The Government in England have recently been consulting about what Teachers of the Deaf need to know and do to be able to work with deaf children and their families.
We asked our members for their views and some of the points that came back strongly were:
• Lots of families value Teachers of the Deaf and their expertise
• Some families said they wanted Teachers of the Deaf to be more able to communicate in sign language
• Some families queried why Teachers of the Deaf didn’t support deaf young people in college, university or in apprenticeships and wanted Teachers of the Deaf to do more to support deaf young people post 16
• Young people told us it was important that Teachers of the Deaf really took the time to get to know the individual they were supporting
• Lots of young people told us that they wanted Teachers of the Deaf to do more to promote deaf awareness, using resources like Look, Smile, Chat
We have factored all of these points into our response. We also made a few other points including:
• We’d like to see more emphasis on the role of Teachers of the Deaf working with the family to support deaf children, particularly in the early years
• There needs to be greater quality control over course providers to make sure they’re producing consistently good Teachers of the Deaf
• There are lots of concerns that large numbers of Teachers of the Deaf will be retiring within the next ten years. We want to see better co-ordination and workforce planning to make sure there is a steady supply of Teachers of the Deaf coming through the system to replace those retiring
• 1 month to consult on the role of Teachers of the Deaf is nowhere near enough. The Government should carry out a longer more fundamental review of Teachers of the Deaf and consider, for example, whether new specialisms should be introduced
You can read our response here.
We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to give us their views. We’ll be working hard to make sure that the Government listens to what we’ve had to say.