communication needs of the child or young person. 
  • Advice to educational settings around accessibility and inclusion. 
  • Training for educational settings around the effects of hearing loss and ideas on how to support. 
  • Support and advice around hearing aids/cochlear implants. 
  • Provision of specialist equipment subject to eligibility e.g. personal radio aids. 
  • Environmental audits to highlight any issues around listening conditions within an educational setting. 
  • Support with key transition points. 
  • Contributing to Education, Health and Care Plans and attendance at review meetings (where requested). 
  • Individual or small group support where required, focusing on target areas identified through assessment. 
  • Supporting children and young people in understanding their hearing loss and becoming emotionally resilient. 
  • Early Years support through home visits and access to specialist pre-school group. 
  • Providing information and signposting to other agencies for financial and/or emotional support including Disability Living Allowance, Family Sign sessions, Early Help etc. 
  • Helping prepare children and young people for adulthood (i.e. life skills advice, travel training, onward referrals to post 16 support). 

The Hearing Support Service will work with any child/young person with a diagnosed hearing loss.    

If you suspect your child (or a child you are working with) has a hearing loss, in the first instance please refer to your local paediatric Audiology department for a hearing test.  This can be done via the child’s GP, school SENCO or School Nurse. 

Please visit www.bridgewater.nhs.uk/haltonsthelens/childrensaudiology for a referral to Audiology Services. 

A pupil with a suspected hearing loss may:  

  • appear dreamy, disruptive, distracted or demanding  
  • find it difficult to listen to and attend to speech  
  • feel insecure and confused and this may be reflected in their behaviour  
  • be withdrawn and wait for cues from others in the class  
  • give the impression of being able to listen when he or she wants to  
  • find it difficult to hear when there is background noise  
  • not hear clearly in a group situation  
  • have unclear speech  
  • have a reduced vocabulary  
  • have delayed language  
  • experience difficulties acquiring phonics 

Checklist: Signs of possible hearing loss 

 

Staff in schools should adopt quality first teaching strategies as soon as they suspect or are made aware that a child has a hearing loss

Quality First Teaching: Hearing Support

 

Schools can also self-audit their listening environment using the attached checklist.

Improving Acoustics in the Classroom

 

The Hearing Support Service aims to ensure that deaf children and young people within St Helens (including those with temporary deafness) achieve the best possible outcomes, not only educationally but socially and emotionally too.  We ultimately aspire for all of our deaf children and young people in St Helens to be happy, confident and resilient individuals equipped with the skills they need to achieve their goals. 

We will work as part of a team around the child/young person to accurately assess need and work collaboratively to help reduce any potential barriers to the child’s well-being, learning and development by: carefully planning interventions; looking at listening environments; making sensible recommendations; and advising on the most appropriate auxiliary aids. 

For educational settings, please refer to our team if you feel that additional specialist advice is required above and beyond quality first teaching strategies.  

For families, we are more than happy to have a chat to offer initial advice over the phone or by e-mail and discuss if a referral to our team would be beneficial.  We also advise that parents/carers make contact with the SENCO in their child’s school/nursery (where applicable) to discuss their child’s needs further.

Many of our referrals come directly from Health, schools or via an Education, Health and Care assessment request.  We do, however, offer an open referral policy with referrals received from any professional or from families directly. 

 

Any queries can be directed by e-mail to schoolageteam@sthelens.gov.uk or by telephone to 01744 673135.  Please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Please send any completed referrals electronically by e-mail to the above address. Hearing Support Referral Form

SEND Flag

The purpose of the Local Offer is to enable parents and young people to see more clearly what services are available for children with special educational needs and disabilities in their area, and how to access them.

Get in Touch...

"I like the pictures and I like the interesting information it has on the website" - Pupil from Allanson Street Primary School

boy in a wheel chair