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

Archived News from BATOD North


  1. Regional/National information and events report: None to report
  2. Committee meetings report

    Committee meetings have been focused on planning the next conference. Seven workshops have been arranged with a key session from Music and the Deaf. Final arrangements will be made at the Committee meeting on October 20th. Please contact any of the committee members for information about the meeting.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    7 November 2012Working day – Focusing on the whole deaf child’ Deighton Centre HuddersfieldBATOD North committee

    Information and registration forms for the conference are available via the BATOD web calendar.

  4. Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider: none at present.

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  1. Regional/National information and events report: None to report
  2. Committee meetings report

    Members of the committee met on May 12th to discuss arrangements for the conference in November. The key-note speaker and workshop leaders were finalised. The topics covered include Think Right; Feel Good: One unit’s experience, Resilience UK: One service’s experience, The Family Around the Child: the real team, Science through Role Play, Families new to the UK, Phonics: the new way forward and Auditory Verbal Therapy with young deaf children. The conference promises to be as successful as those held in the past few years.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    7 November 2012Working day – provisional topic ‘Focusing on the whole deaf child’ Deighton Centre HuddersfieldBATOD North committee

    Information and registration forms for the conference are available via the BATOD web calendar.

  4. Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider: Possibility of BATOD having a national data base of QToDs.

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The North region held a successful conference focusing on Language and Literacy when Ruth Swanwick presented her current research programme and some outcomes to the delegates. Although delegates were slow to sign up the room was filled by over 60 - which was impressive for a mid-week conference.

The AGM was held after lunch and Sue Denny took over from Elaine Rayner as Chair. Elaine was thanked for her sterling work helping to build the North region into a succesful and strong group. Trish Cope remains as Secretary and Sandy Goler as Treasurer.

One of the tasks of the meeitng was to approve tyhe consitituion - whihc had been in draft format for several years and had not been accepted. Some slight chnages to the original document were proposed with the officers being nominated by the committee members.

The Constitution is available in the region folder and also as a download.

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BATOD North Committee members have been busy over the summer planning the Conference which is to be held at the Deighton Centre, Huddersfield on Thursday November 3rd.  

This year's Conference focuses on the specialist role of the Teacher of the Deaf in promoting language and literacy.  The keynote speaker is Ruth Swanwick from Leeds University, and workshops include:

  • supporting pupils and families who have English as a second language
  • phonics with deaf children
  • accelerating reading in the secondary school
  • evaluating the impact of the Teacher of the Deaf on language development
  • boosting language development.

There will be a committee meeting on October 3rd to finalise arrangements. This will be a very informative conference, which concentrates on the essential work of Teachers of the Deaf, as well as an excellent opportunity for networking - please promote it in your area!

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BATOD North Committee last met on Wednesday 30 March to discuss the arrangements for the  Conference and AGM to be held on Wednesday 9 November at the Deighton Centre Huddersfield.

Evaluation sheets from the last conference suggested that the membership wished to continue with an event during the working week. This year required a venue situated in the East of the region and The Deighton Centre has been used previously and offers value for money, fulfilling most delegates’ expectations.

This year's theme is to be "Language and Literacy" and the day will feature speakers and work-shops. A further meeting is to be held at Hartshead Moor (M62!) on Saturday 9 July to up-date members and further progress arrangements.

The Committee has a new North Region representative in Sandy Goler. Sue Denny, who joined the Committee prior to the last AGM, is considering standing for election to the NEC in the forthcoming election.

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The committee met at The Corn Mill, near Hartshead Moor, on 20 January 2011, to plan the next North Region Conference. Discussion focussed on finding an acceptable and reasonably priced venue that would be accessible to most of the Region. There was also discussion on the topic to choose. The meeting also considered comments and evaluations of the October 2010 Conference. Angela Ellis had broken down information on evaluation sheets and produced useful pie charts which were circulated before the meeting.

A number of venues have now been contacted and costed by committee members and information circulated to the committee. The committee is concentrating on accurate costing to enable us to break even at our next event. Our next meeting is at 5.30 on Wednesday 23 March at the same venue.

