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

After some years of inactivity we are pleased to announce that there is now a BATOD South West committee. The Chair is Helen Maiden, Jo Saunders is the Secretary and Sarah Wardle, the Treasurer.

Future reports to NEC will appear on this page.

Report to NEC by Geraldine Packer

Latest At the start of 2009, a temporary committee was formed by Wanda Garner, Beverly George, Hazel Sutherland, Denise Tudor and Geraldine Packer. We managed to get things going again and arranged some very enjoyable events, the last of which was at the Cardinal Newman Centre in Exeter on Thursday 24 June 2010. This event was really well attended and several people volunteered to join the proposed new permanent committee. Wanda, Beverly and Denise offered to continue whilst Hazel and Geraldine were happy to hand over the reins due to other commitments. Sadly, the new committee have still not got together. Wanda retired at the end of 2010 and the initial meeting of interested parties did not happen. Wanda then tried to arrange a meeting at ERADE on Thursday 30 June 2010 but it did not take place as it clashed with the NUT day of action.

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Report to NEC by Wanda Garner, Southwest Region representative


No exciting news from the South West as our next meeting follows the NEC meeting and will be on Thursday June 24th at Cardinal Newman House in Exeter. We are following up our links with NDCAMHS with some practical workshops and suggestions from Maria Gascon Ramos and our new president, Gary Anderson, will be joining us in the afternoon.

Phonak is again providing lunch and will be offering a really useful trouble-shooting workshop again.

We are hoping that we will be able to set up a permanent SW committee with representatives from each area.

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On May 15th we formed our temporary South West Committee.

We are ‘temporary’ as we have not been elected to the posts but have stepped forward recognising the need to start the ball rolling and build on the renewed interest generated by the National conference this March.

So for the present the line up is as follows:

  • Wanda Garner Chair
  • Geraldine Packer Deputy
  • Beverley George Treasurer
  • Denise Tudor / Hazel Sutherland sharing the secretary’s post.
We have decided to meet up two to three times a year to plan BATOD South West meetings and in between times we are able to contact each other by email or phone.

The meetings will take place in the Summer and Autumn terms and the National conference will be a focus for the Spring. As most of the South West heads of service have agreed that staff can meet on a working day we will aim to hold the meetings on a Thursday and will vary the venue.

Our aims will be to focus on sharing good practice, to offer a chance for networking and also to invite interesting and inspiring speakers. We welcome suggestions from other areas .

Our first meeting will be on Thursday 2 July at Exeter Royal Academy for the Deaf and is entitled 'Sharing Good Practice'.

We have already started to draw together ideas for our October meeting but will hold fire until the meeting in July so that we can canvas members regarding their particular interests.

South West members or potential members who would like to know more should contact Denise Tudor or Hazel Sutherland

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Meeting of South West BATOD representatives at Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education on December 11th 2008

Following a meeting of the South West Heads of Service it was agreed that representatives from each LA should attend a meeting in Exeter in order to regenerate interest in BATOD and consider what we wanted from the organisation.

The people who attended:

Ann Underwood BATOD president
Wanda Garner NEC rep based in Countess Wear HSC Devon
Beverley George teacher at ERADE
Sue Carter Advisory teacher Devon
Hazel Sutherland newly appointed Head of Service and TOD at Westlands, Torbay
Andy BordersAdvisory teacher Cornwall
Ann Manuel Advisory teacher Bristol
Jane Shearer Advisory teacher Bristol
Sharon Barnes trainee ToD Bideford College North Devon
Pat Roe Advisory teacher Gloucester
Karen Young Advisory teacher Gloucester
Jenny Marsh based at HSC , East of the Water, North Devon and Advisory teacher for Devon
Lois Angel based at Clyst Vale HSC Devon
Sally Robinson Advisory teacher Dorset


  • Geraldine Packer, teacher at Eggbuckland Plymouth
  • Plymouth team
  • Swindon team

In order to generate discussion I had planned the following agenda.

