Achievements Of Deaf Pupils In Scotland

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Plenary Session with Panel

Panel members:

  • Mary Brennan, Director, ADPS Project
  • Ken Corsar, Director, NDCS Scotland
  • Mike Gibson, Head of Additional Support Needs Division, The Scottish Executive Education Dept
  • Marian Grimes, Research Associate, ADPS project
  • Lilian Lawson, Director, Scottish Council on Deafness
  • Ernst Thoutenhoofd, Database Developer, ADPS Project
  • Carole Torrance, President Elect, BATOD Scotland

Discussion focussed on the following areas:

  • Feasibility of providing more resources if evidence indicates that more resources are needed - and strongly-expressed concern over apparent lack of specific government strategy to address underachievement in deaf pupils.

    Mike Gibson detailed recent Scottish Executive expenditure on accessibility and inclusion. He said that there is a strategy based on improvement plans and inspections which covers both school and local authority levels.

    Ken Corsar raised concern that local authority strategies can be too broad and not sufficiently focussed in relation to deaf education. He was also concerned at regional disparities - and expressed need for more co-operation.

    Marian Grimes explained that the ADPS project is exploring local authority co-operation with CoSLA and has the wherewithal, with necessary permissions, to put similar services ("statistical partners") in touch with each-other"s ADPS findings to encourage good practice.

    Mary Brennan pointed out that, although there have been a lot of local ADPS presentations, few have been attended by officers at higher levels of local authority management, where decisions about funding are made. She also added that there is a dilemma over responding to pressure for regional information to be available publicly – treading a fine line between avoiding a "naming and shaming" approach, while still trying to make information available in a helpful way.

    Lilian Lawson raised the issue of the complex number of factors to be taken into account.

    Mary Brennan stressed that this contributes to the need to collect information over a period of time, as numbers can be small statistically if a number of factors are considered over a short period.

  • Need to recruit more teachers of deaf children and concern over evidence of poorly trained auxiliaries working with deaf children.

    Mike Gibson responded that chartered teacher system could be used and that the 1956 code is about to be repealed. He also said that a specific training award (and grant) is available for auxiliaries.

    Carole Torrance expressed concern that the age of teachers of deaf children is in the older category and stressed the difficulty in recruiting new teachers

    Lilian Lawson stressed the need for more deaf people to be encouraged to take up careers in all areas of deaf education.

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Maintained by ADPS Webmaster | Last updated on 05 March 2013

University of Edinburgh

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