Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service - working with children and young people diagnosed with hearing loss, vision or multi-sensory impairment

Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service logo

The Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service works with children and young people attending school and residents in the Berkshire Unitary Authorities who have educational needs arising from a diagnosed hearing loss or, vision or multi-sensory impairment. Specialist teachers, paediatric habilitation specialists, educational audiologists and specialist teaching assistants provide a key worker service for pre-school children, pre-school groups, parent workshops and provide advice, teaching and training for pupils, parents and schools.

We loan specialist equipment to schools for children resident and attending schools in the Berkshire local authorities who are on our caseload. We loan specialist equipment for children and young people attending schools but not resident in the Berkshire local authorities who are on our caseload and whose needs are not met via the Education, Health and Care Plans/Statements or high needs funding from their resident local authority.

Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service is hosted by Achieving for Children on behalf of Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) as part of the Berkshire Joint Arrangement between RBWM, Slough, Bracknell Forest, Wokingham, Reading and West Berkshire Local Authorities.

Contact information

Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service
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01628 796786 01628 796786
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Sensory Consortium Service Central Office
Achieving for Children
Town Hall
St. Ives Road
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When is it On/Open ?

Date & Time Information

The Service works in term times although an emergency service is available for new pre-school referrals during the holiday periods and contact arrangements are with the local hospital referral service.  In addition, habilitation specialists work during school holidays with children and young people already on caseload.

Costs and Fee Information

Service/Activity is Free
Cost details

The Berkshire Sensory Consortium Service is funded by the Local Authority via Central Government monies (Direct School Grant funding). The Service does not make any charge to parents. Independent schools can access the service but are charged for this provision. Colleges and 16+ provisions would access the service via premium inclusion funding arrangements between the colleges or local authorities and the service.

Complaints Procedure

Complaints procedure notes

Compliments and complaints can be directed to:

  1. Your allocated specialist teacher
  2. Team Lead -  Vision Impairment:
  3. Team Leader - Qualified Teacher of the Deaf:
  4. Head of Service:

All users of the service are provided with an annual opportunity to complete a user evaluation of the service via our website but we encourage users to contact us directly for any specific compliment or complaint that they wish to share.

Accessing this service

Age Ranges
Age groups catered for are 0-19 years or school leaving age (whichever comes first). Up to 25 years when the person is still attending an educational provision and the college or local authority have agreed and funded our continued or additional involvement.
Eligibility Criteria

Referral to the service would need to be supported by a clinical diagnosis of a hearing loss or vision, or multi-sensory impairment that indicated a mild to profound loss not correctable by use of glasses.  The service would then make an assessment of the needs of the child or young person including using the National Sensory Impairment Partnership Eligibility Criteria and provide written recommendations which would include adding on to the service caseload where appropriate.


Referral notes

Pre-school children and young people are referred by the Ophthalmology or Audiology Health Service. School age children and young people are referred by their school following a diagnosis by Ophthalmology or Audiology that confirms a vision Impairment or hearing loss that meets the agreed medical assessment criteria for referral which would indicate that the impairment is likely to affect access to learning opportunities.

Hearing loss: we expect to make contact within 24 hours from receipt of a referral for a pre-school child and 5 days for a school age referral during school term times.  We make contact with families of children diagnosed with a hearing impairment through Newborn Hearing Screening within 24 hours of diagnosis during school holidays. 

Vision Impairment: We expect to make contact within 24 hours from receipt of a referral and 5 days for a school aged referral.  The response to referrals is primarily during school term times although we provide some additional cover during the summer holidays so that a blind diagnosis will be followed by a visit before the beginning of a new academic year.

Multi-sensory impairment: We expect to make contact within 24 hours from receipt of a referral and 5 days for a school aged referral during school term times, once a child has been confirmed as having impairments of both their senses of hearing and vision.

All referrals will be followed by an assessment to be completed within 6 weeks of referral during school terms and receipt of relevant provision is made immediately following.

Provision For

Supporting people with
Visual impairment
Multi-sensory impairment
Sensory Impairment
Hearing impairment

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance

All staff have additional qualifications for working with children and young people with a sensory impairment.  We undertake regular reviews of staff performance and report and evaluate the outcomes we achieve with children and young people on our caseload against national attainment data.  All staff are vetted and meet the requirements of Local Authority employment regulations for working with children and young people.

Local Offer

Local Offer - Support available for children and young people with additional needs

Last Update

Data last checked:

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