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Teachers: Sign Language

Volume 471: debated on Tuesday 29 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families (1) what standard of British Sign Language attainment is required of teachers of the deaf; (181230)

(2) what comparative assessment he has made of the educational progress of deaf children taught using British Sign Language and those taught using total communication.

Where qualified teachers wish to specialise in teaching children with a sensory impairment, including a hearing impairment, they must obtain an additional mandatory qualification (MQ). The current specification for MQ courses includes the expectation that participants successfully completing the MQ for teachers of pupils with hearing impairment should have a minimum competence in signing, equivalent to the CACDP (Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People) Stage 1 qualification. The Training and Development Agency for Schools is currently reviewing the MQ specification, which has included detailed consultation with the approved MQ providers and a range of other interested parties. The Department has made no comparative assessment of the educational progress of deaf children taught using British Sign Language and those taught using total communication.