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

Midland news - archived reports

23-11-12

  1. Regional/National information and events report

    Our recent October Twilight event, held at Birmingham University, with guest speakers from Dudley Deaf CAMHS was well attended. The speakers gave an overview of their work and left us with some stimulating thoughts.

  2. Committee meetings report

    Our main subjects for discussion at the regional meeting (21.11.12) were 1) entering relevant information about our region on the website 2) volunteering for the forthcoming National BATOD conference in Birmingham.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    We will not be holding a Twilight event in the Spring because of the need to be committed to the National BATOD conference in Birmingham in March.

    We are looking to plan a Twilight event, possibly in Oxfordshire in the Summer at arrangements are not firmed up yet.

  4. News from the region was as follows:

    1. Leicestershire
      • Restructuring appears to be on hold.
      • Heavy caseloads owing to unfilled posts.
      • Joint collaboration with NDCS and Ear Foundation on Key Stage 1 phonics for parents. Everyone appreciated this.
      • A little more funding available for CPD.
      • Rationale is being strengthened and harmonized for assessment and guidance.
      • Morale is improving.
    2. Worcestershire
      • Funding is going to continue for at least another 12 months so no change will occur.
      • A ‘dedicated school’ situation has been established for 2/3 children. Successful so far.
      • Pat is part-time now.
    3. Telford and Wrekin
      • Heavy caseloads
      • Joint arrangement between Telford + Wrekin and Shropshire is still under the spotlight.
    4. Warwickshire
      • Positive developments: an assessment matrix is being developed, and a support group for Primary age children and their families to be set up.
      • We have appointed one ToD to assess some children we have not being seeing recently, and another f/t ToD from New Year 2013.

    5. Oxfordshire
      • Going through re-structuring at the moment.

    6. Birmingham
      • Other premises are still being sought.

    7. Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider

      Warks HoS asked the question: how do colleagues assess Sign language development? (Some useful answers were received at the regional meeting.)

    Back to Latest

    11-03-12

    1. Regional/National information and events report

      We were pleased to welcome Alison Merchant for the first time with us. Alison is in her second year of training as a ToD at Birmingham University.

      The main focus of our meeting was on planning for our Twilight event in May 2012, the subject of which is using Numicon with deaf children who are having difficulties with Maths. (See below for further details.)

      We are also considering the pattern of our meetings in the light of the current economic climate and related changes to the extent to which colleagues can attend CPD events. Thoughts are centring around having three Twilights in different parts of the region throughout the year which, perhaps, more people overall will be able to attend. Opinions are actively to be sought.

      We also considered a move over to advertising events by email rather than by post.

    2. Planned events for the next 12 months

      Datetopic venue contact
      30 May 2012
      5.30 pm Refreshments
      6 – 7pm Presentation

      Counting on Progress: Using Numicon to support children with number difficulties Birmingham University Room 139Cate Latchford

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    03-12-11

    Feedback from our recent BATOD Half Day training on Wed 12th October was excellent. The theme was ‘Overcoming Barriers’ with speakers Julie Mather from the Ear Foundation talking about self-advocacy, Theresa Robinson on transition and Sue Brookes from Parent Partnership on ‘hard to reach’ families. We were also delighted to have the company of Gary Anderson, who talked briefly about the role of BATOD and the changing landscape.

    In committee, the economic climate and its effect on attendance in the future at Half Days was recognised. Issues such as the effect of traded services, lack of permission to attend unless on teacher’s Team Development Plan were discussed.

    We asked ourselves, ‘Do different patterns need to be explored e.g. three Twilights a year in different locations’?

    Committee meetings report

    Leicestershire: Awareness that there is going to be a lot of change. Consultation continuing. Pay and conditions may change.

    Birmingham: From 21 Nov the service will be called Access to Education. Some teams are trading but HI/VI will not at least for the next year. HI trades FE, courses and some Ed Aud time. They are to move to another base – unknown location. They hope they will recruiting more staff (hope this will be 2 ToD), pending discussions. One resource base in a primary school is due to become an academy.

    Warwickshire: Recruiting for 1 f/t teacher after Easter. Supply available from New Year until then. After only being able to see pre-school and statemented children can now see SA++ children.

    Leicester City: Rob Rattray will be joining the team in New Year. Review going on regarding the role of the Ed Aud in the future. A generally positive picture.

    Telford and Wrekin: In the middle of a 90 day consultation. Losing 3.3 ToDs of 9 and a technician. All ToDs have to re-apply for the remaining posts. Low morale. Joint VI/HI leader. Moving to new accommodation

    Herefordshire: Many changes have been already been undergone. Not generally traded at the moment. Monica is retiring at Christmas. A 2 day post is going to be advertised.

    Worcestershire: Planning to become a traded service. Still have the DSG, but budget is not certain. Are they going to be based centrally or attached to special schools? Principal Teacher, Brian Perry, is going to retire. All ToDs will probably have to re-apply for their jobs.

    Next meeting

    Provisionally the next BATOD meeting will be on 30 May 2012 Deaf Children and Maths (using Numicon) at Birmingham University, Cate Latchford is the contact.

    Questions: One resource base in a primary school which is due to become an academy. Does anyone have any experience of this situation please?