We now have two new and enthusiastic members and the original members appear keen to continue! The new members were recruited at the October Conference. Mary Fortune has now officially handed over the role of treasurer to Sandy Goler. We would like to thank Mary for her exemplary and hard work and to wish her well in her new role on NEC. She will do a great job. Also thanks to Sandy for volunteering to take on the role and to Trish Cope for her sterling work as secretary.

Penny Rowbottom has now joined NEC in “her own right” after being an excellent Northern Representative. We hope to have a volunteer to be Northern Rep on NEC when we meet on March 23.

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The North Region Conference and AGM, "Audiological Competencies: Making a Difference", took place at Woodlands Conference Centre, Chorley, Lancs on Wednesday 13th October. This was a superb venue for a well-attended, very interesting and stimulating day. We were delighted to welcome our President, Gary Anderson, who opened the Conference by talking about the role of BATOD and current priorities, encouraging members to attend the AGM next March at Gateshead as well as challenging everyone to recruit a colleague to become a Teacher of the Deaf.

Our keynote speaker was David Couch, recently appointed as BATOD Educational Consultant, who in his usual inimitable manner, offered some thought-provoking suggestions on "Making a difference and knowing it". David was followed by Kai Uus,of Manchester University, who considered "Aetiological links to audiological benefit", particularly considering Auditory Neuropothy Spectrum Disorder who was also a particularly engaging and dynamic speaker.

Lunch allowed an opportunity for networking and was followed by the AGM and attended by the President, Elaine Rayner was re-elected as Chair of the North Region and Trish Cope as Secretary with Sandy Goler newly appointed as Treasurer, as Mary Fortune is stepping down as she takes over this position on the NEC.

We are most grateful to Mary for the work she has done over the last number of years on behalf of the North Region and are pleased that she will continue to serve as a member of the committee.

In the afternoon, delegates selected two work-shops from: Evaluating the benefits of Amplification Systems; Cochlear Implants and FM - resolving the issues; Working with parents of children diagnosed with ANSD; Class-room acoustics-assessing the difficulty, valuating the improvements; Using Speech Discrimination Tests; "Punjabi EARS"(Evaluation of Auditory Responses to Speech)

Again, these were very well-received and we must thank all the speakers for their contributions and hard work: Trish Cope, Graham Hamilton, Kai Uus, Richard Vaughan, Andrew Powell and Clare Southall.

Thanks also must go to Ann Underwood for her contribution to the day and for organising the BATOD stand.

I do hope that we were able to recruit some new members as there are always a number of Teachers of the Deaf at our meetings who unfortunately are not BATOD members..

The feed-back was overwhelmingly positive, due principally to the calibre of the speakers, the quality of the venue and the efforts of the committee, in particular Trish Cope and Mary Fortune.

There were over 60 delegates- eventually!- from the North East and North West particularly pleasing in the current context.

It was very pleasing that Gary commented on the positive feeling of the conference and the warm welcome he received from us "In't North" and we are most grateful to him - and to David - for taking the time to support us by attending the conference.

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The regional committee has continued to meet termly. We continue to have the occasional telephone meeting but generally meet at Hartshead Moor off the M62. The surroundings are not particularly exotic but the company is great.

The North Region Conference and AGM was held at St John’s School, Boston Spa on 7th October 2009. The theme of the conference was “Deaf Children with Additional Needs” and the conference was largely practitioner led. The workshop format worked extremely well and the event was hugely oversubscribed. There was also a quorate AGM and the BATOD President attended.

We have not yet had time for an in-depth study of evaluation sheets but are due to meet in January where these will be discussed. The event was very enjoyable and networking was noisy and enthusiastic.

The committee is hugely committed and now a very good size. We also hope we have recruited two additional members from the October conference who we will invite to the next meeting on Saturday 23rd January 2009 at 10.00am, Days Inn, Hartshead Moor Services, East Bound carriageway!

The North Region Committee is well represented on NEC for which we are grateful. Mary Fortune is due to stand down as Treasurer in preparation for a post on NEC. Sandy Goler has agreed to become treasurer of North Region and was elected at the AGM. Trish Cope continues her secretarial duties. All officers were re-elected unopposed.

