Team for Children with a Hearing Impairment (Rochdale Additional Needs Service)


The team consists of qualified teachers of the deaf and specialist teaching assistants (hearing impairment) who work to promote the inclusion and achievement of children and young people with hearing impairment. We support children with hearing impairment from the time of referral until they leave school.

What we do

We work with early years settings, mainstream and special schools to ensure they can meet their pupils’ needs; we provide training, ongoing assessments, advice on inclusive strategies and for some pupils, direct teaching of specialist skills. This includes communication skills, singing, signing, social skills, independence skills and listening skills.

We carry out specialist assessments and contribute to local authority statutory assessment and advise on what support is required to meet children and young people’s needs.

We provide home visits, visits to placements, deaf awareness training and other training opportunities to teachers, parents and teaching assistants. The level of support offered to each child and family is based on the child’s needs in relation to the nature and degree of their hearing impairment, their stage of language acquisition/development and the knowledge/support they have around them.

Some children will require support on a weekly (or more) basis for many years while others will be seen far less. For children and young people with a high level of need we devise teaching plans for specialist input and direct teaching, whilst working in collaboration with a range of other professionals.

We provide information to children and young people to ensure they have a clear understanding of their deafness, its impact on their learning and strategies they can use to minimise this.

We use pupil voice questionnaires to capture the views of children and young people and reflect this in our planning and practice. This information is also shared with staff at settings and professionals in health.

Support for children

The team supports children with a hearing impairment from the point of diagnosis until they leave school by:

  • Assessing functional listening skills.
  • Advising schools about the child’s listening needs and strategies that can enhance their learning.
  • Advising schools on curriculum differentiation/support and modification/adaptation direct teaching/modelling.
  • Developing child’s understanding of their hearing impairment and its impact.
  • Supporting independence and positive self-identity as a young person with a hearing impairment.
  • Promoting inclusion, social and emotional wellbeing.
  • Promote and support effective transition from home to primary, primary to secondary and secondary to post 16+.
Support for families

The team aims to empower families to make informed choices on behalf of their children and provides information to families about all aspects of deafness and its impact on children’s language, educational, social and emotional development.

We begin our work right from the start after the diagnosis; this can be with families of babies as young as six weeks. We listen to any queries/concerns from parents and extended family members and discuss ways on how to best interact with the child to promote early communication skills and language.

We provide:

  • Information about the diagnosis.
  • Promote informed communication choices.
  • Give advice on strategies to support parent child bonding.
  • Suggest and model strategies/activities to help develop communication skills and language acquisition.
  • Work with other professionals.
  • Provide information to make an informed choice about settings.
  • Support transition in to early years settings.
  • Work with parents to jointly track language and communication.

We work closely with colleagues in audiology and support the family to establish good hearing aid use which is important for early brain development and listening skills.

Families are invited to attend a weekly music group to provide an opportunity to see examples of effective interaction with babies and to share their experiences with other parents.

Support for schools

The majority of deaf children attend their local mainstream nurseries or schools. The teacher of the deaf will liaise and visit the settings, providing information and training to ensure staff are aware of how to meet a hearing impaired child’s needs and what strategies/adaptations and equipment will be useful in order for them to access the curriculum and interact socially with their peers.

The teachers will also provide professional advice to support the local authority to formulate education health care plans where necessary.

Some children attend specialist hearing impaired resource bases at Marland Hill Community Primary School or Matthew Moss High School in Rochdale, where there are extra resources and provision for deaf children. A number of children also attend special schools.

The team is able to provide bespoke in-service training for school staff around deaf awareness and strategies to minimise the impact of deafness. Please contact the team leader to discuss your training requirements.

How to refer to the service

Referrals to our team usually come from health services at the time of diagnosis. We then make contact with parents, the school or the setting.

Please download the Team for Hearing Impairment leaflet in "Downloads" for further information.

Hearing aid headbands - Useful links

Below is a website that parents can buy headbands for speech processors (cochlear implants)

Auditory Processing Disorder

Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) is being diagnosed more frequently in the North West region and it has sometimes been suggested that education services for deaf children should provide both support and equipment following diagnosis by audiology professionals. This has led to a need for clarity around the criteria for involvement of these education services across the region.

All education services across the regional network provide support for children and young people with diagnosed hearing-loss. Specialist teachers and support staff in these services are qualified and experienced in providing support for deaf children. They are not qualified to provide advice or support for children diagnosed with APD 

For more information, please see Position Statement and Practice Guidance - Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) (external link) 

Information for families - What is Auditory processing Disorder?

APD impacts on everyday life mainly through a reduced ability to listen and so respond appropriately to speech and other sounds. Individuals referred typically report listening difficulties and other behaviours consistent with hearing loss, despite a normal audiogram’

The 2018 BSA Position Statement outlies three types of APD as follows:

  • Developmental APD: Cases presenting in childhood with listening difficulties, but with normal audiometric hearing and no other known aetiology or potential risk factors other than a family history of developmental communication and related disorders. These individuals may retain APD into adulthood.
  • Acquired APD: Cases associated with ageing or a known medical or environmental event (for example brain lesion).
  • Secondary APD: Cases where APD occurs in the presence, or as a result of either transient or permanent peripheral hearing impairment.

Where to find out more about APD: 

  1. The APD Support UK website provides information about Auditory Processing Disorder/APD. This website is for anyone who has Auditory Processing Disorder/APD or suspects it, and wants information on this subject please see APD Support UK (external link)
  2. NHS choices - Auditory processing disorder (external link)
  3. NatSIP Education Briefing Note on APD for Sensory Support Services (external link)

Who to contact

01706 926400 01706 926400
Parent Organisation
Rochdale Additional Needs Service (RANS)

Where to go

Number One Riverside
Floor 4
Smith Street

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