    Why not use the ToD email forum (see Association >> ToD email forum to join). This provides a direct email link to all ToD members and they will respond either openly to the whole list or else off-list directly.

    There is a question from a Telford and Wrekin member asking how to access BATOD membership numbers. Your BATOD membership number is printed on your Magazine address label. You may contact Membership Secretary and ask for it!

    How is the database of supply teachers held by BATOD accessed?

    This list does not exist as it is too complex to cover the whole of the UK and keep the information up-to-date.

    Back to Latest

    25-06-11

    Our Twilight Meeting in May was agreed to have been a real success. Dr Steve Powers spoke about factors leading to success for young deaf people – a talk that was well received by about thirty colleagues.

    Plans are well underway for our conference to be held on October 12th 2011 at CPAS in Warwick. The theme is to be ‘Overcoming Barriers’ and we are planning to have speakers giving their thoughts and experience on the needs of deaf teenagers, how to contact ‘hard-to-reach’ parents and how to help children to develop self-advocacy skills. It promises to be an interesting theme, with interest for teachers representing all ages.

    ‘News from the Services’ confirmed that a time of uncertainty and change continues to prevail. In some services decisions about the impact of cuts have been postponed. One service looks as though it will become a traded service, another may become one at a later date. However, some replacement of posts and recruitment to new posts is occurring. As more schools become academies Services are learning how to respond.

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    Reports to NEC by Andrea Baker, Midland Representative

    10-12-10 postponed to 29/01/11

    At our recent ‘Bring a friend’ committee meeting we saw a number of new faces, which was encouraging, as numbers at meetings have generally been low.

    A highly successful Half Training Day was held at CPAS, Warwick on October 14th on the subject of ‘Focus on Down’s Syndrome and BAHAs’. It was very well attended, the venue was excellent and all the speakers were interesting and practical in their approach.

    Our next Twilight meeting is being planned for 18 May 2011, with a tentative theme of ‘Working with teenagers’

    The main concerns of representatives from the regions centre around the effects of the government’s comprehensive spending review. Nevertheless positive news included the development of a new clinic for testing children’s hearing in Leicestershire.

    Back to Latest

    05-12-09

    Unfortunately, due to personal circumstances, Ursula Walker has had to stand down as Midland Region Secretary, a role she has taken on for over 5 years. Ursula has always done an excellent job and her hard work will be greatly missed. The Midland Region Committee would like to thank Ursula for her dedication.

    The Region held a very successful Annual Conference on the theme of ‘Supporting Literacy’ in Telford in October. Well over 60 delegates confirmed that a mid week afternoon programme is popular with many people. The afternoon was based around workshops and there was plenty of time available over lunch for networking. Initial feedback is very positive. The Committee would like to thank Ann Underwood for attending and bringing along a range of information.

    The region is struggling to maintain numbers at evening Committee meetings through the winter months and the November meeting had to be cancelled. It is hoped that this is only a temporary blip as recent meetings have been extremely useful and productive, particularly the Feedback from Services, a regular agenda item.

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    Reports to NEC by Ursula Walker, Secretary Midland Region

    26-09-09

    We have just had our first committee meeting for the new academic year and eight committee members attended. We are hoping to attract more committee members at our AGM in October. In particular we are looking for a new secretary as Ursula will be standing down. Increasing work load seems to be having an impact on the number of colleagues able to give extra time and this is a concern.

    Dates of future committee meetings

    • 18th November 2009
    • 13th January 2010
    • 10th March 2010

    Promoting the work of Teachers of the Deaf Committee members in the Midlands have described continuing difficulties at work in relation to colleagues not being replaced and an increasing number of generic managers who do not appear to understand the role of a Teacher of the Deaf. BATOD is clearly working at a national level to raise our profile. Could BATOD explore the possibility of a television documentary to highlight our role to the public, possibly following a group of HI pupils?

    The NEC workstreams which are currently under discussion will consider this suggestion and possibly submit a bid to Teachers' TV to produce such a programme.

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    April 2009

    Our last committee meeting focused on the final arrangements for this year’s Midland’s twilight meeting which will be taking place at New Parks House, Leicester City on 20th May. Dr Mary O’Callaghan will be talking about ‘Why do children have hearing loss? – raising awareness of current aetiological investigations’.

    Two committee members who had attended the CPD study day conference reported that the event was well attended and that the content was extremely stimulating.

    Colleagues across the region were inspired by Alison Carter’s (Longwill) workshop on ‘Playstation Portables: an effective tool for Deaf pupils and their families’ at our October Conference and we had reports of PSPs being used in Leicestershire, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and the School for the Deaf in Sierra Leone following Monica’s last visit!

    Dates of future meetings

    • 20th May 2009 – twilight
    • 24th June 2009
    • 16th September 2009

    Back to Latest

    March 2009 We were sad to say good bye to Jo Butler at our February committee meeting as she was moving south to teach at Frank Barnes. However, we have now welcomed Angie Wootten as the new Warwickshire rep and our numbers at committee meetings remain reasonable healthy (9 at January’s meeting).

    Our last committee meeting focused on planning our May Twilight meeting. This will take place on May 20th at New Parks House, Pindar Road, Leicester, LE3 9RN. Dr Mary O’Callagher will be speaking on ‘Why do children have hearing losses? – current developments in aetiological investigations’. Details are being sent to the magazine and web site.

