As part of the provision at Ashton, we have a specialist unit for children who are D/deaf. The unit is within the learning support building called The Hive. The unit supports all students who are D/deaf in terms of the audiology, communication, learning needs and their inclusion into a mainstream school environment.  How much of a student’s timetable is spent in the unit depends on the needs of the student, however there is an expectation that every student attends some mainstream lessons, with support. Our D/deaf students attend mainstream forms and are encouraged to fully enter into the life of the school.  The unit is run by a qualified teacher of the deaf and a team of teaching assistants.

Deaf support staff ensure that lessons are delivered at a level commensurate with each student's linguistic abilities, so that they are able to understand lesson content and undertake set tasks, adapted as required. In many cases, lessons are signed using Sign-Supported English and BSL, combined with oral and written methods, alongside full use of students' residual hearing.  This 'Total Communication' approach ensures that every child has the fullest possible access to the mainstream curriculum.

Entry criteria

Entry to the deaf support unit is through the local authority, usually led by the Caseworker for the child’s current educational setting. The local authority has commissioned this provision and they are the gatekeepers. Students must have an Education, Health and Care plan with the main needed stated as deafness. The unit serves the whole of Lancashire and surrounding authorities, with students travelling from Nelson, Blackpool, Blackburn and Wigan.


Students will attend KS3 and KS4 mainstream lessons wherever appropriate. Where this is not appropriate, the students follow the mainstream curriculum, which is then adapted to meet their needs. In addition, students follow a life skills and deaf studies curriculum to support them in their deaf community and prepare them for life beyond Ashton.

During Year 9, students will select their Key Stage 4 options. Students will be provided with guidance throughout this process and deaf support will ensure that pathways are accessible and appropriate.

At Key Stage 4, students continue with the core National Curriculum subjects such as Maths, English and Science along with the options selected. This could include the GCSE or Functional routes, dependant on needs.


If you wish to know more about the deaf support unit, please contact:

Mrs Jen Price

Teacher of the Deaf


01772 513002

Links for Families

The links below give information on services in the area for deaf children and their families:

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