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Teachers of the Deaf survey: What did we find out?

Published Date: 18 Mar 2019

We’ve been campaigning against cuts to Teachers of the Deaf since 2011. Since then, we know there has been a 17% drop in the number of qualified Teachers of the Deaf across the UK. We also know that over half of Teachers of the Deaf are due to retire in the next ten to fifteen years. We’re concerned about the future of this vital and valuable profession, if things continue down the same path.

We wanted to know what Teachers of the Deaf themselves think. So, along with our colleagues at the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD), we surveyed 625 Teachers of the Deaf from across the UK and asked questions about their jobs and about specialist support for deaf children.

Less support for deaf children…

The majority (58%) of Teachers of the Deaf told us there is less support available for deaf children now, in comparison to in 2014. And almost half of Teachers of the Deaf believe that deaf children are less likely to make good educational progress now, than in 2014 when the Government in England made big reforms to the education system for children with special needs.

Teacher of the Deaf workload…

The vast majority (85%) of Teachers of the Deaf say their workload has increased since 2014. 87% are working additional hours to keep up with their workload and 96% say they feel stressed in their job role. More than 60% of Teachers of the Deaf are working the equivalent of a whole extra day per week, unpaid, just to catch up.

It is concerning that 17% of Teachers of the Deaf said they were considering leaving the profession as a result of pressures of the job too.

What can we do about this?

These results show that we must continue our campaign to protect specialist services for deaf children. We are now calling on the Department for Education in England to introduce a national bursary scheme for training new Teachers of the Deaf. This is a proposal that 9 out of 10 Teachers of the Deaf support. The bursary proposal is currently being considered by the Department for Education and we will keep you updated on its progress.

We’d like to thank the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD) for their help with the distribution and promotion of this survey.

Sally Etchells

Sally is Government Relations and Partnerships Advisor at the National Deaf Children's Society.