    Following the success of our last October Conference we are going to repeat the format of a midweek afternoon. At this stage we are hoping to have a key note speaker and a series of workshops around developing literacy skills but details are yet to be finalised.

    Dates of future meetings

    • 25th March 2009
    • 20th May 2009 – twilight
    • 24th June 2009
    Discussions at our last committee meeting highlighted a wide variation in the level of support services are able to give trainee and newly qualified Teachers of the Deaf across the region. Would it be possible for the NEC to gather information about support currently being given to this group of colleagues with the view of pulling together examples of good practice?

    The Course Providers have recently been asked to bid for funding to extend their courses esepcially in relation to 'other bodies'. It has been suggested that a national mentoring system should be set up offering training to both mentors and newly qualified ToDs this would seem to be a response to the need identified in this request form Midland region. 'Watch this space' is the best advice currently - details will be published later in the year.

    Back to Latest

    27-09-08 We were sad to say good bye to Jo Butler at our February committee meeting as she was moving south to teach at Frank Barnes. However, we have now welcomed Angie Wootten as the new Warwickshire rep and our numbers at committee meetings remain reasonable healthy (9 at January’s meeting).

    Our last committee meeting focused on planning our May Twilight meeting. This will take place on May 20th at New Parks House, Pindar Road, Leicester, LE3 9RN. Dr Mary O’Callagher will be speaking on ‘Why do children have hearing losses? – current developments in aetiological investigations’. Details are being sent to the magazine and web site.

    Following the success of our last October Conference we are going to repeat the format of a midweek afternoon. At this stage we are hoping to have a key note speaker and a series of workshops around developing literacy skills but details are yet to be finalised.

    Dates of future meetings

    • 25th March 2009
    • 20th May 2009 – twilight
    • 24th June 2009

    NEC Report Part B

    Discussions at our last committee meeting highlighted a wide variation in the level of support services are able to give trainee and newly qualified Teachers of the Deaf across the region. Would it be possible for the NEC to gather information about support currently being given to this group of colleagues with the view of pulling together examples of good practice?

    Back to Latest

    27-09-08 Our last committee meeting focused on the final planning for our ½ day October Conference: Communication matters to families. This year we are trialling a half-day midweek rather that a full Saturday and so far the response has been far better than the last two years. The conference will be on 14th October 2008, 12:00 – 4:00 at the Perdis Leisure Centre, Worcester,

    Feedback from around the region continues to be mixed. There are many reports of successful Joint Area Reviews and well received training delivered to parents and professionals. There is, however, concern about restructuring with reports of ToDs losing pay and caseloads increasing because of staff vacancies and increasing numbers of children being fitted with hearing aids rather than being given grommets. Ted Moore is coming to the next Midlands Heads of Service meeting to discuss these concerns further.

    Members are keen to know more about the implications of the NICE recommendation for bilateral cochlear implantation. We plan to invite Kate Hanvey from the Birmingham CI centre to a future committee meeting.

    Dates of future meetings

    • 19 November 2008
    • 14 January 2009

    Section B

    • Some members have reported difficulties in accessing the members’ part of the BATOD website and asked about the expected timescales for receiving replies to e-mail queries sent to the BATOD website about this.

      It is only necessary to register once for access to the members' area. On subsequent visits use the 'log on' in the top corner of the screen. If you tell your computer to remember the details you will not have to remember your password every time!

    • There may be some confusion over the BATOD membership drive. For information, packs have already been sent to contacts in all services and schools in the Midlands.

    Back to Latest

    14-06-08

    We welcomed two new Teachers of the Deaf to our March committee meeting, Heather Marshall from Wolverhampton and Rob Rattray from Birmingham. We had interesting discussions on the healthy number of teachers currently undergoing ToD training at Birmingham University and the benefit of more Deaf Teachers being encouraged to train as Teachers of the Deaf.

    Birmingham has had a successful launch of their ‘Communication Matters’ DVD. Rob shared the DVD with committee and we all agreed that it was excellent (congratulations to all our colleagues in Birmingham). The DVD is aimed at Asian families although we felt that the issues raised are relevant to all families.

    Teachers of the Deaf in Leicestershire have also been busy on the DVD production front and they have just completed a project in which children and young people have been interviewed and their comments about their hearing loss have been recorded onto DVD.

    Colleagues from Telford, Shropshire & Wrekin are planning a range of interesting events including a Father’s Day and a Secondary Study Skills Day whilst Walsall and Leicestershire are both pursuing links with Youth Services to fund activities for young Deaf people in their regions.

    Other areas around the region are involved with Joint Area Reviews and Common Assessment Framework training.

    Our May twilight meeting is planned: David Heap, our new NDCS Regional Director is coming to talk about current developments and ask what the NDCS can do for children and families in our region. We’re hoping that colleagues will inundate David with good ideas!

    Dates of future meetings/events:

    • 21st May – twilight meeting at Vauxhall Gardens, Barrack Street, Birmingham
    • 18th June – committee meeting
    • 17th September – committee meeting

    Back to Latest

    09-03-08

    We welcomed two new Teachers of the Deaf to our March committee meeting, Heather Marshall from Wolverhampton and Rob Rattray from Birmingham. We had interesting discussions on the healthy number of teachers currently undergoing ToD training at Birmingham University and the benefit of more Deaf Teachers being encouraged to train as Teachers of the Deaf.

