Barnsley Education Inclusion Services

Who we are

The Hearing Support Service consists of three qualified teachers of the deaf (TOD). All teachers of the deaf need to hold a specialist mandatory qualification (MQ) which addresses a wide range of specialist outcomes. Throughout this page the term ‘deaf’ is used to cover the whole range of hearing loss. The team also has a specialist support worker (SSW) who supports the team to deliver interventions and promote positive outcomes for deaf children and young people.

Teachers of the deaf help families with pre-school children to support their child in developing good language and communication skills. Teachers working with deaf children need an understanding of the complexity of language and its development and how this is affected by hearing loss. Teachers of the Deaf hold an additional post-graduate qualification in the Education of Deaf Children.

The team supports children and young people aged 0 to 25 years across a range of different settings. It includes the family home, nurseries, pre-schools, primary, secondary, special schools and colleges.
We work primarily with class teachers and families to remove barriers to learning arising from hearing loss, to enable equal access to the learning environment and advise on curriculum planning and delivery. We support parents and carers of children and young people with hearing loss. We work with parents and carers in an established parent group called Deaf Friends.

What we do

Following an initial assessment to identify the level of need, an appropriate level of support based on the National Sensory Impairment Partnership criteria (NatSIP) will be offered.

We offer a range of specialised support and training to meet the needs of deaf children and young people. We visit children and young people in their homes, preschool settings and schools. We work with them and adults around them to develop their communication, language and independence in managing their hearing loss and assistive equipment. We support children and young people in the following ways:

Provision of advice

  • Providing clear impartial information.
  • Discussing the implications of hearing loss with the deaf learner, parents and families, teachers, all involved agencies especially in the context of education.
  • Sharing information about communication modes (English, BSL, etc).
  • Discussion of amplification needs and technological aids.
  • Advising on educational provision e.g., early years/schools/colleges and other educational settings.
  • Enabling the learner and family to express their views.
  • Facilitating family and learner access to professional and extended services.
  • Provide advice and training to schools to facilitate teachers addressing the educational needs of deaf pupils eg implications and management of hearing loss.
  • Advising on how the curriculum can be differentiated for the CYP.
  • Advising on classroom strategies for optimal listening and lip-reading conditions.
  • Support with the transition between settings/phases.
  • Support with preparation for adulthood and self-advocacy skills.
  • Provide advice to the Local Authority for statutory assessment.

Audiology equipment

  • Helping to maintain audiological equipment.
  • Hearing aids.
  • Cochlear implants.
  • Bone anchored hearing aids (BAHAs).
  • Assistive listening devices.
  • Fitting assistive listening devices.
  • Training families/school staff to ensure CYP have optimal use of equipment and aids.

Assessment, monitoring and access

  • Interpretation of audiological information to support the deaf learner.
  • Assessing and monitoring functional hearing levels.
  • Assessing the full range of communication and language levels: including the use of sign and spoken language and any modes of communication.
  • Monitoring the acoustic environment (home and/or educational setting) and advising on ways to improve it for the deaf learner.
  • Ensuring that schools and other settings apply for appropriate access arrangements for examinations and providing specialist assessments where necessary.
  • Assessing and monitoring educational and other outcomes.
  • Participation in multi-agency assessment to identify overall needs and progress of the deaf learner.
  • Contribution to mainstream monitoring and review of progress (in accordance with SEN Code of Practice and statutory requirements).
  • Consult with the local authority around a CYP’s educational needs during statutory assessment.

Accessing the service

The Hearing Support Service is accessed by a referral from health services such as NHS Audiology and New-born Hearing Screening programme. If settings/schools have concerns regarding a CYP’s hearing, this should be reported to parents. Parents should contact their GP or local audiology department for their CYP’s hearing to be assessed.

Useful websites and documents


  • Cochlear - Cochlear provides assistive listening devices, bone conduction hearing aids and cochlear implants for children and young people.
  • Connevans - hearing aids and assistive technology - Online supplier of a wide range of hearing technology equipment. They also offer technical support.
  • Deaf Friends Barnsley - Deaf Friends Barnsley is a friendly and welcoming Facebook group for children and young people aged 0-25 with hearing loss and their parents/carers and siblings.
  • Deaf NDCAMHS Yorkshire - National Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (NDCAMHS) works with children and young people aged 0-18 who have a severe to profound hearing loss, have deaf parents or have BSL (British Sign Language) as a first language and who also experience emotional and/or behavioural issues.
  • MED-EL - MED-EL provides bone conduction hearing aids, middle ear implants and cochlear implants for children and young people.
  • National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) - Give expert support on childhood deafness, raise awareness and campaign for deaf children’s rights, so they have the same opportunities as everyone else. The NDCS has a bank of useful resources and fact sheets for children and young people with a hearing loss and their families. They also run events and offer support to families upon diagnosis.
  • Phonak - Phonak provides a range of hearing aids and assistive listening devices for children and young people. 
  • Success from the start - A developmental resource for families of deaf children aged 0-3
  • The Listening Room - activities and resources to support the development of speech, language, and listening skills of children and young people with a hearing loss. The Listening Room features three sections with content created specifically for their respective age groups: Infants and Toddlers, Kids, and Teens and Adults.