Information | 03.08.2022 | By Teresa Quail

Deaf teachers – training as a ToD

In response to a query from a deaf professional about training as a ToD, DQToD, Martine Monkfield, shared this response:

“In England, there are two routes into teaching.  QTS or QTLS (England only) is required before the ToD course can be started. The QTS is a Level 6, can teach in Primary or secondary depending on which course you do, and the QTLS is a Level 5, and only can teach in post-16.

Some of my Deaf friends worked in schools full time and did a degree at the same time to acquire QTS – they worked 4 days a week and went to Uni 1 day a week. They did this for 4 years. It meant they could get the experience they needed, work and earn, and do their degree and teaching degree all at the same time – win win! This was called a Teaching and Learning foundation degree. Some links below – but google the title and you should get options / more info.

Once you have your QTS you can then do your NQT (newly qualified teacher) year* (*now the Early Careers Teacher two year period), then start to think about doing your ToD course;


b.       The different possible bursary options for training as a QToD are also noted on the link, i.e. Ovingdean Hall Foundation Con Powell Scholarship.

Some universities have access to their own bursary streams.”

Deaf Education (Teacher of the Deaf) Study Bursaries at the University of Leeds
From September 2014, bursaries are available for UK Deaf Education schools/services funding more than one student per school/service in a single year to the part-time MA Deaf Education (TOD) programme.

For schools/services funding two students to start the programme in September 2014, a 5% bursary towards the part-time Deaf Education programme tuition fee per student per year will be applied. 
For schools/services sending more than two students to start the programme in September 2014, a 10% bursary towards the part-time Deaf Education programme tuition fee per student per year will be applied.
NB Schools/services already receiving DfE National Scholarship funding are not eligible for this scheme. How to apply for a Deaf Education bursary
You will be automatically considered for a School of Education scholarship if …
  • you fulfil the entry requirements of the MA programme
  • you have enclosed a covering letter from your Head of School or Service indicating that your application is one of two or more from the same school or service.
Conditions of the award Receipt of the scholarship is conditional upon you commencing your period of study by registering no later than 1 October in the academic year for which the award is offered. Scholarships cannot be deferred to a later year. Where places are offered to applicants who meet the criteria for this scheme notification will be sent to the Head of School or Service at the point of acceptance of the students on to the programe.

Details from Jackie Salter MA(TOD) Programme Leader MA(Deaf Education), School of Education, University of Leeds, LS2 9JT. Tel: 0113 343 4601 (direct line, voice and text); email address: [email protected]

Further details are available on the website.

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has bursaries available each year for exceptional candidates as part of the Lawrence Werth Scholarship Fund and the Birkdale Trust. Please consult the website for more details.

Further details are available on the website.

c.  Are you aware of the dDeaf teachers group? There are over 100 deaf people across the UK working in deaf education or starting their journey as a teacher(s). The DToD group  have a Facebook page. It might be worth seeking their thoughts too. They accept trainee teachers into the group so worth joining once you’re on the teaching course.

Once you have teacher status,   I would advise you to visit the BATOD jobs page regularly as some settings/services will fund the training if the successful candidate is not yet a QToD.”


In Scotland there is one provider, the University of Edinburgh.

Course leader, Rachel O’Neill explains “At the University of Edinburgh we have considerable experience in working with deaf teachers on the Postgraduate Diploma. Our university has a strong BSL Plan because of the BSL Act. For example, one of the disability advisors at the Disability and Support Service is a qualified BSL/English interpreter, which makes discussions about access arrangements more straightforward. This office has recently recruited a wider pool of skilled electronic notetakers who can work individually, to screen and online.

Part-time tutors on the University of Edinburgh placement courses are all able to communicate effectively with deaf and hearing students on the course and to independently observe practice across the range of deaf education contexts. This means there is no need for an interpreter when deaf students interact with their placement tutor. At recruitment to the part time tutor pool we carry out some of the assessment in BSL and ask about experience in communicating with a wide range of deaf professionals online and face to face. We gather views from students regularly about their experience of interacting with the tutor team.
Deaf students at the University of Edinburgh course also often join the UK-wide DToD Facebook group and in Scotland there is also an Instant Messenger support group used by deaf teachers, and deaf people interested in becoming teachers. Not all of these members are TODs – some teach hearing children.
The University of Edinburgh course welcomes deaf teachers for the experience and diversity they bring to the programme. We hope that students feel well-supported through our personal tutor, health and well being advisor and academic cohort lead activities.”