There have been some moves towards Sensory Impairment (SI) services being managed by a ‘generic manager’ who has little or no knowledge of the implications of SI and does not hold the mandatory qualification. BATOD considers that this is not appropriate.
The manager of an SI service plays a strategic role within the Local Authority and Children’s services. Sensory services across the UK are predominantly managed by a qualified practitioner in either hearing or vision impairment (HI/VI). This manager will hold a mandatory qualification in either the education of children and young people (CYP) who are VI, HI or who have multi-sensory impairment (MSI). Ideally s/he will have attended a recognised training course on managing sensory services. It is important that the manager of the service understands not only the challenges faced by CYP with SI in school, but is also able to understand the differences in the support required for CYP with HI, VI and MSI.
The head of service must also be able to make a judgement and contribute to decisions for interventions delivered to these CYP. Where the head of service is a qualified teacher of VI or MSI, it is essential that such decisions are made in consultation with a qualified Teacher of the Deaf. This is necessary in order to support deaf children to achieve high outcomes.
It is BATOD’s view that it is essential that performance management of Teachers of the Deaf should always be undertaken by a manager who is a qualified Teacher of the Deaf or, where this is not possible, in consultation with a qualified Teacher of the Deaf.
BATOD Steering Group, May 2015