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.
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.
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:
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.
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 Borders||Advisory 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|
In order to generate discussion I had planned the following agenda.
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.
To start the ball rolling I have some suggestions.
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.
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.
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 batodsouthwest@BATOD.org.uk.
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.
Responses to date
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….
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 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.
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.