Who we are
The Sensory Support Service in based at Thomasson Memorial School. Thomason Memorial is the centre of a multi facility provision which caters for children with a sensory impairment. The Sensory Support Service consists of a team of teachers, specialist teaching assistants and a Mobility and Independence Specialist in Education (MISE). The teachers are experienced classroom teachers who hold post-graduate degrees as Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (QTVI). We provide support for children and young people with a vision impairment, their parents and educational establishments.
As part of the Local Authority’s SEN support to schools, the Sensory Support Service can provide assessments, advice and training regarding the nature and effects of vision impairment. In addition we can offer specialist teaching sessions, where appropriate, for pupils who have a vision impairment.
The team is involved with pupils and students who have a range vision impairments. This support is available from diagnosis to 25 years of age.
- Initial and ongoing assessment of vision needs
- Bespoke advice, guidance, support and training to educational settings.
- Direct teaching support in educational establishments.
- Provision of reports.
- Direct support to pre-school children and families in a variety of settings.
- Assessment for suitable IT solutions for children and young people with vision impairments.
- Signposting to and close links with other services and agencies.
- Support for students at University.
- Mobility and independence training
Referral to the Service
The Service only accepts medical referrals. Many children will be known to us before they enter school.
If staff are concerned about a pupil’s vision, parents should be advised to take the pupil to their GP or asked for their permission to refer the pupil to the school nurse. If a vision impairment is confirmed the pupil will be referred to the Sensory Support Service by the relevant Health Professional.
Unit Provision in Bolton
Primary aged pupils
Primary aged pupils with severe vision impairments may attend Sharples Primary School.
QTVls and Specialist Teaching Assistants, employed by the Sensory Support Service, provide additional on-site specialist support. Pupils will spend the majority of their school day in class with their sighted peers with a specialist teaching assistant. They will also have 1-1 input for specialist teaching of VI-specific skills (ie Braille, IT skills, touch-typing) and interventions to support progress in literacy and maths.
Secondary aged pupils
QTVls and Specialist Teaching Assistants, employed by the Sensory Support Service, provide additional on-site specialist support within Bolton’s secondary schools.
Service Contact Details
Head of Service
Sensory Support Service Thomasson Memorial School
Tel: 01204 333120