The British Association of Teachers of the Deaf
Promoting Excellence in Deaf Education

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held at the Newcastle Marriott Hotel, Metro Centre, Gateshead NE11 9XF on Saturday, 19 March 2011

Apologies for absence

Paul Simpson, Stuart Whyte, David Couch, Mary Kean, Rebecca Miller and Ann Robinson

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held in Wandsworth on 13 March 2010

These were approved; proposed by Alison Weaver and seconded by Jill Bussien.

Matters arising from the Minutes


Members’ comments and enquiries

Gary Anderson explained that this session would now be held at the end of the afternoon in the plenary.

Presidential address – Gary Anderson

This was an opportunity for Gary to reflect on the last year. There had been considerable challenges which included a new government, rapid legislative change, a White Paper – The Importance of Teaching, new academies, free schools, the EBac, the link between knowledge and skills, and future technology. He stated that there is a balance to be struck. At its simplest it is all about relationships – about growing and developing together. For this, communication of all types is required, and whatever the method, it must be effective. BATOD has been modelling this over the last 12 months, following the presidential strapline of ‘stronger together’.

At each NEC meeting there are three areas for discussion:

  • working for BATOD members,
  • working with partners
  • working with government.

Gary also stated that in his career there had been a recurring theme – flexibility.

Working for BATOD members
BATOD has been asked the question, ‘what is statutory?’ There is no blueprint of what a service should look like. The Association has prepared a paper entitled 'If not statutory then essential', which is an attempt to ensure that local authorities are not merely reduced to a minimum level of service. This can be found in the open part of the website. BATOD wishes to continue to provide guidance to enable ToDs to be proactive.

Working with partners
The ‘stronger together’ ethos has been evident through links with VIEW; Sue Frazer represented BATOD at the VIEW AGM in the North West. Judy Sanderson, Co-President of VIEW, will attend our June and September NEC meetings based in London. There is much more which can be developed together. BATOD is a key partner in NatSIP, and Paul Simpson is a member of the Reference Group. Lindsey Rousseau, the facilitator, will be running the plenary session at the end of the Conference. NatSIP has made it through to the last stage of the bidding process to access £200,000 from the DfE to support its work for the next two years. BATOD will be stronger for it.

Working with government
The White Paper – The Importance of Teaching – was published last September and BATOD has now received the Green Paper on Special Educational Needs and Disability. There has been a lot to read about since it was published on 10 March. Paul Simpson and Alison Weaver attended the launch. There is a four-month window to respond to this Green Paper. We do not yet know a lot about the details.

These are the five areas which have been considered:

  • Early identification and assessment
  • Giving parents control
  • Learning and achieving
  • Preparing for adulthood
  • Services working together for families.
There is much to be done and we want to involve all our members as much as possible. Gary urged members to consider supporting their local regional committees and doing a stint on NEC, and the Association is always keen to determine how best to communicate – through emails, newsletters, workshops and/or conferences.

Gary expressed his thanks to the Steering Group and the National Executive Council for giving up so much time. He also expressed his sincere thanks to Paul as BATOD’s only paid employee and Ann Underwood and the team for organising the Conference. He looked forward to a very successful year ahead.

Award presentations

The Peter Preston Audiology Award
Colleagues who have worked in the North East and in BATOD will know of Peter Preston. He brought great wisdom to NEC. Due to the generosity of his family an annual award has been established in his memory. Jo Franklin is to receive the award.

Judith Futers stated that she and Peter’s son, John, were delighted to be present. She said how much they missed Peter but that they were very pleased to give the award. John presented Jo with her award. Jo thanked them for the award, adding she was extremely grateful for this honour.

The Eichholz Prize
Deb Kent was presented with this award, which is for a top-performing student. Deb is a post-graduate student who has been studying at Birmingham University. She was congratulated for her hard work and achievement.

Annual Report 2009–10

Ann Underwood presented the annual report. This was approved.

Statement of accounts

Bev McCracken presented the accounts and commented that in the balance sheet there is a slight increase in BATOD’s accumulated funds; membership subscriptions went up slightly. These accounts are to 31 July 2010. He informed the members that it had been decided to keep subscriptions the same, as teachers were not receiving a salary increase.

Mary Grace Wilkins Travelling Scholarship
Bev reported that the guidelines are very restrictive and the Trustees are looking at ways to lessen these restrictions. The current trustees, although no longer teaching, are members of BATOD and seek new trustees who have more involvement in education today to join them. Anyone interested should contact the Treasurer.

Acceptance of Treasurer’s report
The accounts were approved, having been proposed by Liz Reed-Beadle and seconded by Sue Archbold.

Appointment of auditors
Bev proposed the adoption of the same auditors and this was passed. Mary Fortune will take over as Treasurer on 1 August 2011.

Election results – Steering Group and NEC members

No one stood for National Minuting Secretary. Mary Kean is standing down from NEC and this leaves two vacancies. Nominations for 2012–14 will be coming up in September. If you want more information about this contact the Executive Officer, Paul Simpson. Anyone who is prepared to be involved in a one-off piece of work but not able to join NEC should also get in touch.

Date and place of next meeting

10 March 2012 (London venue to be confirmed).

BATOD Foundation

The Foundation is hoping to hold a FREE conference provided at Knightsfield School, St Albans, looking at Soundfield Systems, and Acoustics. It will be held on Friday 25 November 2011.