Information for families in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole

Hearing Support Service (HSS)

The Hearing Support Service (HSS) provides specialist support and advice to families, schools and settings to meet the needs of children and young people with hearing impairment.

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Venue/Contact Details
County Hall
Colliton Park
Area coverage
Pan Dorset
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Times and Costs
Opening times:
Monday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm, Tuesday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm;Wednesday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm;Thursday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm;Friday: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Further opening details:
  • Afternoon
  • Morning
  • Daily
  • All Year Round
This Service is Free
Ages, Booking Details and Referral Information
From 0 years to 25 years
Eligibility criteria:
The service for East Dorset is based in Ferndown. The service for West Dorset is based at Winterborne Monkton and can be contacted by telephone on 01305 224348 or emailed at The service works across the three local authorities of Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole and offers support from birth to further education.
SEND Local Offer SEND

The Hearing Support Service (HSS) provides specialist support and advice to families, schools and settings to meet the needs of children and young people with hearing impairment. The team consists of Advisory Teachers who are all additionally qualified to teach children and young people with hearing impairment, an Educational Audiologist, Specialist Teaching Assistants and a Family Sign Language Tutor. The team works in homes, pre-schools, mainstream and special schools with the aim of enabling access to the curriculum and encouraging personal independence of children and young people with hearing impairment.Staff in HSS can•    explain the hearing loss and its impact on learning and development,•    advise on the management of hearing loss and hearing aids,•    provide technical support with hearing aids, cochlear implant processors and radio aids.•    liaise with other agencies eg. Health, Portage Pre-School Support Service, Social Care.•    offer professional development and training.•    advise teachers and staff about learning and teaching strategies to support inclusion.•    provide advice about the listening and learning environment.•    give advice on access arrangements for tests and exams.


When hearing loss has been diagnosed, HSS liaise closely with health professionals to provide support that is matched to the level of need.A mild or unilateral hearing loss may have minimal impact on learning and may require only monitoring by HSS with written advice to the school or pre-school.A more severe hearing loss is likely to require direct support from an Advisory Teacher with close liaison between HSS and teachers/staff.


Referrals to the Hearing Support Service come as a result of referral for assessment by Audiology.All babies, children and young people who are diagnosed with a hearing loss are referred by Audiology to the Hearing Support Service. If hearing aids or a cochlear implant are recommended the Hearing Support Service can offer support until the child or young person leaves further education.Eligibility Criteria developed by the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NATSIP) are used to determine the level of involvement of the HSS Team with the child or young person.A charge is not usually made for this service but input requested by independent schools or a range of specialist settings would incur a cost.


Young people who move to local further education Colleges will continue to have access to HSS.