The Chair would like to express her thanks to this excellent group of professionals, many of whom have been facing challenging times in both their personal and professional lives but have kept going through thick and thin.

Merry Christmas from the North Region to all our colleagues at NEC!

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Report to NEC by Penny Rowbottom, North Region representative


A committee meeting was held on 25 January and it was decided to hold a series of meetings across the Region concerning Supporting Deaf Students in External Examinations at Key Stage 4. A similar meeting held in January 2008 engendered a great deal of interest and was supported by over 30 Teachers of the Deaf (members and non-members).

Meetings were arranged at St. John’s school, Boston Spa, Hameldon school, Burnley and the Seashell Trust. At the time of writing, there has been a disappointing response possibly because of the timing - all in March - but possibly also due to the number of venues (Teachers did attend from across the Region last year and perhaps we do not need to be quite so sensitive to providing 'local' training?)

A Regional Conference and AGM has also been arranged at Boston Spa in early October the theme being Deaf Children with Additional Needs in Mainstream Schools, though speakers and precise date have yet to be confirmed.

A number of North Region Committee members are involved in various ways supporting the National Conference and we look forward to getting together some time over the weekend and catching up with each other and with other old friends!

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Report to NEC by Trish Cope, North Region Secretary


The BATOD North AGM was held on 20th November 2008 at Chuter Ede Education Centre, South Shields. The meeting started with a presentation on new products by Robert Taylor from Phonak UK.

Elaine Rayner’s Chair’s report included a summary of conferences, details of how the committee was formed and its composition and a call for any more volunteers (no-one came forward but there were positive comments about work of current committee!).

Trish Cope (Secretary) outlined the numbers attending the meetings held during the academic year 2007 – 2008. Suggested topics for future meetings included speech discrimination; curriculum updates; working with babies; specialist skills.

The work of the NEC was explained and a brief account was given of the range of work that they undertake on our behalf. Tricia Moffat inquired about support for units/resource bases where management difficulties between themselves and the mainstream school exist. It was suggested that contact be made with Paul Simpson.

Elaine explained that the officers were elected for two years but also invited members for the committee as we would like greater representation from the north-east of the region.

A nomination sheet for North Region committee will need to be circulated with the next issue of the Magazine. The next committee will need to be formed post March 2009 as the current committee will have stood for two years.

Section B - item for disussion
The committee would like guidance from NEC on a fee structure for visiting speakers.

  • When should people be paid?
  • How much should they be paid per hour of presentation?
  • Should this include payment for preparation?
  • Who should receive vouchers rather than payment?
  • To what amount?

A national policy is appreciated; then all is fair and equitable.

We are also interested in a having an official BATOD booking form which outlines fees etc and where speakers can book their equipment. eg whiteboard, flipchart etc. Perhaps NEC may already have one for National Conferences? Or perhaps there may be mileage in designing one?

Membership and Finance Committee will discuss this request and offer quidance in due course. Ann Underwood deals with the conference organisation and is willing to share the doucmentation that she uses.

Normally equipment is sourced from a venue and may be part of a package. Occasionally BATOD members are willing to bring along equipment that otherwise would be expensive to hire.

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Report to NEC by Penny Rowbottom, North Region representative


The first full day conference organised by the North Region held at Kirklees on 15th July was a resounding success! Members attended from across the Region and the conference was a complete 'sell-out'. Several late applicants unfortunately had to be turned away. All the speakers were well received, their presentations providing plenty of food for thought concerning ideas for supporting the emotional well-being of deaf children. If anything, we were somewhat over-ambitious and could have benefited from having more time for questions and discussion with the speakers. On the other hand, the day certainly offered exceptionally worthwhile CPD and provided excellent value for money. Sessions included 'Attachment Theory and its implications for deaf children' and 'School-based counselling as a support for children’s development' in the morning and 'Psycho-Social therapy: Changing behaviour and making it stick' plus an up-date on the NDCS deaf role-model project (with real deaf role-models!!!!) in the afternoon. An evaluation has been prepared for possible inclusion on the website.

We are currently planning our next event, which will be an afternoon conference and include our first AGM, at South Shields on Thursday 20 November.

