There are several choices:

Deaf school

Most Deaf schools are BSL medium schools. Some parents opt for Deaf schools as they want a Deaf cultural and linguistic experience for their deaf child. Also deaf children with additional needs are often placed in Deaf schools. Deaf schools can be day or residential.


Resourced mainstream school is where there are other deaf children (though there may only be one or two per Year group) and there is specialist staff and equipment. The Resourced school may teach BSL and/or provide the curriculum in BSL. Some Resourced schools only teach in English and do not teach BSL. Usually only profoundly deaf children may be offered this placement.

The deaf child’s local mainstream school is where most are placed, and they are likely to be the only deaf child in the school, or if there are coincidentally more, usually no effort is made to support their learning or breaktimes together. The level of input from the Support Services differs significantly from one local authority to another, and from one deaf child to another. Support can range from no contact or advice to the school whatsoever, to weekly tuition from a Teacher of Deaf children, or a full time Communication Support Worker.

Resourced School

Some deaf children attend a set number of hours’ tuition at Deaf schools or Resourced schools, whilst attending their local, or chosen, non-resourced mainstream school.

Some deaf children attend private education, which functions like a non-resourced school, without support from the local authority Support Service.

Your deaf child may have an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHC Plan). This is reviewed regularly but you can ask for this to be done.  If this is not granted, or an EHC Plan has been refused, an appeal can be lodged at a Special Educational Need Disability Tribunal (SEND Tribunal). The Independent Parents’ Special Education Advice (IPSEA) website has more detailed information:

Download the PDF of the Literary Review: Research about hard of hearing children