  • Introduction from myself to explain the meeting and its purpose
  • Brief talk by Ann putting BATOD in context
  • Discussion in small groups to discuss what South West members want and then feed back to the group.
  • Discussion in different groups about how to relaunch BATOD SW
  • Planning how to move forward with a start up committee.
  • A round up with reminders to attend the March conference and distribute leaflets.
The following notes represent the group’s reflections.

The initial discussion was very lively and formed the heart of the session. Some excellent ideas and views were generated and shared,

It was agreed that the most important aspects of the BATOD SW meetings were to have a meeting of professionals who would have the opportunity to network and share ideas practice and concerns across boundaries

It was agreed that the meetings should focus on CPD and therefore should take place within the working week

It was agreed that it was vital for Techers of the Deaf to be part of a professional body both locally and nationally.

It was suggested that there should be a registration system, like Speech and language therapists. (it was recognised that this has a cost implication)

If we could link points to CPD and to performance management we could show how we added value and raise the profile of TODs

All agreed that we needed to ensure that everyone (BATOD members, potential members and other professionals) knows the extent of what BATOD does.

There was some discussion about the importance of targeting all trainee teachers, NQTs and SENCOs.

The importance of training specialist Teaching Assistants was also raised. It would be valuable to have a nationally recognised accredited award to recognise the skills and expertise of TAs.

INSET was discussed in terms of meeting the specific needs of TODs/ Specialist TAs. Someone suggested that It would be helpful to have one training day a year allocated for CPD so that everyone could attend the BATOD conference.

Ann talked about the possibilities of using Video conferencing
Phonak I learn is useful for INSET. Chris Cartwright is willing to come and show us how to do it so that we could record and look at it, possibly in groups contact Chris Cartwright to take this further.

It was agreed that BATOD South West Meetings should take place twice a year Autumn and Summer with the national BATOD conference in Spring. This was in line with the Heads of Service view.

The next decision was about where to hold the meetings.
The group from Devon agreed that they didn’t mind travelling and taking turns.
As several members in the advisory service are part time they thought that Wednesday was a good day for meetings, although this would always pose a problem.

The two representatives from Bristol were able to meet any day except Wednesday, They also offered a free venue for meetings, although it was thought that this wasn’t ideal for the summer meeting as the conference will be held in Bristol in March.

All other representatives said they would discuss our meeting with their teams.

The next stage in the SW 'revival' was agreed.

  • For a small group of representatives to join Wanda as a temporary committee.
  • The committee to meet and plan a session for next Summer.
  • volunteers were
    • Andy Borders, from Cornwall, has said he would be willing to join me, if his team agreed.
    • Bev George is happy to be the representative from ERADE
    • Sue Carter has mentioned that Charlotte Lynch is interested in joining from the Devon Advisory Service.
    • I would welcome others stepping forward.

The Next Stage

I suggest that the temporary committee meet before February half term to plan a BATOD SW meeting for the summer term. Representatives were asked to ask fellow members for ideas…. A good focus that would get people dashing in!

To start the ball rolling I have some suggestions.

  • Visual phonics/ Cued speech what are their uses and applications (a chance for a debate)
  • Teaching assistants, how can we evaluate and accredit their role.
  • Video conferencing … how can we effectively use it as BATOD members to share our practice.
Please email and let me, Wanda Garner know...
  1. if you or a colleague will be willing to join me on the committee.
  2. If you are willing or able to meet to plan a BATOD SW meeting for summer 2009.
  3. Any ideas for meetings.

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I attended the South West Heads of Sensory Service meeting at the Exeter Royal Academy on 6 November.

Dr Martin Smith, Head of Service from Dorset, suggested that I had an opportunity to talk about BATOD. My intention was to remind everyone about the amazing work BATOD constantly does on behalf of all of us, for our sake and more importantly for the sake of the children we work with. Also I wanted to encourage renewed interest in the South West and find a way of re-generating a committee that would be representative of the whole area.

