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Proposal to close the Hearing Support Centre at Clyst Vale Community College

Update August 2023: this consultation has closed. A decision will be made by the Regional Directors at the Department for Education in due course. An update will be provided here of the decision made. 

Clyst Vale Community College is an Academy School for children and young people aged 11 to 18. The college has a Hearing Support Centre (HSC) for learners on roll at Clyst Vale who have a hearing impairment.


The Academy Trust is consulting on a proposal to close the Hearing Support Centre from 31 August 2023.

Background to the proposals

The Hearing Support Centre within the college is a purpose built facility with two classrooms. There is a very small number of learners who use the Hearing Support Centre and they are due to leave the college in July 2023. No children will be displaced as a result of this proposal.

The Trust is proposing to close the Centre as there is insufficient demand for the facility and it is therefore not financially viable. Mainstream schools can provide for learners with a hearing impairment to access the support required within their classroom with the support of a teaching assistant and the necessary equipment.

The proposed alternative arrangement is that students with a hearing impairment are supported within the SEND Department of the College which offers comprehensive and personalised support to students with additional needs via a range of targeted and specialist interventions. Staff within the department work closely with teaching staff and heads of department across the College to ensure effective quality first teaching and an appropriately differentiated curriculum for all learners. It is felt that the proposed alternative arrangements to the Hearing Support Centre are likely to lead to improvements in the range of educational provision for children with SEND as they will be fully integrated into the College community and benefit from a wider range of staff expertise.

There will be no effect to staff and no redundancies as a result of this proposal.

Devon County Council recognises the complexity of teaching deaf children. The government requires specialist teachers of children with hearing impairments to hold a mandatory hearing impairment teaching qualification.

Devon provides an Advisory Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) service. This includes teachers with the specialist qualification in teaching hearing impaired children.
The advisory team has caseloads of children aged 0 to 25 years across a range of different settings. These settings include the family home, nurseries, pre-schools, primary, secondary, special schools and colleges. The advisory ToD provides an equitable service across Devon for children and young people who are deaf and hearing impaired.

The Advisory Teacher of the Deaf:
• ensures there are timely educational assessments
• provides support for parents and settings
• teaches children and young people specialised skills for curriculum access
• provides training for schools and settings to allow successful inclusion
• gives advice on use and monitoring of equipment.

This requires the Teachers of the Deaf (ToD) to have a good knowledge of the curriculum across all stages. Teachers working with deaf children need an understanding of the complexity of language and its development and how this is affected by hearing loss. The role of the ToD involves working closely with other professionals and agencies. This may include regular liaison and shared delivery of programmes. ToDs work with speech and language therapists, Portage, Qualified Teachers for Visually Impaired (QTVI) and Qualified Teachers for Multi Sensory Impaired (QTMSI).

Have Your Say

The Academy Trust would like to hear your views on these proposals by 19 May 2023.
As the College is an Academy, the final decision on the proposal will be made by the Regional Department for Education Directors (RDD), which is part of the Department for Education (DfE). The College will submit information gathered from this consultation to the RDD as part of its full business case application.

Indicative timescale

If the decision is made to go ahead with the proposals the timescale is likely to be (assuming agreement to each stage):

Consultation: 20 April to 19 May 2023
Decision by the RDD: Likely to be June 2023
Implementation: 31 August 2023

Responding to the consultation

You can respond to the consultation by emailing the school:
or by writing to Dr K Bawn, Principal, Clyst Vale Community College, Station Road, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3AJ.
By the closing date of 19 May 2023

Please note that all responses will be properly considered by the Governing Body and the RDD but we will not send individual responses to any specific points raised.

Contact information: Address: Dr K Bawn, Principal, Clyst Vale Community College, Station Road, Broadclyst, Exeter, Devon, EX5 3AJ.
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