Pupils: Hearing Impaired

Department for Education written question – answered at on 17 November 2023.

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Photo of Matt Vickers Matt Vickers Conservative, Stockton South

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what support her Department provides to school pupils suffering from (a) partial and (b) total hearing loss.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) and Alternative Provision (AP) Improvement Plan outlines the department’s mission for more children and young people to have their needs met effectively, including pupils with partial or total hearing loss.

It is the responsibility of local authorities, schools, and further education settings to commission appropriately qualified staff to support the education of children and young people in their area.

To teach a class of pupils with sensory impairments, a teacher is required to hold the relevant mandatory qualification, which is a Mandatory Qualification in Sensory Impairment (MQSI). Teachers working in an advisory role to support these pupils should also hold the appropriate qualification.

To offer MQSIs, providers must be approved by my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education. The department’s aim is to ensure a steady supply of teachers for children with visual, hearing, and multi-sensory impairments, in both specialist and mainstream settings. There are currently six providers of the MQSI, with a seventh to begin in September 2024.

The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education has also developed a Sensory Impairment apprenticeship and expects it to be available from 2025. This will open a paid, work-based route into teaching children and young people with sensory impairments by enabling people to undertake high-quality apprenticeships.

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