Achievements Of Deaf Pupils In Scotland

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Pre-school deaf children

ADPS currently only collects information about pre-school deaf children from the educational support services or schools. Typically, we would expect educational services to be informed as soon as a child is diagnosed as having a hearing loss. However this may not always happen. There is also an increasingly multi-agency approach to the support of deaf babies, young children and their families. This is especially the case since the introduction of newborn hearing screening in many areas.

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Group B deaf pupils

Group B Deaf pupils are pupils who are known to the specialist support services, but who are seen as requiring monitoring rather than specialist support. Some of these deaf children/young people may have a temporary hearing loss, for example due to glue ear. Others may have a permanent, but mild, hearing loss.

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Information in relation to Group B pupils

ADPS currently collects three main types of information about Group B deaf pupils:

  • geographical location/numbers per local authority
  • type of placement, eg special school or mainstream;
  • type of hearing loss

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Electronic database

The ADPS central database has been designed and developed by Ernst Thoutenhoofd. Ernst has exploited FileMaker Pro Developer to design a relational database. As the project has evolved, this database has gone through several phases of development. It is now quite complex as it has to deal with a wide range of data on a yearly basis. Ernst is also developing standalone versions of the database which can be used by individual schools or services.

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A variable is a technical term within statistics. A technical definition would be

"a variable is an entity that can take on different values."

Another simpler way of saying this is that anything that can vary is a variable. The variation may occur within an individual or across individuals. Thus age, nationality, gender, race, socio-economic status are all variables. Age can vary both within individuals and across individuals; race is essentially invariable within the individual, but variable across individuals.

Within the ADPS project we gather information on a wide range of variables. This is because we want to explore which factors affect achievement. So we want to be able to control for some variables, whilst examining the effect of others. It may be, for example, that the type of hearing loss affects achievement, or the type of placement. If we have gathered enough information about these different variables, we can undertake different types of analysis. This is increasingly important as we gather data over several years.

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The ADPS team have chosen to undertake longitudinal studies. We are collecting information not just for a single year (a snapshot study) but over a long period of time. We are collecting this information regularly, every year. We do this because it is then possible to document and describe children's progress in terms of patterns of achievement. The database allows us to track patterns within individual children, across groups of children or across the whole population of deaf children. This way we hope to be able to determine the effects of different factors on progress. This in turn can provide insights for policy-makers and practitioners who wish to improve outcomes.

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Return rates

ADPS has achieved the following return rates for the pupil questionnaires:

  • 2000 - 2001 - 99.4%
  • 2001 - 2002 - 99.6%
  • 2002 - 2003 - 98.6%
  • 2003 - 2004 - 87.4%
  • 2004 - 2005 - data currently being processed

ADPS has achieved the following return rates for the pre-school questionnaires:

  • 2000 - 2001 - 87.4%
  • 2001 - 2002 - 95.1%
  • 2002 - 2003 - 98.7%
  • 2003 - 2004 - 94.3%
  • 2004 - 2005 - data currently being processed

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This is a term which has come to be used for data collected at a particular time and place. Thus if we collected data relating to deaf children's achievements for a single year in Scotland, this would provide us with a picture, a view of deaf children's progress for that given year. Such information can be useful. However, there may be particular circumstances which affect achievement in that given year. Also, such a snapshot does not allow us to recognise changes over time. We cannot spot tendencies, trends or patterns. The way the ADPS project collects data means that we can look at a given year: a single snapshot - or we can look at several years. We will build up information for each year as it becomes available.

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Glue Ear

Many young children especially those aged between two and five years suffer from a condition known as glue ear. A glue-like liquid builds up in the ear and can cause discomfort and temporary hearing loss. Some children may suffer from this persistently over time and if this is not treated properly, permanent damage can occur. Some of the children within the ADPS Group B category will have experienced a short term hearing loss, but are being monitored by the local support service to ensure that there is no negative effect on their education. See the NDCS and RNID websites for more detailed information.

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Maintained by ADPS Webmaster | Last updated on 05 March 2013

University of Edinburgh

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