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Thanks must go to all who worked so hard to make the BATOD Conference at Boston Spa such a success and to all at St John’s School for their hospitality.

Preparations are well under-way for the BATOD North Conference on July 15th to be held at Kirklees.

Julie Glynn, an Educational Psychologist involved with implementing SEAL in Lancashire schools and supporting the establishment of Nurture Groups is opening the conference, followed by Francis Taylor, on the benefits of school-based counselling for children’s development. The afternoon session will be opened by Claire Sheridan: “Working with Teenagers” followed by a representative from the NDCS talking about the Deaf Role-model project. 60 delegates can be accommodated and we anticipate an interesting day.

A number of members from the Region attended the recent Oral Language Modifier Training sessions in Manchester and Leeds and are now accredited OLMs. The trainings were enjoyable and relaxed as well as informative with useful support materials and the follow-up sessions, after the current exam series, are eagerly anticipated.

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Much of our most recent meeting in early February centred on finalising the arrangements for the forthcoming CPD Study Day/Conference at the St. John’s, Boston Spa ‘satellite’ venue. All appears to be well in-hand as well as eagerly anticipated with a healthy number of applications so far!

We were delighted with the feed-back received from a meeting held in Burnley on January 17th dealing with application for and implementation of Special Examination Arrangements at Key Stages 3 and 4, held in response to suggestions received at our initial meetings last Autumn. It was very pleasing to see 30 Teachers of the Deaf from right across the Region especially as the meeting was arranged at fairly short notice in order not to miss the deadlines for this Summer’s examination series.

Again, we were surprised by the number of Teachers of the Deaf who are not members of BATOD and therefore need to make a concerted effort to address this at future events possibly by creating a greater differential between charges for members and non-members.

We are preparing to move ahead with arrangements for a full day Conference in the Summer Term at Kirklees, promoting the positive mental health and emotional well-being of deaf children.

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Reports to NEC by Ann Underwood, President-elect


Following the AGM on Saturday 10th March in Leeds, a meeting was held to discuss the current situation of the North Region. This was initially chaired by Bev McCracken, who indicated to those present that 40+ individuals had responded positively to a questionnaire she had sent out to North Region members concerning the future of BATOD North.

Elaine Rayner was then elected chair and other officers included Trisha Cope and Mary Fortune.

Elaine, Trish, Mary, Sue Krezner and Penny Rowbottom met to plan a programme of events to reinvigorate BATOD North on Sunday 20th May. It was decided to arrange three events early in the autumn term at different venues across the region and at different times of the day, with the same speaker. Trish will speak about the phonic strand of the Literacy Strategy for deaf children.

A letter would be forwarded to all members with details of these events. The reply slip will also include a few questions asking members for their thoughts on what topics they wish to raise for discussion at future meetings, preferred timings of meetings and appropriate venues. The letter has now been drafted, a flyer prepared and it is intended that these are posted to all members in the next few weeks, in advance of the Summer Break. Members who indicated that they are prepared to offer an increased level of support will be contacted personally and invited to a further committee meeting to be held on Saturday 30th June.

Watch this Space………………………………………………………..

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A small group of volunteers had met with Ann Underwood (President-elect) and Bev McCracken (National Treasurer) late last year to attempt to reinvigorate the North Region. In January a questionnaire was sent out to all north Regions members via the Magazine mailing. Ten people responded and as a result there were three more positive volunteers who were contacted. One was able to join a telephone conference call to discuss the special General Meeting planning for 10 March.

After the very successful BATOD Conference on Transition over thirty North region members attended the meeting in the Leeds Marriott Hotel. Bev McCracken opened the meeting and outlined the current situation. He introduced Elaine Rayner, Mary Fortune and Trish Cope who have volunteered to act as Region officers until later in the year when an AGM has been arranged. Elaine will be the Region Chairperson, Mary, the Treasurer and Trish, the Secretary.

Thanks were expressed to the previous committee and especially Chris Payton who had sent his formal resignation from the North committee and as the North representative to NEC. Chris has handed the North region paperwork to Trish Cope. It was agreed that Sue Frazer would attend the NEC meeting on Sunday 11 March and Penny Rowbottom or Trish Cope offered their services for future meetings. This will be discussed by the committee.

