Achievements Of Deaf Pupils In Scotland

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In Memoriam
Mary Brennan

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Welcome to ADPS

What is ADPS?

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The Achievements of Deaf Pupils in Scotland (ADPS) was set up in 2000 by Mary Brennan to collect detailed information about deaf pupils and their achievements. From October 2000 to March 2005 the project was funded by the Scottish Executive Education Department (SEED) and located in the Scottish Sensory Centre, Moray House School of Education, University of Edinburgh. The ADPS project is the only annual, national, longitudinal database of deaf children in Europe. In fact the only comparable database is the Annual Survey of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children and Youth carried out by Gallaudet Research Institute, Gallaudet University, Washington, DC.

Currently, funding is being sought to develop and extend the database to a new UK-wide project.

Why do we need ADPS?

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There has been considerable concern for some time about the educational achievements of deaf pupils. There has been some evidence of underachievement. Over the last two decades, there have also been many changes within the education of deaf pupils. In particular, a much larger number of deaf children are now educated within mainstream settings. This policy of "school inclusion" has been formalised in recent legislation but we have not had explicit evidence about the effectiveness or otherwise of these inclusion policies. It is against this background that the application to carry out a major study into the achievements of deaf pupils in Scotland was developed and given support by the Scottish Executive Education Department.

What does ADPS do?

The National Survey

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The ADPS Project has at its centre a National Survey of deaf pupils. The project team have designed and developed a database which allows us to store a detailed record for each deaf child. We are thus able to input information on a range of variables such as placement, hearing loss and examination results. This information is being collected and entered on a yearly basis. Because of the excellent co-operation of teachers of deaf children, we have had very high levels of completion of pupil questionnaires. Once such information is entered we are able to produce a range of findings relating to the population of deaf pupils in Scotland. This information will be of interest to parents, professionals and all those involved in developing resources and policies in relation to deaf pupils.

It should be noted that all information is fully confidential and data are anonymised. The ADPS project conforms fully to the requirements of the Data Protection Act.

ADPS Projects

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The ADPS team have also been involved in a number of projects aimed at providing a fuller picture of the experiences of deaf children, their families and the professionals who work with them. The Deaf Perspectives Project focused directly on the experiences and perceptions of young deaf people themselves. Claire Leiper, herself a young deaf researcher who has experienced different types of educational placement, interviewed deaf children and deaf ex-pupils about different aspects of education.

The Family Perspectives Project was geared towards gathering more detailed information from families themselves. The ADPS team worked closely with The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) and Deaf Children's Societies in Scotland on this project.

The Profiling Deaf Pupils (ProDeaf) Project was a small pilot project aimed at providing families and pupils with accessible data relating to the individual pupil. This project involved close collaboration with the Fife Deaf Children's Society, the Fife Sensory Impairment Service and other professionals in Fife.

The Standalone Database Project involved developing and testing a specific database for an individual service, in this case Glasgow Sensory Support Service.

The Teacher Survey involved collecting information relating to teachers working with deaf pupils. This should enable useful information to be provided which is relevant to the training and recruitment of teachers of deaf children.

What do stakeholders think of the ADPS Project?

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The ADPS team have had considerable support from a range of people. Find out what they think on our comments page.  


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  • Conrad, R (1979) The Deaf School Child: Language and Cognitive Function. Harper & Row
  • Powers, S.; Gregory, S. and Thoutenhoofd, E. (1998) The Educational Achievements of Deaf Children. London: DfEE

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Maintained by ADPS Webmaster | Last updated on 05 March 2013

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Last updated on
05 March 2013