Communication support service

The Secondary Hearing Resource Centre is based at Shirley High School Performing Arts College.

It is part of the Department for Children, Families and Learning and is managed by the Communication Support Service (CSS).

Who attends the centre?

The centre provides teaching support to pupils of secondary school age who have been identified by statutory assessment as requiring mainstream specialist resource centre placement to support their needs arising from hearing impairment.

Hearing-impaired pupils attending Shirley High School Performing Arts College are based and taught in main school classes. Their in-class support and individual withdrawal teaching is organised and delivered by teachers of the deaf and specialist support staff. The school gives priority admission to pupils identified as meeting the criteria for entry. Any pupil with hearing impairment who does not have a Statement of Educational Needs but who is accepted as part of the school's admission policy and procedure will receive support from the centre staff according to a CSS assessment of need.

Communication approach

The centre follows a "natural aural" approach to communication, with staff and pupils committed to the development of language through speaking and listening.

What does the centre provide?

There are two acoustically treated rooms within Shirley High School Performing Arts College used for administration and withdrawal teaching.
Specialist staff provide in-class support and individual and small group tutorial teaching within the centre.  

Tutorial work focuses on:

  • development of communication skills
  • development of areas of a pupil's language and vocabulary as identified by individual formal and informal assessment
  • support teaching in specific areas of the curriculum.

Service and centre staff also:

  • provide radio and other amplification aids as appropriate (personal hearing-aids are provided by the local health authority)
  • carry out regular maintenance checks of pupils' audiological equipment and monitor use. Pupils are strongly encouraged to develop their own skills and to become increasingly independent in this area
  • provide deaf-awareness training for mainstream school staff to ensure that all hearing impaired pupils have the fullest possible access to the national curriculum, examination courses and school activities
  • liaise with other organisations and agencies to support access for hearing impaired pupils (for example, Connexions Career Service)
  • offer advice and preparation to pupils on the management of hearing loss in adult life
  • take part in regular Review of Provision meetings with the senior management team
  • support 16+ transition arrangements.

The service staff work within the child safeguarding procedures of the local authority.

Who are the staff?

Staff includes teachers of the deaf and specialist support assistants. The CSS teacher in charge of audiology makes regular visits to school as do the educational psychologist and health authority speech and language therapy staff.

Who brings the children to the centre?

Parents are encouraged to transport their children to and from school where possible. The LA Transport Policy sets out arrangements that can be made to help families living at a distance. A copy of the policy can be download below.

Contact Details

National Deaf Children's Society
Telephone 020 7490 8656
Fax 020 7251 5020
Minicom 020 7490 8656
Address National Office
15 Dufferin Street
Royal National Instutute for the Deaf (RNID)
Job title Customer Services
Department Customer Services
Telephone 020 7296 8000
Fax 020 7296 8199
SMS 020 7296 8001
Typetalk 01733 238 020
Address 19-23 Featherstone Street,
London EC1Y 8SL
Head of secondary hearing resource centre
Telephone 020 8656 2987
Fax 020 8656 2987
Address Shirley High School for Performing Arts College
Shirley Church Road

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