All present were asked to fill in the questionnaire and hand it to the new committee before they left. They were also asked to take copies and ask colleagues to complete and return them as well. A copy of the questionnaire is available on the BATOD website in the North region folder and North region members are encouraged to complete and return it. The new committee hopes to use the information to plan how the region will service the needs of the North Region members.

It is intended that further news about the progress of the new committee will be available on the BATOD website (The Association > about BATOD > BATOD Regions > BATOD North).

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Thanks are due to Sue Frazer who contacted past committee members and approached other North region members. Six people expressed an interest in meeting to discuss the future of the North region and plan for the meeting which will be held at the close of the Transition Conference in March.

As a result of the meeting we have identified potential officers although we hope that there will be other offers resulting from a questionnaire and letter that will be sent out to all north region members in January 2007.

The questionnaire is an extension of that given out at the meeting in Audiology workshop held in North Lincs on 10th March 2006. Members will be canvassed for opinions about various formats and timing of meetings and the results will inform the meeting on 10th March.

Bev McCracken outlined the advice to Region Treasurers and the requirement that one of the signatories should be the National Treasurer. This should mean that there is access to the Regional accounts should a similar situation to the current North region position arise in the future. Funds will be available via the usual route – from National BATOD accounts, although the situation with regard to the previous North region accounts is still not absolutely resolved.

Several years ago the north Region adopted a constitution and although the final copy has not been uncovered the draft paperwork has been made available. It is hope to redraw the constitution and then work with the M and F committee to assist other regions to produce similar documents.

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There has been no activity in the North region since the last report to BATOD NEC but, as everywhere, the summer holiday period and the busy start of term mean that this is not unusual. There is no autumn conference planned.

The region has been offered a short slot at the end of the National Conference and AGM which will be held at the Leeds Marriott Hotel in the centre of Leeds. The programme topic is Transition and this is an especially relevant subject to North region as it has still not been possible to move smoothly into an active situation.

Sue Frazer will be organising a meeting of the North Region committee and one or two people who have expressed an interest in helping with regional activities. It is hoped that an agenda will be drawn up for short meeting which will begin at 15.45 at the close of the National Conference. This will include sorting out the financial situation and setting up a calendar of events for the coming year. It is also hoped that there will be positive support and assistance available from Region's members so that the National meeting will run smoothly. The Leeds Service has already committed workshop leaders and offered to provide information about the area to encourage BATOD members to stay in Leeds for the weekend.

The region then hopes to be flying the BATOD flag more positively after 10 March!

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Reports to NEC by Chris Payton, North Region Representative


The North region has not been active since the last NEC meeting although it is reported that the financial issues have now been clarified.

Following discussions with one Head of Service in the North West the idea of having a joint professional training day similar to that arranged by Wales will be taken to the next NW Heads of Service Meeting as they already have a two-yearly ToD INSET.

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The North region conference had been planned for January 21 2006 at Boston Spa. The title was 'I'll show you mine if....' Unfortunately, this had to be cancelled due to a lack of support. It would appear that the main reasons for the poor uptake were the time of year, a weekend date and the possibility of travel problems connected with inclement weather. Offers of help to participate in this interactive event came from almost all of the keen delegates who did sign up for the conference. It is hoped to rearrange the conference later in the year. A telephone conference call is being planned to discuss the current more local initiatives and how this can be built into how the region supports its Teachers of the Deaf. It is hoped that the conference will be rearranged later in the year.

Bev McCracken is sorting out the Region's financial difficulties and it would seem that a solution is in sight.

Chris Payton North region representative

The Scunthorpe meeting 'CI and FM' on Friday 11 March was very well attended. Sharon Robb from Oticon gave us two talks, ably filling in by doing all of the session rather than a part because a colleague could not make the meeting.

The first talk detailed research showing the clear advantages of FM for CI users, even better than using Soundfield Systems. There was opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues with colleagues from other areas.