Prior to the meeting I had asked Paul Simpson to suggest some key issues to bring to their attention and I highlighted all of these.

  • Persistent lobbying of government illustrating the need for improved supply of Teachers of the Deaf has finally led to the TDA and DCSF coming up with a plan to fund more ToDs
  • Consistent support of a range of deaf students who need appropriate access arrangements for examinations especially in the face of Awarding Bodies trying to limit or remove such arrangements
  • Reasoned and detailed submissions to STRB have maintained the profile of ToDs - BATOD is cited in the final report - and has led to the preservation of the SEN allowances
  • Recent support of a local authority with reasoned argument leading to the LA deciding not to restructure as intended; support for authorities in similar situations and also for ToDs being moved to Soulbury against their wishes
  • As far as ToDs are concerned the magazine and journal provide a wide and unparalleled range of articles and information to spurt their continuing professional development.
  • General representation of the interests of Teachers of the DSCF with GTC, DCSF, QCA, Ofqual, STRB, NDCS, RNID and a range of other bodies. Without a strong organisation no-one could provide that representation.  
I also mentioned, as Paul had suggested, that BATOD is a 'listening body' and if they thought we could do other things or work in a different way we would be delighted to hear about it.

There is a great opportuntity to take part in a national conference organised fairly locally and so I drew attention to the South West Conference being held in Bristol on Saturday 14 March and informed them that full details were on the BATOD site and recommended that all Teachers of the Deaf attend and Teaching Assistant. A few of the HoS said that there was some difficulty in attracting people to weekend meetings.

I emphasised that in addition to the very interesting programme that Ann Underwood has put together there will be a great opportunity to come together as a group and build networks so that we can share expertise.

I hoped to encourage each area to put forward a representative in order to form a group who could plan a way forward for the South West.

By the end of my talk it was agreed that they would each go back to their areas and find a representative. We will have an initial meeting on the afternoon of 11 or 12 December, depending on which was the most suitable date, in Exeter.

It was agreed that the representative would not be a Head of Service as it would be a good opportunity to encourage networking at grass roots level, and that future BATOD meetings would be recognised as CPD and held during the working week. All those present agreed to this.

I also made a a very brief questionnaire for Heads of Service to fill in and Martin Smith kindly agreed to ensure everyone did this.

Louisa Cole the SW regional director from the NDCS has also been invited to the meeting to the meeting and she was very keen to know if we included the Channel Islands in our region. Apparently they are very keen to have help with their CPD. She had directed them to BATOD, this might be an opportunity to take them under our wing.

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Before the June NEC several people were contacted to seek suport for re-invigorating the South West. Wanda Garner and Beverley Vann attended the June NEC meeting which focussed on regions, how they operate, membership and items of interest to the regions specifically.

Subsequently Wanda has taken on trying to gather support for a SW meeting. This is her report to the September NEC. If you are able to help with a 'starter committee' Wanda would like to hear from you - so please email

As we are having the next National BATOD CPD study day, conference and AGM in Bristol we are particularly keen to involve as many people from this area as possible to attend.

  • At our last NEC meeting I spoke to Bev Vann, head of Service from Cornwall who said she would bring up BATOD at her next SW Heads of service meeting, which I gathered was imminent, and then get tin touch with me, not heard so far.
  • The phone number I had for Penny Mc Donald from Plymouth, who registered interest, is unobtainable, so haven’t managed to contact her.
  • Have discussed with some colleagues from Devon Advisory service, head of service said he was too busy. Others may be interested.
  • Local speech and language therapist informs me that Advisory service are interested in having a debate on Visual Phonics have emailed advisory teacher most interested to suggest this as an opportunity to open the debate to a wider audience via a BATOD meeting.
  • Spoken to colleagues at local Secondary HSC, quite interested, but not keen to organise.
  • Have spoken to Helen Lach at Royal Academy Exeter who is very keen to have meetings at the Academy, possibly free or preferential rate.
  • Have also had contact with another colleague at the Academy and asked if she is at all interested in being part of the local committee.
  • Have emailed colleague in Somerset who is holding an event on December 2 ( invited colleagues from Somerset and Devon) and asked if I can have a brief slot to mention BATOD, not yet had a response.
  • Have emailed all BATOD members I have email addresses for