    Birmingham has had a successful launch of their ‘Communication Matters’ DVD. Rob shared the DVD with committee and we all agreed that it was excellent (congratulations to all our colleagues in Birmingham). The DVD is aimed at Asian families although we felt that the issues raised are relevant to all families.

    Teachers of the Deaf in Leicestershire have also been busy on the DVD production front and they have just completed a project in which children and young people have been interviewed and their comments about their hearing loss have been recorded onto DVD.

    Colleagues from Telford, Shropshire & Wrekin are planning a range of interesting events including a Father’s Day and a Secondary Study Skills Day whilst Walsall and Leicestershire are both pursuing links with Youth Services to fund activities for young Deaf people in their regions.

    Other areas around the region are involved with Joint Area Reviews and Common Assessment Framework training.

    Our May twilight meeting is planned: David Heap, our new NDCS Regional Director is coming to talk about current developments and ask what the NDCS can do for children and families in our region. We’re hoping that colleagues will inundate David with good ideas!

    Dates of future meetings

    • 21 May 2008 – twilight meeting at Vauxhall Gardens, Barrack Street, Birmingham
    • 18 June – committee meeting
    • 17 September – committee meeting

    Back to Latest

    18-01-08

    We had an interesting discussion on Cochlear Implants at our January committee meeting prompted by the imminent publishing of the NICE report. Bi-lingual implantation for bilingually deaf children and communication modes were debated. Committee agreed to update ourselves by seeking advice from BCIG so that we can be informed with our information to parents.

    Again, feedback from across the region focused on restructuring and the anxiety this is causing. Despite this ongoing headache there continue to be exciting developments - colleagues from Birmingham have been busy producing a DVD with the NDCS on the views of Asian Deaf children and their families and it is about to be launched at Millennium Point, Birmingham by NDCS.

    Other news from the region included discussions on funding for the integrated FM systems for the new Freedom processor (costs possibly shared between Health and Education) and exploring the use of the Standards Fund to pay for training of Teachers of the Deaf in anticipation of shortages resulting from retirements.

    We discussed the future of our Midlands BATOD conference and twilight and we considered the possibility of holding a ½ day conference mid week. We noted that many school and resource base staff would not be able to attend ½ day conferences and agreed to have a twilight meeting in May and a half day conference in October.

    We are hoping that our May twilight will be on NDCS developments – the speaker is to be confirmed.

    Dates of future meetings

    • 12 March 2008
    • 21 May 2008 – twilight (to be confirmed)
    • 18 June 2008

    Back to Latest

    01-12-07

    Regrettably we had to cancel our October conference as only 17 delegates (including committee members who were organising the day) had registered by the closing date. We need to try a different format for our conferences as Saturdays are clearly unpopular. We are considering two midweek afternoons (in different parts of the region) and committee members are going to check with line managers to see if staff could be released.

    We postponed our AGM which was due to take place at the conference, to the November committee meeting and advertised it to all Midland representatives. Thanks to Cate Latchford (Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin) for filling the position of Chair Elect. Cate is a relatively new committee member so we agreed that Pauline would continue as Chair for one more year. We also agreed to extend the term of office of the Treasurer and Secretary by a year.

    Points raised at NEC We suggest that there is a need to increase the working capital for each region to £2000.
    This was considered but it was felt that as Regions can apply to the Treasurer at any time for additional funds if the region balance is depleted then this situation should remain with monies held in the central BATOD account rather than have excess funds sitting in smaller amounts within Region accounts.

    In response to the suggestion that mileage allowances should be increased the Treasurer suggested that Regions adopted the current NEC mileage allowance which is 30p per mile.

    Back to Latest

    Reports to NEC by Ursula Walker, Secretary Midland Region.

    29-09-07

    Monica Tomlin’s presentation at Longwill School for the Deaf in May was a successful event. She spoke on her experiences developing Deaf education in Bangladesh & Sierra Leone. Feedback comments included: ‘fascinating and thought provoking’, ‘led to lots of discussion back at work’ and ‘really interesting’. We only wished that we had more time to hear more and discuss the issues.

    Our October conference is coming together. The title will be ‘Audiologically challenged?’ and it will be held at Burleigh Community College in Loughborough on 6th October.

    Currently we have no chair elect and although Pauline is doing a tremendous job as chair we really do need to fill this post and know that there is someone ready to take her place when it’s time for Pauline to stand down. On a positive note however, we have been successful in attracting several new committee members this year and although not everyone can attend every meeting we do feel reasonably buoyant.

    Birmingham University has recently changed its policy for room booking and unfortunately the committee can no longer meet in the Faculty of Education without being charged. We have discussed alternatives but as the venue is well known and central in the region we have decided to continue to use it despite the charge.

