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


The survey started many years ago, but its present format began in 1992. Information is collected biennially from schools for the deaf, units, services and FE colleges. The main aim is to monitor the number of Teachers of the Deaf and deaf children in various educational settings in the UK.

Information collected on teachers:

  • Number of qualified and unqualified Teachers of the Deaf in various educational settings
  • Number with additional audiological qualification
  • Number with hearing impairment
  • Salary scale
  • Current training undertaken by unqualified Teachers of the Deaf
  • Movement of teachers.
Information collected on children:
  • Number in various educational settings
  • Degree of deafness - mild, moderate, severe or profound
  • Age range in academic cohorts from birth to 21+
  • Communication mode used by each child.
Since 1992 the information has been kept on computer to provide better access. The raw figures have been published in the BATOD Magazine and Journal. The identity of individuals, services, schools and units remains confidential to BATOD. Information and statistics from the survey are available at a charge relevant to the amount of work incurred.

In 1999 RNID granted financial support to enable BATOD to have faster state-of-the-art computers to store and manipulate data. RNID is aware that both the integrity and relatively high response rate of the Survey are contingent on the perception of respondents that it is an independent exercise undertaken by their professional organisation and that the confidentiality of any information contributed is absolute.

Recently the strategic importance of the Survey has increased dramatically. In March 1999, the DfEE invited the Education Research Consortium of Deaf Organisations (BATOD, BDA, DELTA, NDCS, LASER, NATED, RNID) to discuss issues relating to data collection on deaf children for the first time. This discussion continues.

Why is data collection important?

Through the systematic collection of basic information of a longitudinal nature on deaf children, we can address the basic questions we have a responsibility to answer as Teachers of the Deaf. Some information is available relating to GCSE results. BATOD needs the national picture to be able to demonstrate whether the average outcomes reported by Conrad for school leavers in 1979 are still representative or whether the practice of integrating more deaf children into mainstream settings has had the effect of raising or lowering educational attainments.

Anyone who has thought about data collection for any length of time will know that the issues are not simple. Deaf children represent a very heterogeneous population and a wide scatter of individual variables influence outcomes. It is naïve to expect that simple data will provide simple answers to complex questions. However, the current dearth of hard data impedes consideration of the relative importance of different factors at every turn and the BATOD Survey has an important rôle to play in beginning to rectify this situation.

The current capability and future potential of the BATOD Survey is important in the context of developing policy on data collection for pupils with special educational needs in general and deaf children in particular.

There was a very good response to the 1998 survey, which has provided useful information. Northern Ireland once again had 100% return, followed closely by Scotland with 88%, England with 86% and Wales 63%. BATOD thanks everyone who has responded to requests which provided such detailed information.

This was the first time that data had been collected on individual children. This was achieved in collaboration with the Medical Research Council, Nottingham to whom BATOD is grateful for setting up the database and inputting most of the children’s details. The BATOD database has 15,320 children, 14,386 with significant hearing impairment (>40 dBHL), identified by a unique number. There is information on 2480 Teachers of the Deaf some of whom work part time.

A database of children from specific services was offered to authorities free of charge and a growing number have accepted the offer. Subsequent Surveys should provide more accurate data.

BATOD Survey sub-committee

This committee met for the first time on 17 November 1998. It was set up to look at the collection and use of information on children, teachers and support staff. Its current tasks include considering the simplification of the Survey questionnaire, looking at patterns from previous Surveys and using the information to advise the future organisation of the Association to best support ToDs and LEAs. There are many answers to current issues that can be derived from the data collected. The Survey sub-committee will be considering the effectiveness of all Survey data collected and how it is disseminated and used.

Use of the information

The DfEE set up five Regional SEN Planning Projects around the country and two of them, the South West (15 Authorities) and Merseyside (6 Authorities), had the remit to look at hearing-impaired children. Both of these projects used the BATOD Survey as a means of obtaining detailed information on children, teachers and support staff.

In the South West the Heads of Services contributed to the development of the Survey which was distributed in January 2000. Information from the 1998 Survey could not answer all the questions required by the projects. Consequently, the ascertainment sheets for January 2000 about children had additional questions.

Completing the survey has become a mammoth task as the data required has increased. BATOD acknowledges the dedication of all Teachers of the Deaf involved, heads of schools, services and units, their co-operation and understanding is very much appreciated.

Information derived from the data collected from the returns of the biennial BATOD survey may be obtained from the Survey Coordinator. . There may be a charge for the response provided.

A Directory of Schools, Services and Units for deaf children in the UK is also available at a cost of £15.00. This is printed to order and so is as up-to-date as current information available will allow. The Survey Co-ordinator appreciates notification of changes in named staff so that the data can be as accurate as possible at all times.

This information has been previously published in various articles and reports in the Association Magazine.

Many requests have been made for information from the Survey.

Requests from:

Type of information

BATOD Officers relevant information to take to meetings with DfEE, TTA etc
DfEE number of children, Teachers of the Deaf etc
DfEE SEN Regional Planning Projects
detailed information on children, teachers and support staff
Other organisations
Cochlear Implant Programmes
University Departments
Teachers of the Deaf
numbers of children, placements and communication modes
various requests
LEAs comparison of Ofsted statistical neighbours

Survey DateInformation relates to: % return Published in Magazine
January 1992England Midland Region100%January 1993
England South West Region60%September 1993
England North & South Regions (Excluding London)54.8%November 1993
N IrelandNot published
Scotland100%November 1992
Wales81.8%May 1993
January 1994England86.7%November 1995 Vol 19 No 5
Northern Ireland100%March 1995 Vol 19 No 2
Scotland100%May 1995 Vol 19 No 3
Wales94.7%March 1996 Vol 20 No 2
January 1996EnglandNot collated
Northern Ireland100%June 1997 Vol 21 No 2
Scotland66.7%June 1998 Vol 22 No 2
Wales96.3%February 1998 Vol 22 No 1
January 1998England67.9%May 2000 Magazine
Northern Ireland100%November 2000 Magazine
January 2000England summary June 2003 Magazine
Achievements of Deaf Pupils in ScotlandFebruary 2003 Magazine
January 2003England 60%not yet published
N Ireland 68% not yet published
Wales 78%not yet published

If you have any queries regarding the BATOD SURVEY please contact: Paul Simpson (BATOD Secretary)