Achieving for Children

Educational Service for Sensory Impairment

The Educational Service for Sensory Impairment (ESSI) uses specialist knowledge to support pre-school, school age children and young people (0 to 25 years) with a hearing or visual impairment throughout their education. Sensory impairment is a low incidence disability with a high educational impact. Our key aim is to give these children and young people every chance to achieve their full potential and to minimise the educational, social and emotional aspects of their hearing or visual impairment.

We achieve this by:

  • working in partnership with parents and carers, providing information, advice and support
  • promoting high standards and expectations for children and young people with sensory impairments
  • encouraging children and young people with sensory impairments to make their voices heard, to participate fully in their schools and communities, and to take part in decisions about their education
  • supporting schools and staff to develop their practice in meeting the needs of children and young people with sensory impairment
  • working with statutory and voluntary bodies to provide effective support for children and young people with sensory impairment

What we can offer

Statutory duties

The ESSI fulfils statutory duties to identify, assess and make provision to meet the needs of children with special educational needs and disabilities outlined in the Education Act 1996 regarding children with visual and hearing needs.

Referrals to ESSI should be made using the ESSI Request for Involvement Form, with details of pupil need, areas of concern and confirmation of diagnosis and level of hearing or visual impairment. An initial assessment and advice is offered to all schools.

ESSI uses NatSIP (National Sensory Impairment Partnership) criteria to determine levels of support for pupils. There is no charge for support that fulfils this criteria.

Additional support visits above this allocation may be purchased.

Premium offer

Schools are able to access additional support, training and equipment to enhance the inclusion of children with a visual or hearing loss in their school. To discuss training, equipment or support packages or to enquire about other services, please contact your Partnerships and Business Development Lead.

What our customers say

“We have always been well supported by this service. Both Visual Impairment and Hearing Impairment teachers are always happy to attend meetings; support students and support staff.  They visit [students] regularly. They write detailed reports after visits and for reviews when requested.”

Achieving for Children