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

Report to NEC by BATOD Wales representatives at NEC

Latest

10-06-17

Regional/National information and events report

BATOD Wales members have been proactive in their responses to the ALN Bill consultation through local authority events.

An ongoing concern is the need for legal protection and definition of the role of the Qualified Teacher of the Deaf.

Committee meetings report

The committee has met once since the last NEC. The meeting was hosted by the new super school in Neath Port Talbot, Ysgol Bae Baglan. The very successful H.I. resource provision from Cwrt Sart School has now been changed by the school amalgamation.

Sam Thomas Magill acted as chair and will do so for the next meeting. It was a productive meeting and addressed several issues.

Sally and Rhian are to attend a focus group to look at access arrangements for the planned transfer of national tests to electronic format in 2018.

Information about a virtual conference arranged in Bridgend was disseminated.

Concerns were raised at the small pool of people from which to find participants for national activities such as the CRIDE survey and the House of Commons event.

The rest of the meeting concerned plans for the PLC.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
23rd October 2017 PLC - Supporting Teachers of The Deaf TBC - Central or North WaleBATOD Wales

12-03-17

Regional/National information and events report

The committee is currently studying the Wales ALN Bill which is out for consultation and the newly published draft Code of Practice.

Teachers of the Deaf in Wales continue to feel threatened by changing legislation and by shifting local management and organisation. Some authorities are devolving more of their central services to schools; other teams are no longer the first choice for some schools, who are exercising their right to buy in services from elsewhere.

Committee meetings report

The committee has met once since the last NEC. The meeting was hosted by the primary base in Neath as this is a central point for members travelling from Gwent and Carmarthenshire, Claire Littlejohn from Flint joined via Skype.

Sam Thomas-Magill has agreed to remain as the chair, but the post will revolve.

Allison Ayres continues to suffer ill health and so the additional Welsh rep will also revolve amongst committee members. Jayne Taylor will attend the Manchester NEC and Trish Garland, the Belfast meeting alongside Sarah.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
Spring/early Summer CPD/Assertiveness/Morale raising tbaBATOD Wales

18-06-16

Regional/National information and events report

Informal national conference feedback from Welsh members has been very positive.

Sallie Durbridge, (Chair) and Shân Thomas are part of the All Wales Sensory Advisory Group reporting to the Assistant Directors of Education in Wales (ADEW) Inclusion Group. The Group’s function is to advise ADEW on issues affecting the education, holistic development and well-being of children and young people with sensory impairments with particular attention to establishing a consistent Wales-wide entitlement for CYP with sensory impairment and monitoring and advising on workforce issues. There has been strong representation to Welsh Government from a number of members within the group e.g. NDCS, RNIB, BATOD, SENSE, in terms of the need to ensure that the MQs are specified in the ALN Bill.

Following the workshop at the national conference, Sallie wrote to Emma Williams on behalf of BATOD Wales regarding the need to have the MQ specified in the ALN Bill; she received a pleasant reply expressing thanks for the conference invitation, and copying in these concerns to Tania Nicholson, lead on the development of the Bill and Code and to Colin Hedges, lead on workforce planning. Emma noted that the next Government would have responsibility for what would be in the draft Bill.

Committee meetings report

The committee has met twice since the last NEC but has also conducted a lot of business via email. Cwrt Sart School is due to close and has been replaced by Ysgol Bae Baglen. We look forward to meeting in the new resource provision there.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
Autumn 2016 Twilight training tbc tbaBATOD Wales

Issues which the committee wishes NEC to consider

From September, Lyndsey will be the only ToD in Merthyr Tydfil, teaching in the primary resource base in the morning and covering all deaf CYP, including the secondary base in the afternoons. The committee have concerns about the sustainability of this given the numbers involved. Further plans are not yet under consultation, but NDCS Cymru is monitoring the situation.

Another authority is moving towards a more advisory model and proposing to meet the needs of deaf children by “skilling up schools” (“building capacity”). This appears to be in line with information presented in the workshop and ALN consultation. Concern was expressed about the actual teaching of deaf CYP in terms of the role of the ToD within this model.

A further ToD has been moved from managing the HIRB to managing a 128 pupil combined resource provision alongside a 50% subject teaching commitment and no specified teaching for the HI pupils.

