Southwark Hearing Support Service

Southwark Hearing Support Team (SHSS) is part of Southwark’s Children’s and Adult’s Services based at Tooley Street.


We are a team of four Qualified Teachers of the Deaf (QTODs). We are a peripatetic service providing support to children and young people and with hearing loss in Southwark. We work with families of children under 5 with hearing loss at home and if requested or needed, we will attend hearing review appointments at the hospital. We maintain close links with the audiology clinic at St. Thomas Hospital and can offer support in the early days of diagnosis and throughout if needed.

We support children and young people from pre-school right up to Post 16 provisions.

The support we offer includes:

  • Post-diagnosis support at home
  • Coordinating early support network of other professionals if needed
  • Linking with other professionals who may also be involved with your child, including Speech and Language Therapists, Occupation Therapists, Physiotherapists, etc.
  • Signposting families to useful services which offer support to children with hearing loss and their families
  • Organising parents support groups through our monthly Under 5s sessions
  • Functional hearing assessments helping to assess listening difficulties affecting daily life and education
  • Contribution to assessment and production of Educational Health Plans
  • As specialist teachers with vast experience in mainstream schools we advise educational settings on adaptation of curriculum, modifications needed, exam arrangements etc.
  • We deliver training on Deaf Awareness teaching staff working in educational settings about hearing loss, speech perception with hearing loss in classroom environment, room acoustics, personal amplification devices, communication strategies and best practice
  • We work directly with children and young people helping them to understand their hearing loss and how it affects them, teaching them to manage their personal amplification devices, develop coping strategies to overcome potential difficulties and build a healthy self –esteem

SHSS Team works term time only. We do not carry out visits outside of school term. However, we accept new referrals from audiology clinics throughout the year.

  • School visits
  • Supporting access to the National Curriculum
  • Direct teaching and developing programmes of support
  • Advice and assistance to look after personal amplification
  • Deaf Awareness for young people – support with understanding hearing loss and developing a healthy self-esteem
  • Assessment of functional hearing

    In some cases we teach specific skills including listening and communication skills as well as training in effective use of residual hearing.
  • Help to access other support agencies
  • Support groups for parents of young children – monthly Under 5s Groups
  • Contribution to formal assessments of educational needs
  • Newsletter
  • Listening and an understanding ear
  • Deaf Awareness training to mainstream school/nursery staff
  • Advice and tailored training according to the needs of the setting
  • Assistance and advice on adaptation of curriculum materials
  • Disseminating good practice

We provide support in most appropriate setting. For under 5's children this includes:

  • In nurseries and day care centres

  • At home

Pre-school children are offered visits at home and the nursery to provide support and guidance to parents/nursery staff. We develop an individual programme to facilitate the development of the child’s language and communication, and overall development, and to manage and support the use of amplification equipment. We liaise with health services and other educational departments to provide continuity of care.

For school age children:

  • In primary and secondary schools, as well as Post-16 settings.

  • Support in specialist provisions out of borough

Those at mainstream schools receive regular visits, the frequency of which is based on need. The visiting Teacher of the Deaf will assess the needs, monitor progress, advise mainstream colleagues, and be involved in the support and training of Learning Support Assistants as well as working directly with the pupils.

We attend audiology clinics and hospitals for multi-disciplinary meetings with both a clinical and educational focus.

Southwark also hosts a primary resource base for children with hearing loss, at St John’s and St Clement’s Primary School:

Children with hearing loss are normally referred by the audiology clinics or ENT departments following diagnosis. Audiology clinic will ask for your consent for your child to be referred to Southwark Hearing Support Service.

Parents and/or schools wishing for support for their children and who have a confirmation of hearing loss should telephone to discuss the child’s needs. Referrals will be acknowledged on receipt of a completed form and an appointment made for an initial visit when the audiology information has been received.

We encourage parents and schools requiring further information and advice to talk to the Southwark Hearing Support Service.

We provide training for mainstream staff on:

  • Deaf awareness

  • Classroom strategies and language modification

  • Personal amplification devices

More information in section Support For Educational Settings

For parents and carers of very young children, we provide ongoing advice and training on specific aspects of hearing loss and its management during home visit and in our Under 5 groups.

The service provides monthly “Coffee mornings” to support parents/carers of under 5s children with hearing loss. We offer after school trips to theatre and other activities for summer/winter party.

Southwark Hearing Support Service supports the work of our local Children's Hearing Services Working Group (CHSWG) branch and encourage parents and other interested parties to join. CHSWG aims to ensure that all services designed to support deaf children and their families work in a coordinated way.

If you wish to join this group please contact Southwark Hearing Support Service for more information.

Best way to get in touch is to email us at:

We are here to listen and help!