Responses to date

  • A few e mails failed to deliver
  • Ian Theaker fromTorbay has left the HSC and teaching
  • Joan McLellan from St. Martins Weston Super Mare has retired and the unit has closed
  • Geraldine Packard, Eggbuckland Plymouth
  • Kate Winyard King Edmunds
  • Bev George Royal Academy, Exeter
  • Kirsty Borrill South Gloucestershire
  • Martin Smith HoS Dorset
Have asked those who have responded if they are interested in being on the SW Committee (except HOS) Martin Smith suggested I had a slot at SW HoS meeting in Exeter on 5 November, have e mailed Joao and asked if possible.

Next steps

  • Follow through meetings in November and December
  • See if Visual phonics debate can develop into a SW meeting
  • Find some committee members!
  • Email BATOD and ToDs via LEA/School emails if possible when date agreed.
Any advice from NEC welcome

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Reports to NEC by John Shaw, Southwest Region Treasurer and Region representative


BATOD South West membership was surveyed during October. A fairly lightweight questionnaire sought to gain the membership views regarding the need for a regional group, venue for meetings, frequency of meetings and when they should be held.

Of the 116 questionnaires posted out 37 were returned with 32 respondents agreeing that there is a need for a regional group. Only one response felt that the local group was unnecessary and four others, for whatever reason, did not express a view.

The majority of responses favoured Exeter as a venue although a number felt that events in Plymouth or Taunton might draw sufficient people.

Whilst it was accepted that Saturday, given the geographical spread of members, was a logical day to meet, a number felt it was too much to ask and would like more localised evening meetings.

Generally people suggested two meetings per year and a number forwarded ideas as to what topics might be of interest to members.

Although John Shaw had hoped to organise an event in November, given the timescale this is being arranged for the spring term - most likely on Saturday 1 April….

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No report received


No report received


BATOD South West has been unable to meet recently as it has proved impossible to get everyone together at a convenient time due the the distances travelled. During the planned NEC/Region meeting in June it is hoped that some of the difficulties will be considered to see if there is a more effective way that activity in the Regions can be supported from the central body.

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The South West Committee have not met since the last NEC meeting. Indeed there has been no formal meeting this year in the South West and there is a need to convene an AGM meeting. No dates have been set for the Committee to meet or for the AGM.

There is a need to consider how South West members can be encouraged to take part in regional matters or assist in organising events?


The Southwest Region workshop arranged for Saturday 22 May 'Use of Interactive Whiteboard and Powerpoint in Teaching', an opportunity for hands-on experience in the Royal West of England School for the Deaf's ICT room, was cancelled. Unfortunately only six participants registered which was felt insufficient on this occasion.

The Committee is still keen to link a 'Dyslexia and Deafness' conference to the AGM. However, it seems unlikely that the proposed date of 20 November will be possible. An alternative date is being sought.


Since the last report three members of the South West Region Committee (Chair, Secretary and Treasurer) have 'met' by telephone conference call. The next conference will be held at the Royal West of England School for the Deaf in May. It had been proposed that the focus for that conference would be Deafness and Dyslexia. However there was some concern that the costing of such a day might reduce the number of participants who might attend.

It was decided to consider an alternative topic for the conference, namely ICT, which had been suggested for the November conference. Research continues although a decision as to the programme for the day will need to be made soon. Dates for the next two day-conferences are: Saturday 22 May and Saturday 20 November.

The committee is still concerned about the lack of volunteers willing to come forward to stand for the Committee and assist with the organisation of events in the region.

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