Consortium for Research into Deaf Education survey (2024) – Communication to Heads of Sensory Support Services
The Consortium for Research into Deaf Education survey
As we prepare for the 14th Consortium for Research into Deaf Education (CRIDE) 2024 survey, this article provides some background on the team behind the annual survey and the reasons we do this.
What is CRIDE?
CRIDE brings together a range of people from different backgrounds who all have a common interest in using data to improve provision for deaf children. The Committee receives no funding for its work, and its members give their time voluntarily.
Almost half of the members have a background as, either a current or former head of a specialist education service for deaf children. These members play an important role in advising on whether the questions are appropriate and reasonable for other services to answer.
The remainder are academics, heads of special schools, consultants and representatives from the British Association of Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People (BATOD) and the National Deaf Children’s Society.
In Scotland, a separate working group leads on the CRIDE Scotland survey with links to the UK-wide group, so that the surveys are parallel.
The survey has now run uninterrupted since 2011. It was created as a successor to the surveys run then by BATOD. Paul Simpson, as their National Executive Officer, played a leading role in establishing CRIDE and we are grateful for the legacy he has left us.
Why do we run the survey?
We know that the survey can be time consuming to complete – but we hope that services recognise the benefits that it brings to the sector through the resulting reports on each of the four nations and a UK summary.
The information gathered is used in a number of ways. For example, we know that many services use the data as a quality assurance and benchmarking tool. As heads of services know, reliable data can be used to show commissioners and other key stakeholders that the service has a good understanding of the different needs of deaf children in their areas. It is also key to identifying potential areas of strength and development. For example, we know that data from a previous report around home-use of radio aids in the early years has supported services in being able to make the case to review their offer in this area. Data around initial contact and visits following identification has also been useful for benchmarking purposes.
We also know that data from CRIDE has also been cited in a number of academic research papers and is drawn on in a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses on deafness.
Finally, the data is used by organisations like the National Deaf Children’s Society and BATOD to make the case to decision-makers for investment in support for deaf children. For example, it has been used across the UK to campaign against cuts to local authority services for deaf children by showing the number of deaf children that will be affected by such measures.
It has also been used to campaign for investment in Qualified Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People. For example, in England, the Department for Education SEND review improvement plan earlier this year stated that: “We are committed to ensuring a secure supply of teachers of children and young people with visual, hearing and multi-sensory impairments in both specialist and mainstream settings” and “the Department for Education are exploring further options to maximise take up of MQSIs with a view to improving the supply of teachers for children with sensory impairments.”
We do not believe it would have been possible to achieve these commitments without the weight of 13 years of CRIDE data behind us.
How the survey is developed
The consortium reviews and agrees the questions in the survey annually. The members reflect on the feedback received and refine the survey where appropriate, trying to minimise substantive changes to the questions so that comparisons can be made over time.
The survey is administered on behalf of CRIDE by the National Deaf Children’s Society, which also drafts the reports for the Committee to finalise and approve. The final reports are published on the BATOD website, as well as on the National Deaf Children’s Society website.
In the CRIDE reports, considerable care is taken to set out the caveats around how the data should be interpreted. It’s important to be clear that all research and datasets have their limitations and CRIDE is no exception. Overall, the CRIDE data provide a valuable and useful source of information that is used and trusted by academics and government officials. A lecture by Rachel O’Neill at the Scottish Sensory Centre talks about how the CRIDE can be critically analysed by those working in deaf education.
The next survey
A preview version of the next survey has been emailed to heads of services in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and, at the time of writing, will be released shortly for Scotland. This survey will include core questions plus a small number of thematic questions about early identification and early intervention pathways which we hope will be relatively quick and straightforward for services to answer.
It is widely recognised and accepted that early identification and intervention is key to ensuring that deaf children can achieve the best possible outcomes later in life. However, issues in some areas around identification of deafness by audiology teams have shone a spotlight and raised questions around how these pathways are working in practice across the UK. We are keen to tap into your insight and anecdotal views around this. We know that in many areas, early identification pathways are working well and we are also keen to identify and celebrate such good or encouraging practice.
We send a preview version of the survey in case it is helpful for heads of services to review the questions that will appear in the next survey. For example, some services have told us that advance notice of the survey helps them to ‘set up’ their databases in advance so they can respond to questions about numbers of deaf children as of the 31st January, as requested by the survey.
If you have not received the preview survey, please email [email protected].
The relationship between CRIDE and National Deaf Children’s Society
As mentioned above, the National Deaf Children’s Society is heavily involved in the administration of the survey. Given its charitable role and remit, it also can request access to the data to support public campaigns, often against cuts to services. They also share some information with families via their online Deaf Education map.
The CRIDE survey is run independently from the National Deaf Children’s Society Improving Futures survey. Whilst both surveys ask about numbers of Teachers of the Deaf, the Improving Futures survey does so with the aim of trying to identify any planned future cuts, whilst CRIDE is seeking to capture and generate evidence around numbers over time.
We are grateful for the time and support provided to CRIDE by heads of services, and for the ongoing feedback and suggestions you provide.
CRIDE UK committee
Sarah Angove (British Association of Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People Cymru), Doreen Barcy (Camden), Paul Burrows (The Royal School for the Deaf Derby), Alison Carter (Longwill School for Deaf Children), Jo Clarke (Kent), Kim Davis (Leeds), Angela Deckett (National Deaf Children’s Society), Sibel Djemal (Cambridgeshire), Paddy Kidd (former head of service), Fiona Kyle (UCL), Merle Mahon (UCL), Stevie Mayhook (consultant), Ian Noon (National Deaf Children’s Society), Rachel O’Neill (University of Edinburgh), Teresa Quail (British Association of Teachers of Deaf Children and Young People), Dani Sive (Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children), and Tina Wakefield (consultant).