    Our meetings for the next academic year are:

    12 September 2007 committee meeting, Birmingham University
    6 October 2007 conference in Loughborough
    21 November 2007 committee meeting, Birmingham University
    12 March 2008 committee meeting, Birmingham University
    21 May 2008 twilight meeting
    18 June 2008 committee meeting, Birmingham University

    Back to Latest

    16-06-07

    Our October conference has long since gone and the evaluations were extremely positive. However, numbers were the lowest we have ever had so the committee decided to circulate a questionnaire across the region to see if there was anything we could do to make it easier for members to attend. We received 26 replies and the information resulted in a lengthy debate at our January meeting. The majority of members wanted an annual day conference on a weekday. However, we realised that several committee members were unlikely to be released to organise a weekday event and we would also have difficulties finding a venue as we tend to use school premises. Preferred time of the year varied hugely but as October was one of the more popular months we decided to keep this year’s conference on a Saturday in October.

    The Midlands Region has had a drive to attract new committee members. Our recent attempt to lure members to committee meetings with the promise of sandwiches was not particularly successful so we sent a letter to every authority in the region not represented on the committee asking for a Teacher of the Deaf to either join the committee or to be a contact person. This was a great success and we welcomed Pat (Worcester) to our January meeting and Cate (Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire) and Penny (Coventry) to our March meeting.

    We have asked Monica (Herefordshire) to be the speaker at our May Twilight meeting. She will be speaking about her experiences developing Deaf education in Bangladesh and Sierra Leone. We’re thinking ‘Cochlears, chillies and cockroaches’ would be a good title! Longwill School in Birmingham will be hosting the event and we will be serving samosas & onion bhajis. It sounds as though it will be a brilliant event.

    Back to Latest

    11-03-07

    Some key information from a recent committee meeting.
    1. Feedback from Services
      • Dudley – the two resource bases are being restructured and there will be one head of both resource bases. Colleagues are waiting to hear if a profoundly deaf student will be able to use an oral communicator.
      • Leicestershire and Leicester City have a joint budget for Cochlear Implants. eight children were implanted last year. 18 babies have been identified with hearing loss over the past 15 months and many of these have severe or profound losses. Caseloads are therefore extremely heavy.
      • Herefordshire – no babies with severe or profound hearing loss identified so far from Newborn Hearing Screening.
      • Walsall – have just had their Quality Assurance visit for the Newborn Hearing Screening. Four assessors visited and initial feedback has been extremely good.
      • Solihull - seven FTE ToDs including resource base staff and an increasing number of support workers managed centrally. One pupil (Deaf family, BSL 1st language) now has interpreter support rather than learning support (requested by parents).
      • Warwickshire – one sign language tutor, two educational audologists, eight Hearing Advisory Teachers, some specialist teaching assistants
      • Worcestershire – nine ToDs (some part time), one educational audologist, one Sign Language Coordinator. The team has recently moved to a new building with all of Children’s Services.

    2. October meeting evaluation questionnaire

      We have received 26 replies to the October meeting evaluation questionnaire.

      A weekday was more popular than a Saturday for meetings but the committee felt that there were more problems than with a Saturday in finding a venue as we often use schools, availability of committee members to organise the event, and the risk of some members not being released.

      Preferred month for the conference varied hugely with April, June, July and October as the most popular months. The majority of members wanted a full day conference once a year.

      A decision was made to keep this year’s conference on a Saturday in October. Volunteers are needed to organise the conference.

      • Date: Saturday 6th October
      • Topic: Audiology
      • Venue: Dudley

    3. Twilight Meeting
      • Date: 23rd May
      • Topic – Developing deaf education overseas – teaching in Bangladesh & Sierra Leone (Cochleas, chillies and cockroaches)
      • Venue: Solihull HI Resource Base
      • Speaker: Monica
      • To include a fund raising element

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    02-12-06

    The Midland Region held its AGM during the October day conference at Exhall Grange in Coventry. 40 delegates attended the conference on ‘Assessment and then what?’ The day was friendly and comments from delegates were positive. Numbers were smaller than we had hoped for and consequently a few of the workshops were on the intimate side. Although both speakers and delegates seemed to be happy with this it is a potential problem for trade stands and we will be discussing the relatively low turn out at our next committee meeting. Anecdotally it seems that many courses and conferences have had difficulty in attracting numbers this year.

    The posts of treasurer and secretary came up for renewal at the AGM. Robert (treasurer) and Ursula (secretary) both agreed to continue in these roles for another two years. We do not have a Chair Elect and no nominations were received - this is another issue that will be discussed at the next committee meeting.

    The next event will be a May twilight possibly in the Birmingham area. Although this seems like a long way off we have begun to discuss possible topics. Suggestions so far all have an audiological theme: speech perception and acoustics, the uses and abuses of ‘Soundfield’ and listening for children with monaural hearing losses.

    Our next two committee meetings are booked for 22nd November 2006 and 17th Jan 2007 at the The Education Faculty, The University of Birmingham.

    Back to Latest

    30-09-06

    The Midland May Twilight Meeting on the Future of the Teacher of the Deaf went well. Over thirty Teachers of the Deaf attended, reflecting the widespread concern about the future of our profession. Ted Moore's talk was reassuring and extremely successful in raising BATOD's profile. Feedback was generally excellent although there clearly wasn't time to give all the detail that some colleagues wanted. We agreed that the committee needs to be careful with the wording on flyers to ensure that colleagues have a realistic expectation of twilights and conferences.

