University of Edinburgh

Moving Through

Stages of the educational journey for deaf children and young people in North Ayrshire - A Parent/Carer Guide

by Marian Grimes, 2006

Published by the Scottish Sensory Centre

ISBN 0-9546036-1-3

Sponsored by North Ayrshire Council, South Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Council and NDCS



"You don't need time to look at the options and think things through"

Most children go through at least four major changes in their journey through the school system: starting nursery, starting primary school, moving from primary to secondary school and then leaving school. For deaf children and their families, the changes can be particularly challenging. Parents who have been through the process have said that decisions involved can sometimes be confusing and can feel overwhelming

At each stage you and your family will work with a range of professionals who can help you meet the challenges. They will be relying on you to contribute your unique knowledge of your child - and your child's own knowledge of themselves as they get older.

After taking a decision, it is quite normal to have concerns about whether the decision was right. Sometimes you won't really know how a new situation will work until your child has settled in. Other parents, as well as the professionals, can be a great source of support and advice throughout the whole journey.

This booklet aims to summarise some key points about the stages, and point you towards places where you can get further advice.

Various people have contributed, to whom I am very grateful

  • A group of Ayrshire parents of deaf children, who me to share their ideas and experiences for this booklet. You will find quotations from them in most sections
  • Frances Dolan and Fiona Hendry, from the West of Scotland Deaf Children's Society
  • Eileen Burns and Alan Macqueen from the National Deaf Children's Society, Scotland
  • The Ayrshire Hearing Impairment Service (supporting North, South and East Ayrshire)
  • North and South Ayrshire Social Work Departments

Notes about this booklet

In this booklet, we use the term 'deaf' to refer to all hearing loss levels.

When we refer to 'parents', we mean parents or carers of deaf children.

Unless otherwise stated, pupil and ex-pupils quotes are taken from interviews done by the Achievements of Deaf Pupils project

This book is based upon research and discussion with teachers, parents and deaf young people

NDCS: National Deaf Children's Society
WSDCS: West of Scotland Deaf Children's Society
HI Service: Hearing Impairment Service

About the author

Marian Grimes is a research associate based at Moray House School of Education, the University of Edinburgh. She is a qualified teacher of deaf children, with a particular interest in partnerships with parents and young deaf people.

This booklet was commissioned by John Ravenscroft of Visual Impairment Scotland.

It was funded through the Changing Children's Service Fund, as part of the Children's Family Services Transition Development Project, in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and the Scottish Sensory Centre at the University of Edinburgh.