Please can BATOD write to Kirsty Williams, the new Welsh Education minister (Cabinet Secretary for Education) to insist that the retention of the MQ is included in the ALN Bill along with the entitlement of deaf children in Wales to Teachers of the Deaf with the MQ.

13-03-16

Regional/National information and events report

BATOD Wales responded to the Welsh Government consultation on ALN reforms.

The committee has shared the tasks delegated by the conference team particularly with regard to local resources and services. Six members to attend.

Committee meetings report

The committee has met twice since the last NEC but has also conducted a lot of business via email.

Lyndsey Stringer has decided to step down as NEC rep after the conference. Currently Sarah Angove and Allison Ayers will attend NEC, but following continued interest from BATOD members in North Wales, we may encourage a delegate from there to attend alongside a South Wales representative in the future.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
12th March, 2016 National conference and AGM Wales Millennium Centre, CardiffConference committee

Issues which the committee wishes NEC to consider

There is significant concern over the proposed reductions in services in some authorities. We are aware of at least one LEA which may have only one ToD to cover all children and young people. Specialist HI resource bases may be closing in some areas. Students requiring additional support may be attached to generic SRBs. The Equality Act could offer some legal support, but only if parents are motivated to use it.

NDCS Cymru shares these concerns and has written to each authority.

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5-12-15

Regional/National information and events report

We held a very successful PLC afternoon in October. We welcomed David Couch as our speaker and his humorous, candid and informative presentation was very well received. Delegates who completed feedback forms were almost universal in their praise and most rated it as an excellent event. Due to the charitable status of the BATOD Foundation “The Village- Urban Resort” in Swansea were able to offer its facilities free of charge. The catering was of a very high standard and we would recommend other regions considering this chain for their events.

Three committee members; Sallie Durbridge, Chair, Rhian Gibbins, Treasurer, and Shân Thomas met with Huw Lewis, Welsh Government Minister for Education and Skills on 14th October. The minutes of this meeting will be put on the Wales page of the website. Key developments following this was a commitment to look into the possibility of developing a Welsh NatSIP equivalent, and a commitment to focus on the provision of QTVI/MQTD/QTMSI training which would meet the needs of those wishing to work in Wales.

Sallie Durbridge attended a further meeting with Colin Hedges (Government Officer) organised by Nicola Crews (RNIB Cymru Education Officer) to discuss workforce issues. A firm commitment was made to provide financial support for those wishing to obtain the mandatory qualifications. This is likely to be included within the ‘New Deal’ for the Education Workforce being rolled out in Wales.

Committee meetings report

The AGM was held after the PLC and several delegates remained for this. Lucy Phillips has stepped down from the committee and we are most appreciative of her long service to BATOD Wales and NEC.

At our committee meeting this week we have welcomed a new member, Samantha Thomas-Magill from Bridgend.

We have spent a long time studying the draft ALN bill and proposed Code of Practice as individuals and in our respective workplaces and are now collating a BATOD Wales response. We have greatly appreciated Paul's comments and contributions.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
12th March, 2016 National conference and AGM Millennium Centre, CardiffConference committee
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19-09-15

Regional/National information and events report

We are looking forward to welcoming David Couch as key speaker at our PLC afternoon on 5th October. We are hopeful of good attendance at the start of a new year. We will also hold our AGM at the end of the afternoon.

Committee meetings report

The committee has coordinated preparation for the PLC by email.

During the summer, Sallie Durbridge (chair) has been actively seeking to re-establish our formal link with the Welsh Education Minister, Huw Lewis, and also to invite our existing contact in the government, Emma Williams, Head of Support for Learners to speak at the national conference.

The ALN reform bill has been published in draft form for consultation and can be seen here.

BATOD Wales will make a formal response.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
5th October 2015; 12.30-4.15 Various issues and AGM The Village Urban Resort, Fabian Way, Swansea, SA1 8QYBATOD (Wales) Sensory Impairment Service, Ground Floor, St Anne’s, St David’s Park, Jobswell Road, Carmarthen, SA31 3HB; SADurbridge@carmarthenshire.gov.uk; telephone: 07917 594658

Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider:

We would welcome any comments towards our ALN Bill response.

