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05.01.2021 | By Paul Simpson

NDCS coronavirus blogs – updated 5th January 2021

Posted in News

Ian Noon writes:

We have updated our coronavirus blogs again to reflect the announcements made over the last 24 hours on school closures across the UK, as well as the cancellation of exams in England.

We anticipate making further changes as more guidance is issued from UK Governments. We have not yet seen any updated information from the Department for Education in England.

Blogs for professionals

Education

Exams

The main change on the education blog is to add new information about the current lockdown and re-order the content to bring information about remote learning to the top. As before, our key message is that, though these are extremely challenging times, it is important that professionals think about how they can ensure any remote teaching or online learning is appropriate and accessible to deaf children. The blogs offer some tips around this, many of which will benefit all children. The blog also reiterates that Teachers of the Deaf will have a key role to play in advising on the accessibility of any remote teaching or online learning.

Where deaf children are unable to access remote learning, the blog puts forward a suggestion that deaf children could continue to attend school (alongside children of workers and other vulnerable children). This will obviously largely depend on individual circumstances and what education and support is being provided to those still attending school. It also depends on whether, where applicable, returning to school might allow deaf children to more access specialist support (such as from communication support workers or Teachers of the Deaf) that would allow them to access any remote learning or education generally.

The main change to the exams blog is to remove out-of-date information on exams in England. Though the details are still to be worked out, it’s likely that exam grades will be based on teacher assessments in a similar way to last summer. As before, Teachers of the Deaf will have a key role to play in helping to ensure that any such assessments fairly reflect the abilities of deaf children. Deaf young people may have grounds for appeal if, for example, any advice from a Teacher of the Deaf is not accepted or if teachers are drawing on results from mock exams which were not fully accessible to deaf young people.

We have made similar changes to our blogs for parents:

Schools and other education settings

Support for home learning

Exams

I hope this update is helpful – as always, we welcome any feedback around what might be more or less helpful.