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Children: Hearing

Question for Department for Education

UIN 21194, tabled on 23 June 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps he is taking to promote good hearing health in schools.

Answered on

28 June 2021

Health education became a statutory requirement for state-maintained schools in September 2020. The aim of teaching pupils about physical health and mental wellbeing is to give them the information they need to make good decisions about their own health and wellbeing, recognise issues in themselves and others and, when issues arise, seek support as early as possible from appropriate sources.

It is for schools to decide what to teach as part of health education based on the needs of their pupils. The Department’s guidance does not stipulate that they should cover the risks of hearing loss, but that they may do so where it is relevant to their pupils.

Pupils are taught about sound as part of the science National Curriculum which is mandatory for all state-maintained schools in England. As part of the programme of study, pupils are taught to understand how sounds are made, how the vibrations that form sound pass through a medium to the ear, and the effect that distance from source has on volume. They also learn about absorption of sound, the auditory range of humans and animals, detection of sound by the eardrum and to understand sound as waves of differing frequencies.

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