Provision for deaf students at Highlands College (FOI)
Provision for deaf students at Highlands College (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by States of Jersey and published on 01 June 2017.
Support for deaf students at Highland's College by a teacher of the Deaf British Sign Language Key Worker ceased in September 2016, and the post has not been replaced. An anecdotal survey of deaf students says that this lack of support has made taking courses much more difficult, as the substitution of a note taker rather than a proper BSL trained support worker is not adequate. This makes it much more difficult for students to achieve higher grades in their courses.
What plans are there in the future for reintroducing BSL key workers for support of students at Highlands?
Had any official feedback been made of deaf student’s opinions on the adequacy of the substitution of a "note taker" instead?
Has any professional advice been given by Deaf Agencies here or in the UK as to best practice?
Highlands College currently employs two people that are trained to British Sign Language (BSL) Level 2 and who work to support students. They also have other staff in College support students who have hearing loss. The roles of support staff in College are Lead Key Worker(s) and Team Leader(s).
This academic year, Highlands College has worked to ensure that more of their teaching team are trained and able to support students who are dDeaf.
Any future recruitment, like previous recruitment, will stress the requirement for BSL at Level 2 or above.
All students in receipt of one to one support are asked to complete a questionnaire for feedback as part of the Quality Assurance and Learner Voice practice at Highlands College. This evaluation has yet to be circulated or analysed and therefore, the information is not held.
Highlands College have liaised with the Education Department’s Inclusion and Early Intervention Team (formerly EST) who have an audiologists and SEN Managers who guide and advise policy and practice in each of the Education Department’s schools and colleges.
All new arrangements for the support of dDeaf students at Highlands College were also discussed with the Senior Practitioner for dDeaf and Hard of Hearing People on island, and the Senior Teacher of the dDeaf from Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital. This area expert stated that the provision was good, the transition into Highlands College was supportive and the focus at post-16 education should focus on the transition into adulthood and their emotional needs, and to ensure the promotion of well-being and independence.