The second talk gave information about developments in digital aids, particularly the Spirit 111. The next generation of digital hearing aids have automatic systems so there is no need for the user to change programmes because the aid itself analyses the sound coming in and reacts quickly to decide which features to use, for example noise reduction or directionality.

A questionnaire was given to teachers about the future of the North Region. The returned questionnaires showed overwhelming support for sharing one another's INSET (like the meeting in Scunthorpe) and for weekday meetings with a slight preference for Fridays. There was limited interest in reviving the North Region conference and no volunteers to be on a committee! Future topics requested more than once were, in order, Audiology, Early Years, Literacy, Numeracy and PSHE and the venues requested were Leeds, Doncaster, York and Sheffield.

Thank you very much to Pam Grant and the North Lincolnshire Hearing Support Service for inviting us to share their Inset and to Oticon for the speaker, lunch and expenses.

If any other Services would like to volunteer to organise a meeting please get in touch. The success of Pam's meeting in Scunthorpe shows that this is what teachers want in the area so perhaps we could aim for one a term and try to get a list out early to aid planning and prevent clashing with other meetings.

Report from meeting by Sue Searle.

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Since the last NEC meeting there have been numerous individual phone calls in an attempt to assist the North Region resolve the dilemma of their not having a definite active committee. The situation has not changed. However following the discussions, Carole Torrance and Ann Underwood have stepped in to help out the region and have organised a Conference which will take place on Saturday 21 January 2006. St John's School, Boston Spa is hosting the event as it is reasonably central to the region.

The title is a mysterious 'I'll show you mine if....' Actually, it's an opportunity for members to share good practice and ideas. Maria Cameron, deputy head at Boston Spa, will give a talk about functional language for deaf teenagers. The programme includes an open forum session considering how the region can move forward followed by an AGM. The afternoon session will be given over to developing sign vocabulary, dyslexia techniques and the use of Widgit CiP2.

The plenary will give delegates a chance to share their experiences and successful projects with each other.

It has been discovered that the North East is quietly active - Pam Grant has organised another meeting - an afternoon session including buffet lunch - for Friday 10 March 2006. It is entitled 'FM Systems and CI' and is being hosted by North Lincolnshire Hearing Support Service in Scunthorpe and is sponsored by Oticon. Details of both events have been well advertised in the magazine and on the website.

Reports from Tyne and Wear show that in that area ToDs are actually having similar local meetings organised by Elaine Rayner, although at the moment they haven't actually considered themselves a 'BATOD' meeting!

North Region is indebted to Ann Underwood for helping to inject new life back into the region and to Bev McCracken for his unrelenting efforts to sort out the treasurer problems. Thank you both!

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The North Region Committee has still not met since the AGM of October 2004. There will therefore be no major conference this autumn. A meeting is being organised for January 2005 when regional ToDs can share good practice and also consider how BATOD North can move forward.

Sue Searle and Sue Frazer organised a 'local' mini-meeting at Scalby School in Scarborough on the morning of Saturday 11 June. Many thanks are due to Lynne Coombs and Alison Smuk who work in the Resourced Provision there. The speaker was Sue Lewis from Mary Hare who spoke with enthusiasm about the ACE Test of functional literacy at Key Stage 2 and beyond, applying it to the assessment and monitoring of language development in deaf children. Delegates looked at an example of the booklet Sue used and discussed the age groups it would be best suited for. About 30 delegates attended the meeting. Phonak had very generously provided a bag of goodies that were given out including some of their puppets which were very popular with delegates.

On the evaluation forms, Hull and North Lincolnshire were identified as areas that could host future meetings. There was also a discussion about whether a weekday meeting would be a viable option. It was thought this was a good for work/life balance but also that it might not be sanctioned by some local authorities. Dates will also be checked in future to avoid a clash with NEC meetings!

Sue Searle and Sue Frazer have now organised two local meetings and are finding the planning becoming easier as they gain more experience. Both meetings were extremely successful and well attended even though they were only morning sessions. North Region are very fortunate to have two such dedicated committee members.

There are still two vacancies on North Region Committee - Secretary (to replace Chris Payton) and Treasurer (to replace Laverne Smare).

