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Luton Deaf Advisory and Support Team (LDAST)

Luton’s 2040 vision - A Place to Thrive, has set clear priorities to support our children and young people to have the best start in life. This includes:

  • Identifying and meeting the needs of our most vulnerable children in order to ensure they can receive the right help.
  • Supporting our schools and settings through training and reasonable adjustments in order to achieve inclusive education to support, nurture and respond to the needs of all students.
  • Preparing children and young people with SEND and additional needs for adulthood and independence.

In Luton, deaf children and young people are educated either in mainstream settings, in two deaf resource bases, in local special schools, or in out of authority specialist provisions. The Luton Deaf Advisory and Support team (LDAST) which is based at our two resource bases supports children and young people who are deaf, their families and schools. ​Staff from LDAST make visits to homes, nurseries, schools and colleges and are made up of a nursery/primary age team and a secondary age team. The levels of support given are based on the levels of deafness and other factors affecting the child’s/young person’s learning needs. The team offers specialist advice and support about:

  • the development of listening, language and communication
  • learning
  • social-emotional development
  • strategies for school and setting staff
  • training for professionals
  • transition between settings
  • the use of hearing technology and specialist equipment

In November 2021 Luton Borough Council commissioned the National Deaf Children’s Society to complete a review on the effectiveness of the specialist education service for deaf children. The aim of this review was to comment on the effectiveness of the specialist education service for deaf children and to make recommendations on areas for future development. Families of deaf children and young people in Luton, the pupils themselves, LDAST teams, leadership and staff in resource base schools and special needs leads in mainstream schools were asked their views by questionnaire or interview. They were asked to consider what was going well, issues that were presently challenging, their views on future needs and suggestions for future developments.

The main recommendations included:

  • Development of one all through outreach service to ensure continuity for children, young people and their families.
  • Appointment of a qualified Teacher of the Deaf (ToD) as a lead practitioner to provide clear operational leadership to the service
  • Improved links between primary and secondary schools to support transition
  • A review of levels of staffing in our outreach teams
  • An improved referral pathway for children and young people, including improved timescales for contacting families whose children are newly diagnosed

The full review report can be found here

The Local Authority are working with the NDCS and the local providers to address the key findings of the report. They will plan, implement, and review progress in order to improve existing provision and the offer for children and young people so that they have access high quality learning, make progress and achieve good outcomes.

Who to contact

Hearing and deafness services in Luton

Where to go

Icknield Primary School
Birdsfoot Lane

Other Details

Last updated 05/09/2023