    We will be having a conference call on 4 July to finalise our 7 October Conference. The venue will be Exhall Grange, Coventry and we are expecting it to be extremely popular as the title is: 'Assessment and then what?' with Sue Lewis as keynote speaker. Workshops will include BSL assessment, Auditory Processing Disorder, ACE, Early Support Programme, Kid Tracks, SNAP Dragons, and reading assessments.

    Some areas are having difficulty filling Educational Audiologist posts. It may be worth contacting De Montfort University as we understand that there are newly qualified audiologists leaving without posts to go to.

    Two deaf Teachers of the Deaf have recently been given posts in the region so we were interested in hearing about the NEC plans to start special interest groups: HI ToDs and ToDs working in isolation eg the only ToD in a Resource Base.

    There has been a successful bid by Colleagues from Birmingham to the authorities Children's Fund; the team has received £80 000 for Asian Deaf Children.

    Dates of future committee meetings will be on 22nd November, 17th January, 14th March, 20th June - committee meetings. The Twilight meeting will be 23rd May.

    We ended with an interesting discussion about Continuing Professional Development. Health colleagues have to obtain CPD points. This system could well be advantageous to Teachers of the Deaf who do not always have access to INSET. Is this worth pursuing?

    Back to Latest

    17-06-06

    Midland Region The May twilight meeting on the Future of the Teacher of the Deaf went well. Over thirty Teachers of the Deaf attended, reflecting the widespread concern about the future of our profession. Ted Moore's talk was reassuring and extremely successful in raising BATOD's profile. Feedback was generally excellent although there clearly wasn't time to give all the detail that some colleagues wanted. We agreed that the committee needs to be careful with the wording on flyers to ensure that colleagues have a realistic expectation of twilights and conferences.

    The 7 October Conference will be held at Exhall Grange, Coventry and we are expecting it to be extremely popular as the title is: 'Assessment and then what?' with Sue Lewis as keynote speaker. Workshops will include BSL assessment, Auditory Processing Disorder, ACE, Early Support Programme, Kid Tracks, SNAP Dragons and reading assessments.

    Some areas are having difficulty filling Educational Audiologist posts. It may be worth contacting De Montfort University as we understand that there are newly qualified audiologists leaving without posts to go to.

    Two deaf Teachers of the Deaf have recently been given posts in the region so we were interested in hearing about the NEC plans to start special interest groups: HI ToDs and ToDs working in isolation eg the only ToD in a Resource Base.

    There has been a successful bid by colleagues from Birmingham to the Authority’s Children's Fund; the team has received £80,000 for Asian Deaf Children.

    We ended with an interesting discussion about Continuing Professional Development. Health colleagues have to obtain CPD points. This system could well be advantageous to Teachers of the Deaf who do not always have access to INSET. Is this worth pursuing?

    Back to Latest

    12-03-06

    At recent meetings the Midland Region committee welcomed new committee members Kath Apperley (Dudley) and Sam Belton (Birmingham). The feedback from Services was extended and this is the most popular and supportive part of the committee meeting.

    The main concerns across the region continue to be TLRs, restructuring, the move to Children's Services and the difficulty filling job vacancies and maternity leave. The Midlands committee is also concerned about the potential threat to Early Years support as under-twos support is not statutory.

    Interesting developments are joint funding with Health of a Deaf Tutor in Dudley and joint training for HI professionals in Warwickshire and Coventry. There is also good news from Nottingham Cochlear Implant Centre as waiting times are now down to less than six weeks from referral to first appointment.

    We were pleased to part fund Barbara Wolter from Telford, Wrekin and Shropshire to attend the FEAPDA conference. Her feedback was extremely positive.

    There have been comments from a couple of teams about the latest BATOD magazine. Although it was agreed that the articles were extremely thought provoking and the children shown appeared to be thoroughly engrossed in communicating, the photograph on the front cover did not represent good audiological practice.

    Our twilight meeting is organised for 24 May at The Ear Foundation when Ted Moore will speak on the future of the Teacher of the Deaf. With all our concerns around the Upper Pay Scale, TLRs, Soulbury and Children's Services (and this is just the start of the list) this will undoubtedly be an excellent event.

    Plans are under way for our annual conference which we hope will take place on 7 October. We will be looking at assessments and we want to explore how we use the information that they give us. Assessments/areas that we are particularly interested in looking at are ACE, SNAP Dragons, Auditory Processing, BSL and reading.

    We received some extremely sad news from Oxfordshire: one of the team's members died suddenly a couple of weeks ago. Our deepest sympathy goes out to all family, friends and work colleagues.

    And finally I'm pleased to report that the social side of our committee is alive and well. After our meeting we enjoyed a really tasty curry - well you have to celebrate the New Year, thank David for all his hard work on the NEC and welcome Kath to committee!

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    03-12-05

    The Midland Region had a particularly successful October conference on 'Equipment and all that Jazz' at Derby School for the Deaf. Cochlear, Phonak, Connevans, DCCAP, NDCS and Entific all ran workshops. Delegates gave extremely positive feedback and stressed the need for Teachers of the Deaf to keep up-to-date with the fast changing developments in the world of technology.

    Jo Butler has completed her two years as chair of the committee and she has done a fantastic job. We are lucky that she is being followed by an equally enthusiastic member of committee: Pauline Wells, who has now received the chair's 'gong' as well as the committee kettle!

