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

Modification of Examination Language

Derek Heppenstall (on behalf of the GCSE sub-committee)

The Examining Groups employ a number of Teachers of the Deaf approved by BATOD to modify the rubric and carrier language of examinations, the aim being to make the questions more accessible to hearing-impaired candidates.

The work currently undertaken is greatly valued, but in recent years a greater number and variety of examinations have needed modification. The language of SATs, GNVQ and AS examinations needs considering, as well as that of GCSE and GCE awards.

The GCSE sub-committee is aware that more training and more modifiers are needed and intends to organise a series of workshops relating to language modification later this year. In the past, only Teachers of the Deaf have been eligible to become a modifier, but other professionals with appropriate qualifications and experience of language work will now be considered.

It is hoped that the examining groups will recognise the need for quality control and only use people who are BATOD/NATED accredited. Anyone seeking accreditation must attend the BATOD course and successfully complete follow-up work.

We are all involved to some extent in making language more accessible and the BATOD workshops will develop key transferable skills. Remember also that modification of language for Examining Groups is paid work, although there is no guarantee of employment once you receive your Certificate of Accreditation!

BATOD hope to run a course (with a residential option) in Birmingham later this year. The course will consist of two days of workshops including a range of examination material from KS2 to post-16. Details will be released as soon as possible.

Queries about Examinations

Anyone contacting BATOD Secretary with concerns about examinations needs to give the name of the relevant examining group. The concern will then be passed on to the person responsible for contact with that particular group:

ie Edexcel Jenny Baxter, OCR Jane Couper, AQA Derek Heppenstall (amended April 2005)