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

BATOD Northern Ireland logo

This page is currently out for consultation so that it reflects the new political situation in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has now 1.8 million people in its 6 counties with live births per year of 25,400. The birth rate is rising and the median age of the population is 36.

Education in Northern Ireland is overseen by Dept Education Northern Ireland and is currently administered by five area boards.

Northern Ireland Education and Library Boards map

Education and Library Board Heads of Service
BELB (Belfast) Mrs Joyce Smyth, Senior Teacher, Peripatetic Service for H I Children, BELB
NEELB (North Eastern) Mrs Teresa Degnan Head of Educational Audiology Service, NEELB
SEELB (South Eastern) Mrs Wendy Martin, Head Of Sensory Support Service, SEELB
SELB (Southern) Mrs Rosemary Gardner, Head of Sensory Advice and Support Service, SELB
WELB (Western) Mrs Carmel Mc Carron, Head of Sensory Support Service, WELB

It is planned that these five boards will be amalgamated into one ESA (Education and Skills Authority) in the near future.

There are, according to the CRIDE survey (Consortium for Research into Deaf Education), at least 1,238 deaf children in NI ( with ‘deaf’ meaning having a permanent hearing loss of any level from mild to profound) and now that NI has had the newborn hearing screen (since October 2005) so many deaf children are now found at or shortly after birth. 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents. Most of these children attend mainstream schools and are supported by Peripatetic ToDs (Teachers of the Deaf) who are employed by the five Education and Library Boards in Services for Hearing Impaired Children.

There are at least 37 ToDs in N Ireland (there are 50 members of BATOD but this includes retired ToDs and others also). As in the rest of the UK, the Mandatory specialist qualification for Teachers of the Deaf is a requirement for those teaching and supporting these children. There appears to have been a 7% reduction in the number of peripatetic Teachers of the Deaf between 2009/10 and 2010/11.

BATOD Northern Ireland Officers in 2012-2013

  • Rebecca Millar (CHAIR)
  • Valerie McCreedy (Secretary)
  • Antonette Burns (Treasurer)

Useful email addresses and links

BATOD Northern Ireland Committee Officers

Auditory Implant Centre (formerly known as the Regional Cochlear Implant Centre)

Department Of Education (NI)

National Deaf Children’s Society in Northern Ireland