Did You Know Government Supports Soundfield Funding?
In order to plan successful academic programmes, teachers, architects, audio designers and installers need to consider the huge numbers of students who may not hear well on a given school day. With the support of the Department for Education’s legislation, the public and private funding of organisations such as Schools Access Initiative, The SEN Small Programme Fund, The Deaf Children’s Communication Aids Project, and Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) are able to invest in classroom audio systems – “Soundfield” systems – that make a positive contribution to all students, as well as those with problem hearing, ensuring all students are able to listen and learn productively throughout the school year.
Here’s how the aforementioned initiatives aim to support schools, how they could help fund Soundfield technology, and more importantly, how you can apply to receive their support:
Schools Access Initiative (SAI)
The Schools Access Initiative was created to provide funding towards making mainstream schools more accessible to children with disabilities and special educational needs. The fund is allocated by a percentage relative to students with special needs. The money is given to local education authorities, according to this percentage, who are then responsible for allocating the funds to schools. Over 6,000 schools have benefited from this initiative.
What is Funded?
The SAI assists funding of projects such as acoustic treatments that benefit hearing impaired pupils and the provision of blinds and paint schemes to benefit visually impaired children.
Who can apply for funding?
Any mainstream schools qualify for support under the SAI through application via the local education authority.
The Special Education Needs (SEN) Small Programme Fund
The SEN Small Programme Fund is an initiative that strives to aid a number of projects: those that have a positive and practical impact on mainstream classrooms, projects that encourage inclusion and meeting the needs of SEN students, and projects that help to standardise the provision for pupils with special needs.
Who can apply for funding?
Any organisation or group in England that supports pupils with special educational needs, disabilities, or illnesses, or children who are looked after by a local authority can apply to receive this funding. Contact the UK Department for Education for more information.
The Deaf Children’s Communication Aids Project
The Deaf Children’s Communication Aids project is funded through the Department for Education and Skills. The initiative specifically aims to support students with communication difficulties through the provision of technology that assists them in accessing the curriculum more easily and interacting in the classroom.
Priority School Building Programme (PSBP)
Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) is facilitated by the Education Funding Agency and will address the needs of the 261 schools most in need of urgent repair through capital funded projects and private finance projects. PSBP baseline designs provide an overview of what is covered by the programme. See “Access and Inclusion” for information about classroom sound enhancements. The document states that all teaching spaces must be designed with consideration for people with SEN or disabilities including those with sensory impairments. This includes hearing enhancement systems in the main halls to ensure all pupils are given the opportunity to be actively involved in communal activities.
Sound For Schools and Soundfield Funding
Sound For Schools is a recognised Soundfield supplier. We assist students with learning access, special needs, language development, staff health and safety, disability, and building standards that are needed for academic improvement.
Soundfield is usually purchased outright by schools or by LAs and PTAs on behalf of schools. However, we are also partnered with a specialist school finance company that offers schools other more flexible opportunities to install Soundfield equipment.
Grants for Teachers
If your teaching work is affected by a voice disability or condition that lasts for 12 months or more, you may contact the Disability Employment Adviser (DEA) at your local Jobcentre Plus office about Access To Work. Access To Work can potentially assist you by providing special equipment (or alterations to existing equipment) to support your specific work needs that arise from your disability or condition. PC Werth Soundfield systems qualify under this scheme.
For more information about Soundfield funding assistance, or purchasing or renting Soundfield (and its installation requirements), feel free to contact us. Call: 020 8772 2700 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org