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13-06-15

Regional/National information and events report

The PLC training afternoon planned for July has been postponed to October.

During the Summer, it is hoped that formal links will be re-established with the Minister for Education in the Welsh Government, particularly in relation to ALN reforms.

The implications of the report into the reorganisation of county boundaries and administrative authorities is also being monitored. It is understood that the Welsh Government will be making a decision about the reorganisation late in June or some time in July.

Education is now managed by four local authority consortia in Wales leading to more regional working, but only one currently has a joint authority sensory service.

The Association of Directors of Education in Wales is to set up an All Wales Sensory Group following concerns raised by the RNIB in Wales.

The Group’s function is to advise ADEW on issues affecting the education, holistic development and wellbeing of children and young people with Sensory Impairment, with particular attention to:

  • establishing a consistent Wales-wide entitlement for CYP with sensory impairment;
  • monitoring workforce development;
  • developing consistent monitoring and reviewing processes for measuring pupil outcomes and the impact of interventions;
  • the direction and development of education policy and practice and service delivery to support the needs of learners with sensory impairment. Membership of the Group is to include Local Authority Heads of Sensory Services.

The continued reduction in funding for Wales following the general election is manifesting in further cutbacks to council budgets and thus services. Retiring ToDs and particularly Heads of Services are not always replaced. Some services are now using teaching assistants in peripatetic roles.

The General Teaching Council for Wales has been renamed The Education Workforce Council and will have greater powers to monitor the qualifications of all working in education. Currently it does not routinely record ToD qualifications or keep a register of MQ ToDs. The NCTL MQ specifications are England specific.

Committee meetings report

The committee has met twice since the last NEC, and has welcomed another new member. A further issue of the newsletter has been circulated.

Planned events for the next 12 months

Datetopic venue contact
October 2015 APD; NDCS resources? Swanseatba
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15-03-15

Regional/National information and events report

BATOD Wales committee organised a very successful twilight meeting on 5th March. Over 40 attended, which is a significant percentage of the Welsh membership. The speakers were Emma Williams, Head of Support for Learners at the Welsh Government and Paul Simpson, our National Executive Officer.

Emma outlined the proposals for reform of legislation in Wales. She spoke of the bill being the 'catalyst for the change' to focus on the achievement of all learners rather than a list of SEN divisions. In a difference to the English legislation, health and social care elements will only be included if directly relevant to education. The new code will have mandatory elements. The plan is to have a draft bill before parliament before the summer recess, seeking to gain royal assent by April 2016 and to become regulatory by September 2017. Reading groups will be established during the draft stage with members drawn from different stakeholder groups.

Emma also advised how BATOD Wales may re-establish regular meetings with the Minister for Education.

Paul then spoke at length about his own role and that of BATOD in participating in consultations and influencing policy as well as supporting members. He encouraged Welsh members to become more active and included part of the website presentation. He succeeded in encouraging members to be active in the pursuit of the very best for deaf children and young people.

Committee meetings report

The committee has met once since the December NEC, but has conducted a lot of business by email.

The newsletter has resumed production and was distributed quickly and easily in electronic form; several members responded to the request to submit queries or concerns to be discussed at the committee meeting. Plans were finalised for the twilight meeting and discussions held about a summer half day event with a workshop/ training element.

Allison Ayres was confirmed as additional NEC rep. Lyndsey has now returned from maternity leave, but will not be able to attend all NEC meetings. Two Welsh representatives will now attend NEC.

Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider:

Would NEC consider supporting a working group to look at the draft ALN bill when it is published?

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05-12-14

  1. Regional/National information and events report

    The consultation period for the ALN White Paper has finished and the outcomes have been published. They can be viewed here.

    There has also been a response by the Minister for Education which can be seen here.

