Case study: Farley Staines


Seven-year-old Farley Staines became moderately deaf as a side effect of the chemotherapy he underwent to battle liver cancer, aged three and a half.

His mother Nicola is concerned that he may lose his specialist support after their local council - Richmond Council - asked its schools to pay for specialist services for deaf children which were previously provided free of charge.

She said: “Farley is moderately deaf which means he can’t hear certain sounds, and needs to wear hearing aids.

Farley started junior school last September. Until then, when he was in his infant school, Farley had been supported by his sensory advisor once every six months and had been using a soundfield system in his classroom to hear what teachers and other children were saying. His sensory advisor would monitor his progress and advise his classroom teachers on how to best teach Farley so he could access the curriculum. Because of this support, Farley was doing well.

Since he’s been at junior school, Farley has only seen his sensory advisor once. His latest reports show that his academic performance has deteriorated, particularly in maths. We were surprised as despite everything he’s been through he managed to catch up and even get ahead in maths. When I asked the school for some extra support for Farley and also asked whether the loan they currently have on the classroom soundfield will be renewed, I was told that the school doesn’t have budget for specialist support for children like Farley.

I am worried that Farley will fall even more behind without this vital specialist support.

The support that his Sensory Advisor and other professionals like audiologist and Speech and Language Therapist provided to Farley and me was a life line.

I am thinking of applying for a statement of special educational needs for him so that I can ensure he receives the support he needs.