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Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information provided in this directory, we do not accept any responsibility or liability for any errors that have occurred. It is recommended that you always check with providers that their service or organisation meets your requirements. We offer an impartial service and we cannot recommend or endorse any providers listed.

Further information

Specialist Teaching Advisory Service - Visual Impairment (VI) and Hearing Impairment (HI)

To enable children and young people to have full access to the curriculum according to their individual needs; To encourage pupils to reach their potential in all areas of the curriculum and in the wider community; To recognise and promote the involvement of parents; To liaise with school staff and other outside agencies working with the child and their family.


Who to contact

Contact Name
Diana Vincent
Contact Position
Assistant Team Manager
07985 761 983

Where to go

Ashby Youth Club
Stratton Road
SO15 5QZ
Children's Centre Areas
North Shirley

Other Details


Referral required
Referral Details

Parent / Carers can self-refer, but evidence will need to be provided with referral form.

Any Other Notes

Young people aged 0-25 who have an EHCP and are in full time education or training.

Local Offer

Service Provider Extended Local Offer Response

What does your service do?

The Specialist Teaching and Advisory Team provide a statutory service for families and schools around children and young people with sensory impairment, aged 0-25yrs, in Southampton, following hospital referral.

The nature of our role is to provide better outcomes for children/young people with sensory impairment and their families through:

  • Advice
  • Information and sign posting to other services
  • Direct specialist teaching
  • Continual monitoring of progress
  • Training for educational staff around sensory impairment
  • Provision and maintenance of, and instruction in the use of specialist equipment
  • Involvement with statutory assessment procedures and Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
  • Support for parents/carers from the child’s birth onwards, following diagnosis
  • Guidance for families in selecting appropriate educational placements and through transition periods.
  • Ongoing support is provided according to the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP) for pre-schools, schools and  further education colleges
  • Direct links with other services and resource bases/schools for hearing and visual impairment.

Where is it located and what areas does it cover?

We are based at Start Point Sholing and cover all areas within Southampton City Council boundaries. We visit both homes and educational settings and also attend audiology appointments when this is appropriate.

Who does your service provide for?

We support children and families in Southampton who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Sensory impaired children aged 0-16 whose disability has a significant impact on their access to education, according to NATSIP criteria.
  • Young people aged 0-25 who have an EHCP

We regret that we are not able to support children/young people who do not meet the above criteria, this will include children whose:

  • Vision is fully corrected by spectacles
  • Hearing loss is treated with grommets alone

How can I start using the service?

Referrals come directly from medical professionals once a sensory impairment is diagnosed. Parents/carers will be asked to provide a consenting signature prior to our initial contact.

We do not charge for this service.

Initial contact will take place as soon as possible after referral and visit frequency will then be established using the NATSIP criteria. Families of newly diagnosed babies with sensory neural hearing impairment will be contacted within 24 hours of diagnosis.

How are decisions made about who can use your service?

All pupils diagnosed with significant visual or hearing impairment will be referred directly to our service by a medical professional.

Parents/carers who have concerns regarding their child’s vision/hearing should seek medical advice from the school nurse or GP.

How do you communicate with service users and how are they involved in decision making/planning?

We will, wherever possible, provide translators when meeting parents/carers who do not have English as their first language.

Reports for parents/carers of children and young people with a visual impairment can be provided in large print or braille on request.

If requested, users of British Sign Language can be provided with an interpreter (a month’s notice is required due to the short supply of BSL interpreters).

As a service we are committed to enabling all parents/carers to understand the monitoring of their child’s progress.

We use a variety of assessment tools in order to discuss, keep track and monitor a child’s development in all areas.

Our aim is to try to enable academic achievement across the whole curriculum, for all pupils with sensory impairment, ensuring the gap does not widen between the child and his/her peers in attainment, particularly in the core curriculum subjects of Maths, English and Science.

We closely monitor personal, social and emotional development to try and ensure pupils with sensory impairment understand the implications of their needs, and do not feel isolated. Parents/carers are included at all stages of our assessments and results are always shared with them.

Schools will inform parents/carers when we are due to visit, and parents/carers are welcome to attend any appointments to formally or informally discuss their child’s progress.

We welcome feedback from parents/carers about our service via email, phone calls or face to face.

Parents/carers of pupils with sensory impairment will be signposted towards appropriate support/charity organisations and literature is provided by our service.

Is your service fully accessible?

All of our work takes place in the home or educational settings.

What training are the staff supporting children and young people with SEND had or are having?

All our Specialist Teacher Advisors are qualified teachers with an additional mandatory qualification in Visual or Hearing Impairment.

Teachers are also trained in Braille or BSL.

Our Specialist VI Technician offers technical support for pupils with visual impairment.

How will I know my child will be safe using this service?

Every member of the Specialist Teaching and Advisory Service has enhanced DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)

Teacher Advisors are not left in sole charge of the children we are working with. All the work is carried out in the presence of families or alongside school staff.

How do I give feedback, make comments or raise concerns?

Families are advised to contact either the Specialist Teachers or their Team Manager to discuss any concerns or comments.


You can also go to the compliments, comments and complaints page on the Southampton City Council Website or writing to:

Customer Relations Team
Legal, HR and Democratic Services
Room 210
Municipal Block
Southampton City Council
Civic Centre
Southampton SO14 7LY  

We ask for annual feedback in writing from both educational settings and parents regarding the service we provide.

Who can I contact for further information?

If you have concerns regarding your child’s vision or hearing please speak, in the first instance, to their teachers, school nurse or your GP.

Our service’s eligibility criteria depends on referral from the appropriate medical channels. We regret parents are unable to refer their children directly.

However, if your child is diagnosed with a significant visual or hearing impairment, we will receive a referral letter and will contact you as soon as possible to discuss the next steps and how our service may be able to help you and your family.

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