About | 05.01.2024 | By Teresa Quail

Con Powell Scholarship

The Con Powell scholarship application period for 2024 is now closed. 

BATOD, on behalf of the Ovingdean Hall Foundation, administers the Con Powell Scholarship to provide bursaries for teachers wishing to train as a Teacher of Deaf Children and Young People (ToDs) but who are not are not working as a Teacher of Deaf Children and Young People (ToD), so the local authority (LA) or school is not obliged to support financially.

Con Powell was BATOD’s first President.

Up to five scholarships are awarded each year. Applicants must provide:

  • evidence of Qualified Teacher Status
  • details of their chosen course provider including the name and number of the course
  • information about their current employment
  • a personal statement highlighting why they wish to undertake this training and that they understand the commitment required to complete the course
  • proof that their local authority or school is not obliged to fund their training and evidence that they have tried to obtain funding elsewhere.
  • the names of two referees

The Ewing Foundation will also require that any successful candidate is a member of  BATOD,  the professional association for ToDs.

The Con Powell scholarship application period for 2024 is now closed. 

Please note that the Con Powell Scholarship is currently only available  to UK residents intending to study at one of the four course providers in England. Please note also that the situation is different in Scotland: there is no legislation, but there is policy. The Government is currently revising this guidance and this will strengthen the position of the postgraduate diploma routes.

Here is the current Scottish guidance:

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are the regulations which state that Local Authorities/schools are obliged to ensure that any teacher working for them in the capacity of a ToD acquire the mandatory qualification within three years? 

The MQ has been in place since at least 1908 in recognition of the complexity of the role requiring specialist training.

The latest regulations (England) were revised in 2003 and are still fully operative. They can be seen here (section 6) and say:

1] Statutory instrument 2003 No.1662. The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003: “A qualified teacher may be employed to teach a class of pupils who are hearing impaired, visually impaired, or both hearing and visually impaired if the head teacher is satisfied that the person in question is in the process of obtaining the relevant MQ and provided that the aggregate period for which the teacher teaches a class of pupils does not exceed three years.”

Subsquently, when these were revised in 2003 the government made it clear that ToDs in services also should have the MQ even though it is not technically in the regulations as it applies to schools rather than services. Of all the three settings, schools for the deaf are the ones for which the regulations were originally designed.

The Code of Practice 2015 includes this: ‘Those teaching classes of children with sensory impairment must hold an appropriate qualification approved by the Secretary of State. Teachers working in an advisory role to support such pupils should also hold the appropriate qualification.’  Section 6.61

An employer would be responsible for meeting all the costs, including fees, costs related to teaching placement, release time etc.

Please note: the Con Powell Scholarship only covers the course fees.


Why is this relevant to the Con Powell Scholarship?

The purpose of the scholarship is to support those teachers who wish to train as a ToD but are not currently employed as a teacher working with deaf children. If the teacher is working with deaf children then the employer (LA/school for the deaf) is obliged to ensure that the qualification is acquired. The scholarship is not to be used to compensate for LAs who say they are not prepared to fund the training.

There has been a reduction in the number of ToD since 2011. This shortfall will only be solved by bringing in new teachers to take on the training and expand the pool.


What happens if I secure a ToD post part way through my course?

If you are appointed as a ToD while a student in receipt of the scholarship, you must:

  • inform the employer that BATOD will no longer be responsible for any outstanding fees
  • inform BATOD immediately
  • inform the university that the sponsorship arrangements have changed

Your employer should accept responsibility for the tuition fees and any additional costs and provide release time for the course, for the reasons outlined above.

Historically a number of employers have been willing to do so – it is to their advantage to have a newly qualifying member of staff, who has already successfully completed elements of the course.

When accepting such a post, unless the employer agrees to take over the training costs as the scholarship will no longer apply, you should be aware that you will then be responsible for the fees.


What happens if I need to change course arrangements part way through my course?

If for any reason you need to change your course arrangements, for example, change from full time to part time or defer your course, you must contact BATOD immediately, to inform them of the change.  We will then need to contact the university finance department and the Ovingdean Foundation to consider any financial implications of the change and any potential impact on the bursary.

What costs does the award cover? 

The award covers the course fees for the mandatory, PG Diploma.  If students choose to study to masters level, they will be responsible for funding the additional course fees.

On application, candidates must state which level of course they wish to follow and confirm they understand the additional cost arrangements if selecting a masters course.

The award does not cover any other costs, such as travel or accommodation.


What  is the payment process? 

Successful candidates will register as usual for their chosen course.

On registration, when asked about payment, the candidate will inform the university that they are to be sponsored by BATOD.

The university will request that a form be completed, including student details and payment information.

The student will complete the personal and course details on the form and then send this on to the BATOD Treasurer, who will complete the process.

All subsequent invoices for course fees will then be sent directly to BATOD for payment.

If the funding is allocated for a 2 year course, then the process will be repeated for each year of the course.


For further information please contact the Con Powell Co-ordinator: [email protected]


Read about the experiences of past Con Powell students:

Teresa McCabe, Con Powell Scholarship student, described her experience of training as a ToD during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sabine Crumbie shared her reflections of supporting deaf learners transition to further education.

Sarah Cadieu, a Con Powell Scholarship student, shared her account of her first year as a newly qualified ToD.

Ryan Brewer described how the scholarship supported his journey to becoming a QToD.

If this option is not suitable for your circumstance read this page for further information on training as a ToD.