    Health Boards across Wales have received funding in order to target mental health and HI - 3 LA Sensory Services are currently working with SpCAMHS to support this The modifiers of the National Tests are happy to accept feedback and areas of concern arising with the administration last year should be addressed this year. Sallie Durbridge is in contact with this team specifically as a Head of H.I & VI. service. She reported that a further meeting took place with HOSS VI and the modifiers recently. The Welsh Government has now agreed that MODIFIED PAPERS ONLY can be opened up to 5 days prior to the tests being delivered to enable further modifications to be made if necessary. These will remain under the strict control of the Head Teacher. Additionally, the HI & VI specific guidance which has only been available directly to schools, will now be made available to services - probably via the WG website so that we can see what advice schools are being given. The information will however be 'generic' and not related to the actual assessments next May.

  2. Committee meetings report

    The committee is hoping to arrange an evening meeting during early March with a focus on the role of BATOD and issues specific to deaf education in Wales.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    March 2015 Welsh HI Education issues tbatba

Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider:

Concern has been raised at the lack of a training course in Wales for Teachers of the Deaf. Students currently on the Birmingham course have voiced their anxiety at the lack of information relating to Welsh legislation. During the current consultation on the mandatory qualification it has become apparent that there is no plan to provide for any element which focuses on specific Wales law/reform etc as the consultation is specific to England. Therefore any future courses running in England will specifically focus on SEND & EHCPs for example. This is an area of real concern because in theory, anyone accessing future training will not have the specific knowledge relating to Wales should they wish to teach HI/VI/MSI in Wales and there are currently no plans for them to get this as part of the MQ training available in England.

Report by Sarah Angove, BATOD Wales representative

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27-09-14

  1. Regional/National information and events report

    Batod Wales committee hosted a very successful PLC afternoon at the beginning of July. It was well attended and feedback was generally very positive. Speakers were; Ffion Haf from Meningitis Now who reminded participants of the longer term effects of meningitis; Jan Pearman who spoke passionately about the implications of CMV infection and raised awareness of many overlooked issues, and John Popplestone who spoke persuasively about the Roger system and soundfield.

    The consultation period for the Welsh Government White Paper for Additional Learning Needs has now passed. In addition to individual responses, Sallie Davies also collated comments and sent a formal response from BATOD Wales. There were issues arising from the implementation of the National Tests in Wales with variations from school to school. Modifications and access arrangements were not uniform and many services received minimal information. Sallie Durbridge is pursuing this, particularly with regard to VI access.

  2. Committee meetings report

    Mari Brown has now retired and has stepped down as Chair. Sallie Durbridge is to assume the role for this year. Lisa Whitney and Lyndsey Stringer have been on maternity leave, so attendance at committee meetings has been sparse.

    However, we welcomed two new committee members, Shan Thomas and Alison Ayres at the AGM. Mari and Pam Stephens were thanked for all their work for BATOD and presented with gifts.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    Autumn/Winter HI Education issues tbatba

Report by Sarah Angove, BATOD Wales representative

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14-06-14

  1. Regional/National information and events report

    BATOD Wales committee is currently busy preparing for the PLC afternoon to be held in Cardiff on Monday 7th July. We have speakers booked from 'CMV Action', 'Meningitis Now' and Connevans.

  2. Committee meetings report

    The BATOD Wales committee has met once since the last NEC and has been concerned primarily with the planning of the July event. Links with the Welsh Heads of Services are to be strengthened, but there is concern that some Heads of Service are not replaced following the retirement of the current post holder.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    7th July 2014 1pm-4.15pm Childhood Deafness-Meningitis and CMV Keeping up to date with Technology Cardiff Flying Start, The Monmouth Suite, The Conference Centre, Eastmoors Rd, Cardiff CF24 5RRBATOD (Wales) Sensory Impairment Service, Ground Floor, St Anne’s, St David’s Park,Jobswell Road, Carmarthen, SA31 3HB Sallie Durbridge Tel: 07917 594658

Report by Sarah Angove, BATOD Wales representative

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09-03-14

  1. Regional/National information and events report

    Following the successful PLC afternoon held by BATOD Wales last summer, a similar event has been planned for the beginning of July, in Cardiff. There are also plans for an evening training meeting in September.

    A successful and oversubscribed seminar led by Geoff Plant was hosted by the implant team in Bridgend in February and attended by a significant number of BATOD members

  2. Committee meetings report

    The BATOD Wales committee has met twice since the last NEC. Meetings are currently held at Cwrt Sart Comprehensive school in Briton Ferry.

