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Personal passports

Photo: Personal passports for deaf children

What is a personal passport?

A personal passport is a summary document of all the most important information about your child. It can be shared with any adult caring for them or working with them so they can support your child in the best way possible. This might be your child’s teacher, childminder or guide/scout leader.

Parents use them to share the most important information about their child and make sure they have a positive experience, whatever they’re doing.

Details could include:

  • how they communicate - for example, British Sign Language (BSL)
  • how to get their attention - for example, waving at them
  • what they can and cannot hear - for example, they can hear speech, but only in a quiet room
  • what technology they use, when and how to use it - for example, hearing aids, all day, spare batteries kept in their bag
  • what they may find challenging - for example, they get frustrated if they’re asked to repeat themselves
  • what can help them have a positive experience - for example, giving them regular breaks during activities
    how to keep them safe - for example, watch them closely as they sometimes wander off.

Have a look at our templates (at the bottom of this page) for more examples of the kinds of useful information to include in your child’s passport.

When or where would using a passport be useful?

Personal passports are useful across a range of settings, such as school, sports clubs, childminders, hospitals and guides/scouts.

A personal profile is the same as a personal passport, but has been created by the young person themselves rather than their parents. If your child is of secondary school age or older we would encourage them to create their own personal profile as soon as they feel able to as it’s an important part of developing confidence and independent living skills.

Tips on writing a personal passport

  • Be as specific and detailed as possible. For example, don’t say ‘Needs hearing aids checked regularly’ say ‘Needs hearing aids checked three times a day’.
  • Don't say more than you need to – important information might get missed if you write too much.
  • Update regularly, preferably at the start of each new school year as changing schools/teachers can be a particularly challenging time for your child.
  • Don’t include confidential information that will limit who you want to share the passport with. This sort of information can be passed onto a keyworker or teacher in a different way so that the passport can be widely shared.
  • Decide whether to write in your voice (‘My child is deaf’) or your child’s voice ('I’m deaf’).
  • Create different passports for different situations. What you tell your child’s teacher might be very different to what their childminder, scout leader or football coach needs to know.

Involve your child as much as possible in creating their passport to help build their confidence in identifying their needs and asking for support.

Using our templates

  • We have just released new templates for early years and younger primary age children. These come in two fun themes - Under the Sea and Jungle Animals. They also include space for children to add their own details. This can help children express their personality and feel more ownership over their personal passport.
  • For these templates, you will need a PDF reader. You can then print them out and fill in by hand.
  • For the other templates, you'll need Microsoft Word to fill them in.
  • The grey text in square brackets is just suggestions for what you might want to say. The idea is for you to delete the existing text and replace with whatever you want.
  • You can increase the size of the boxes easily (the rest of the content will just shift down the page) so you can give as much information as you need to.
  • You can change the section headings and add or delete sections. The template is just a starting point which you can adapt to suit your needs.
  • You can change the font size, colour, style etc. of the text in each section to make it more fun and personal.

Templates and examples

Early years and younger primary (age 3–6) template: Under the Sea theme

Early years and younger primary (age 3–6) template: Jungle Animals theme

Older Primary (age 5–11) template

Secondary (age 12–16) template

For secondary, post-16 and employment, your child can fill in their own personal profile.