Bev McCracken is helping us out with the Treasurer post but he is currently unable to access the National Savings deposit account so no further progress has been made. Several avenues are to be explored to try to resolve this situation.

There are two meetings planned for 2006. On Saturday 21 January there will be a conference - I'll show you mine if.... at Boston Spa. This event will include the issues about organising events in the region and cover annual general meeting business.

The second meeting will be in North Lincolnshire and will be on Friday 10 March dealing with audiological issues during the afternoon. It has been suggested that a work-time meeting would be appreciated and hopefully it will be well attended. Details are in the North region folder and also in the November Magazine mailing.

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The North Region Committee has not met, either face to face or even via a telephone conference call since the AGM of October 2004. There will therefore be no major conference this autumn.

Sue Searle and Sue Frazer organised a ‘local’ mini-meeting at Scalby School in Scarborough. The speaker was Sue Lewis from Mary Hare and she will be explaining the ACE Test at Key Stage 2 and beyond, and applying it to the assessment and monitoring of language development in deaf children. The meeting took place on Saturday 11 June in the morning. This was a really useful seminar with 28 delegates attending the meeting.

There are now two vacancies on North Region Committee – Secretary (to replace Chris Payton) and Treasurer (to replace Laverne Smare). As yet we have had no offers to fill these vacancies.

Bev McCracken is helping us out with the Treasurer post but he is still waiting for some documentation before he can do anything.

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The BATOD North committee meeting planned to take place at St John's School Boston Spa in early January 2005 was cancelled because too few committee members were able to attend. To overcome the problems of time and travel a telephone conference call is to be organised.

Colin Peake took over as chair from Trish Gibbons at the 2004 AGM but there is still no secretary to replace Chris Payton who resigned at the same AGM. We congratulate Trish Gibbons on becoming an elected NEC member and we know she will have a great deal to offer in her new role.

Laverne Smare, who offered to take over the Treasurer position, faced difficulties in accessing the accounts and signing cheques so there are still outstanding payments to be made. This situation needs resolving as a matter of urgency. Due to her frustration Laverne has withdrawn her offer and a new treasurer is sought. BATOD members in the North Region are urged to offer their help.

Discussion took place around the size of the North Region. There are two active groups in the west of the Region around Manchester and Merseyside but very little activity evidenced on the eastern side of the Region.

In an attempt to address local need in the North East Sue Frazer and Sue Searle have organised a second 'local' mini-meeting. Speech and Language Therapists will be present for 'Speaking and Listening' at Scalby School, Scarborough on 11 June.

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After months of planning, the North Region conference finally took place at St John’s School, Boston Spa on 2 October 2004. The speaker, George Robinson was booked for the whole day, the topic being ‘The Emotional Curriculum and Positive Behaviour Management.’

This was a very thought-provoking, hands-on conference in which delegates took a full and active part. This involvement was central to the activities of the day and those present certainly got to know each other a little better as the day went on. The interactive nature of the presentation ensured the attention of the audience. Group dynamics were deliberately manipulated so that different groups or pairs joined up to discuss various topics such as feelings, self-esteem and non-verbal communication. Imaginary scenarios were devised to encourage projection of feelings on to characters in a story and delegates were asked to explain their decisions and opinions.

Positive ‘I’ messages were offered as one of the strategies for expressing feelings as were confrontation ‘I’ messages. The importance of asking someone to repeat what they had just been told highlighted the need for checking that children understood instructions.

The conference was enjoyed by all present, no doubt partly due to George’s humorous repartee. Many books and other literature (some at bargain prices) were available for perusal and purchase at the back of the room. Everyone present left with a memorable repertoire of strategies for dealing with this vital but often overlooked area of education.

The AGM saw the resignation of the Chair and Secretary and the appointment of Colin Peake as the new Chair. The position of Secretary remains vacant. Last year’s amended accounts were accepted although this had to take place after lunch to ensure a quorum. The next North Region Committee meeting is planned for January 2005 at St John’s Boston Spa.

North Region Committee would welcome guidelines from NEC on the formal procedures for running meetings (e.g. voting on proposals) and for transactions like transferring treasurer details.