    On 28th November, one of the two newly elected members was welcomed. The meeting also welcomed a guest from North Wales who attended via a “Facetime” internet connection. The possibilities for reinforcing links between North and South Wales were discussed and thought was given to encouraging North Wales to propose a committee member when a vacancy next arises.

    In the context of the discussion of an evening meeting for training, the opportunities for greater participation by members in Mid and North Wales were explored. A suitable venue for video conferencing is being considered.

    A third meeting was arranged for February 19th to focus on the drafting of the newsletter and updating the website. This meeting was attended by only four members and consequently an email has been sent requesting members to confirm their willingness to remain on the committee.

    The formalising of links with the Welsh Heads of Service is to be investigated. Currently, Sallie Durbridge sits on both committees.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    July 2014Aetiology/meningitis/CMV Cardiff (tbc)tbc

Report by Lyndsey Stringer, BATOD Wales representative

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09-11-13

  1. Regional/National information and events report

    BATOD Wales ran a PLC at Queen Elizabeth High School, Carmarthen, on July 1st 2013. The topic was iPads and apps, sharing information and giving members the opportunity to see what is available for working with children. The afternoon was a success with feedback being very positive. The committee recognises that attendance for these events is very good compared to all day conferences, and that PLC afternoon/evening events may be the way forward in reaching our BATOD Wales members. We are hoping to hold another PLC event this academic year, several topics were discussed at the recent committee meeting.

  2. Committee meetings report

    Committee members met on October 9th 2013 at Cwrt Sart Comprehensive School, Briton Ferry. Feedback from the PLC was discussed, most of which was very positive. We also discussed ideas for the next event, with the possibility of inviting a speaker from the Meningitis Trust.

    BATOD Wales has elected two new members, it is hoped they will be able to attend the next meeting.

    An email has come from HOSS Forum regarding the International Conference on Teaching Deaf Learners. We discussed the feasibility of a member attending this conference.

    BATOD Wales is hoping to produce the BATOD Wales Newsletter; a committee member is interested in taking this on. We have also put BATOD Wales Facebook Page on the agenda for the next meeting. Next meeting planned for Thursday 28th November 2013.

    Questions were also planned for Emma Williams, Deputy Director of Support for Learners Division, who will be attending HOSS Wales. Lyndsey Stringer has asked for a committee member to cover her NEC meetings whilst on maternity leave from March – to be discussed next meeting.

  3. Planned events for the next 12 months

    Datetopic venue contact
    TBCTBCTBCTBC

  4. Issues which Regional committee wishes NEC to consider:

      Is there a national representative attending the International Conference for Teaching Deaf Learners? Yes. National Executive Officer, Paul Simpson, will be attending in his capacity as President of FEAPDA but also wearing a BATOD hat.

    Report by Lyndsey Stringer, BATOD Wales representative

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    08-06-13

    1. Regional/National information and events report

      BATOD Wales is organising a training afternoon on 1st July at Queen Elizabeth High School.

      The PLC (Professional Learning Community) will be on 'IPads and Apps', giving the opportunity to share with colleagues information from the BATOD Conference. The afternoon will have two training groups: beginners and advanced. There will also be a presentation from PC Werth. We are hoping to recruit new committee members and an additional NEC rep.

    2. Committee meetings report

      Committee members met on 17th April and April 30th to discuss plans for the PLC. A consultation response was also drafted for a new school building hosting the HI secondary provision in Neath Port Talbot.

    3. Planned events for the next 12 months

      Datetopic venue contact
      1st July 2013Ipads and AppsQueen Elizabeth High School, CarmarthanLisa Whitney – Secretary

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    Latest

    10-03-13

    1. Regional/National information and events report

      BATOD Wales are organising a training afternoon on 1st July at a venue to be announced. The programme is currently being drawn up.

    2. Committee meetings report

      Committee members met on 14th November 2012 to discuss the details of the training afternoon. A committee meeting was also held on 6th February. Our next committee meeting to plan the PLC will be held on Wednesday 20th March 2013.

    3. Planned events for the next 12 months

      Datetopic venue contact
      1st July 2013To be confirmedCarmarthen – awaiting confirmationBATOD Wales

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