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All deaf children and young people are entitled to high quality and skilled support from qualified specialist professionals.
Although it is the view of Signature, we understand, that staff working with deaf children and young people who use sign language should have level 3 or above BATOD recognises that the recruitment of such professionals is often difficult – even at level 2 in some areas. In these cases, it is important to ensure that appropriate and robust Continuing Professional Development opportunities are in place to ensure that professionals are trained to become highly qualified and competent.
It is a TDA requirement that all NQToDs have a minimum qualification of BSL level 1. However, a specific sign language qualification is not sufficient to ensure that deaf children’s educational needs will be met so careful assessment of the skills of the professionals involved should be carried out. It is important that subject knowledge and teaching skills are also considered because sign language alone will not secure access to the curriculum, effective learning and good progress.
BATOD is a founder member of the Deaf Education Support Forum which brings together organisations with an interest in this area (including ASLI, Signature, NATED and ACSW) and we are working in collaboration to enhance the training, qualification and funding opportunities for all professionals working in this role.