    The development of Children's Services and the move to TLRs is resulting in massive changes for Services. The committee recognises that Educational Audiologists and ToDs with protected elements to their salaries are particularly vulnerable. In one authority, SEN points may be replaced with TLR points. It would be interesting to know if any other authorities are considering this.

    The sub-group is beginning to plan our next Twilight session: the future of the Teacher of the Deaf. Hopefully this will cover all our concerns on restructuring, the development of Children's Services, TLRs and the ageing workforce.

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    Report to NEC by Ursula Walker

    24-09-05

    In the Midland region the West Midlands committee meets half termly at Birmingham University and is continuing to attracting new members. We have recently reinstated sub-groups to organise both the May twilight and the October conference. The groups have liaised successfully using telephone conferencing. This development has freed time during committee meetings so we can now discuss issues from around the region more fully. Issues have recently included the funding of cochlear implants as waiting lists are appearing in some areas and there is the move towards Children's Trusts.

    News from Resource Bases varies: the HI unit at Torc High school in Staffordshire closed at the end of the summer term with all the pupils now in mainstream schools, whilst the primary resource Base in Walsall is full for the first time in many years.

    Teachers of the Deaf across the region have been busy producing DVD and CD INSET resources. Birmingham's DVD can be purchased and will be shown at our October conference.

    Our May twilight meeting 'Social Interaction Groups: developing social skills through small group settings' at Braidwood school was well attended and generally feedback was positive. Although it is often difficult for members to attend twilight sessions we feel they are valuable and recognise the need to ensure that venues move around the region to make them as accessible as possible.

    Our October conference 'Equipment and all that jazz' at Derby school for the Deaf includes workshops focusing on the range of equipment currently available to deaf children.

    Finally, a big thank you to Jo Butler for her excellent work as Chair over the past two years. She is stepping down at our AGM and Pauline Wells will be taking on the role.

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    Reports to NEC by Andrea Baker, Midland representative

    13-03-05

    BATOD Midland October conference did not break even this year as we had fewer delegates than usual. The Region is still in credit but likely to be low on funds by the end of the year. The annual float from central BATOD funds has been £1000 for several years and 'top-up funding may need to be requested this year!

    Feedback from Services

    Leicester City - a hospital-based neonatal screening will start by September. The last four referrals have been for children with very complex needs.

    Hereford & Worcestershire are no longer an education department; they are now a Children's Services Directorate that combines Education with Social Services. ToDs are still employed on teachers' pay & conditions and staff have been told that this will not change. There will be a JAR (Joint Area Review) rather than Ofsted, possibly in October. Newborn Hearing Screening will start in March. Screeners have been appointed and will be hospital-based.

    Birmingham team has produced a training DVD/CD-ROM video for teachers working with HI pupils. It will be available for purchase after Easter.

    Leicester County is to be reorganised. The consultation with the Specialist Teaching Service is in February. Very sadly, their technician died just before Christmas. He had been with the Service for seven years and is greatly missed.

    The Midland Annual Conference is to be held on 8 October 2005, provisionally at Royal School for the Deaf in Derby. The topic is to be based around the theme of audiological equipment/environmental aids/ hearing aids/how to use this equipment at home.

    Warm congratulation to Monica Tomlin - she has been awarded an MBE for her work over the past 20 years in Bangladesh with HI children and their teachers.

    Future committee meetings

    The committee met in March at Birmingham University School of Education. The next meeting will be 22 June 2005 at 6.30pm at the same venue.

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    04-12-04

    The Midland Region has held only one Committee meeting since the last NEC. Feedback from the Regional Conference held in October was presented. Despite smaller numbers than usual - around fifty delegates - the comments were very favourable and Joy Jarvis, the keynote speaker, was highly praised.

    Planning for the May 2005 twilight conference has begun but will take a slightly different format as concern has been voiced about the amount of Committee time devoted to Conference organisation. After deciding upon the topic - Social Use of Language - a sub-group was formed, that will liaise via Conference calling and www.ournotepad.com jottings. This saved a great deal of time.

    The remainder of Committee time was spent on feedback from NEC and Regions. Walsall LEA, privatised after failing subsequent Ofsteds, has been given a glowing report in the most recent inspection - in fact, has increased by more than is theoretically possible according to guidelines! Torc school and Unit provision in Staffordshire is to close due to falling numbers - the Unit will not be replaced.

    There is some concern over the number of LEA reps who are able to regularly attend committee meetings. Several stalwart members are regularly sending apologies due to pressures of work, which is unfortunately a sign of the times and it is recognised that it is often difficult for members to travel the distances involved after work.

    However, the meeting closed on time, for the first time in committee memory, and several members reconvened in a local Balti restaurant!

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    25-09-04

    At the Midland Region Committee meeting, as always, the majority of discussion took place around arranging both the Twilight and Annual Conferences - there seems to be little time for other business! Members were very supportive of the possibility of BATOD looking into 'hiring' a Conference Organiser as it was felt this would leave more time for regional business, which at present tends to get tacked onto the end of meetings.

    The Twilight Conference took place on 19 May. This was successful with over 50 people braving the hot weather to travel to Chelmsley Wood! The topic - Alternative Thinking Strategies - was, indeed, thought provoking and many teachers went away with ideas to include in their teaching styles.