North Region Committee held a conference call on 18 March 2004 to finalise plans for the mini local meeting on 12 June at Bradford Royal Infirmary - organised by Sue Searle and Sue Frazer - as well as the Autumn Conference which will take place on 2 October. Both events have been well advertised on the BATOD website as well as through magazine inserts. Application forms were sent out via the magazine and the website.

The title of the local meeting is 'Working with the Under 5s' and the speakers are Jane Martin (from the Yorkshire Cochlear Implant Service), Ros Whitewood (Educational Audiologist in North Lincs who will talk about music groups) and our own Sue Frazer discussing pre-school initiatives in North Yorkshire. This promises to be a full and really interesting Saturday morning meeting.

The October conference is entitled 'The Emotional Curriculum and Positive Behaviour Management' - the keynote (and sole) speaker being George Robinson who will give a full day's conference at the very popular Boston Spa venue. George is a very interesting speaker and this meeting promises to be important, humorous, challenging and useful for classroom practitioners. Cath Smith from deafsign has been invited to exhibit some of her latest sign language material and she hopes to attend. The usual companies will also receive invitations.

We are having our AGM at the Conference venue, probably just before lunch when, amongst other things, we will be asking members to endorse the committee's acceptance of the amended accounts from last year.

Laverne Smare is still waiting to take over the Treasurer post formally from Aftab-i-Haque. One cause of delay is that the bank forms need minuted discussion, approval and signatures. This is due to take place at our next face-to-face committee meeting in Leeds on 26 June.

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North Region Committee continued to make plans for the Autumn Conference which will take place on 2 October. The topic of this conference will be 'The Emotional Curriculum and Positive Behaviour Management' presented by George Robinson. We have also planned to run at least one smaller local meeting on cochlear implants at Bradford Royal Infirmary with Jane Martin as the facilitator. Sue Frazer and Sue Searle have provisionally booked the morning of 12 June for this. Our new Treasurer, Laverene Smare, will take over formally from Aftab Haque as soon as the accounts have been transferred. Chris Payton submitted a page of information about the North Region to Ann Underwood and that page now appears on the new-look BATOD website. An email link will be put in place so that people can contact him via the website if they need further information.

The Committee has been asked to share the survey non-return chase-up contacts and several members have agreed to help out. They were also asked if anyone was interested in standing for NEC. So far, two committee members have expressed an interest.

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December NEC, January 2004 Magazine

The North Region Conference and AGM took place on October 11 at St John's School in Boston Spa, Yorkshire. Problems with labels meant a very late posting of application forms. Consequently, the number of delegates was fewer than expected. Nevertheless, we had a very successful conference with Mary Hostler from Manchester University giving the very latest update on digital aids as well as lots of useful general information. Mary was followed by Jane Martin and Ann Costa from Bradford Royal Infirmary who gave an excellent talk about their work in the field of cochlear implant rehabilitation. The protocols at Bradford as described by the speakers certainly showed good practice. Jane has offered to provide training sessions tailored to BATOD members' needs as well as the hospital venue. It is hoped this generous offer will be taken up in the near future and dates, times and topics will be arranged by mutual agreement.

Wendy McCracken was unable to fill the final slot and the committee was very lucky to secure the services of Colin Peake, Head of HI on the Wirral. Colin had kindly agreed to help us out at late notice, giving a very useful session on the Soundfield system. He explained how teachers could make bids to have the system installed. Throughout his talk he used the system apart from a short period when he deliberately switched it off. The subsequent effect made a very strong case for its use in a classroom.

Regional size was discussed, as planned, at the AGM but the problem of trying to organise two separate committees was clearly pointed out. The Chair's idea to have smaller local groups within the north region with contacts willing to link with the current committee might be a more realistic approach.

Colin Peake, our last speaker, offered to help out the north region. His nomination was warmly accepted and we welcomed Colin on to our committee in November.

Our treasurer, Aftab Haque has decided to resign and we thank him for all his hard work over a number of years. His place is to be taken by Laverne Smare our north-east committee member and we wish her luck in her new officer role.

Our next meeting is a conference call in December when we will discuss region plans, future meetings, the new treasurer and methods of communication with region members.

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