    Plans are progressing for the October 9 2004 Conference - 'Of Sound Mind'. The likely venue is Thomas Telford School and a variety of workshops are being organised around the theme of mental health - Boxall profiling; 'I Don't Like the Rain' presentation; drama workshop and others.

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    19-06-04

    Arrangements for the Twilight Conference in the Midland Region have been finalised. The meeting will be at Woodlands Centre, Chelmsley Wood (Solihull) on 19 May 2004, 5.00pm - 7.00pm. The theme for the meeting is 'Mindmapping'. The guest speaker is a local Head Teacher, who has successfully used the technique in school.

    The Annual Conference date has now been set for 9 October 2004. The theme - 'Mind Matters' - is to focus on practical ways of optimising the mental health of deaf youngsters. The Treasurer's Report indicated the success of last year's Conference and the Region has remained well 'in the black'.

    Some discussion took place on the BATOD Survey. The Committee felt that it would be very valuable to have feedback 'one-liners' printed in the Magazine, as suggested at NEC, as this would raise the profile of the Survey with members. It was also noted that many of the Midland 'non-returners' of the survey forms were Units, who may have assumed that returns had been made by Services. This question will be asked when the Midland Region Rep contacts them.

    Feedback from Services was largely devoted to the tensions created by potential privatisation of HI provision. Teachers of the Deaf within two Authorities were feeling particularly stressed by the changes, or potential changes, in working practices.

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    06-12-04

    The Annual Midland Region Conference - 'TechNOphobia' - was held at the Royal School for the Deaf in Derby on 11 October. Attendance was slightly down on previous years, with 55 participants, prossibly as it clashed with the Northern Region Conference. However, the workshops were extremely well received with 90%+ rating them as good or excellent. The Grid Club presentation by Chris Green was particularly popular with 91% rating it as excellent. However, by far the most popular event was the lunch - 100% recording of excellent!!! The food provided by the Royal School caterers was outstanding (well worth noting for future BATOD events?)

    The Midland AGM was held before lunch. Proceedings were brief. Treasurer and Secretary remain unchanged. Pauline Cobbold, Chair, passed on her Medal of Office to Jo Butler and was thanked warmly for the excellent work she has done over the last two years. This coincides with Pauline starting a new job in Southampton so, sadly, she will no longer be a part of the Midland Committee - she will be greatly missed.

    Following discussions at the September NEC meeting, the Committee included questions about funding for the Conference and preferred timings. 76% of participants were funded by their school/authority with the remainder funding themselves. The majority of participants preferred the Conference to remain on Saturdays; 24% preferred weekdays and 31% had no particular preference.

    Arrangements have now been made for next year's Conferences. The Twilight Conference will be on May 19 2004 in Solihull, around the theme of 'Mind Mapping'. The day Conference is planned for 16 October 2004, venue and theme to be finalised.

    Midland Committee members were asked to respond to Lucy Leith's request for information about the impact of recent legislation on working practice, raised at the last NEC meeting. The general feeling was that it has not yet been taken on board by Services, often due to the lack of administrative staff. However, Teachers of the Deaf in one authority had been directed not to type reports themselves, not to do photocopying and not to take Minutes in meetings etc. It was generally felt that the changes will be quite dramatic but as yet the implications are not making themselves felt.

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    December NEC, January 2004 Magazine

    The Annual Midland Region Conference - 'TechNOphobia' - was held at the Royal School for the Deaf in Derby on 11 October. Attendance was slightly down on previous years, with 55 participants, prossibly as it clashed with the Northern Region Conference. However, the workshops were extremely well received with 90%+ rating them as good or excellent. The Grid Club presentation by Chris Green was particularly popular with 91% rating it as excellent. However, by far the most popular event was the lunch - 100% recording of excellent!!! The food provided by the Royal School caterers was outstanding (well worth noting for future BATOD events?)

    The Midland AGM was held before lunch. Proceedings were brief. Treasurer and Secretary remain unchanged. Pauline Cobbold, Chair, passed on her Medal of Office to Jo Butler and was thanked warmly for the excellent work she has done over the last two years. This coincides with Pauline starting a new job in Southampton so, sadly, she will no longer be a part of the Midland Committee - she will be greatly missed.

    Following discussions at the September NEC meeting, the Committee included questions about funding for the Conference and preferred timings. 76% of participants were funded by their school/authority with the remainder funding themselves. The majority of participants preferred the Conference to remain on Saturdays; 24% preferred weekdays and 31% had no particular preference.

    Arrangements have now been made for next year's Conferences. The Twilight Conference will be on May 19 2004 in Solihull, around the theme of 'Mind Mapping'. The day Conference is planned for 16 October 2004, venue and theme to be finalised.

    Midland Committee members were asked to respond to Lucy Leith's request for information about the impact of recent legislation on working practice, raised at the last NEC meeting. The general feeling was that it has not yet been taken on board by Services, often due to the lack of administrative staff. However, Teachers of the Deaf in one authority had been directed not to type reports themselves, not to do photocopying and not to take Minutes in meetings etc. It was generally felt that the changes will be quite dramatic but as yet the implications are not making themselves felt.

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