The role of the Teacher of the Deaf (ToD)

A QToD is a qualified teacher with the skills and knowledge required to provide quality teaching to mainstream learners and with the additional mandatory qualification and expertise in teaching deaf learners. Teachers working with deaf children need an understanding of the complexity of language and its development and how this is affected by hearing loss.

The team has caseloads of children aged 0 to 25 years across a range of different settings which may include the family home, nurseries, pre-schools, primary, secondary, special schools and colleges. Throughout this page the term ‘deaf’ is used to cover the whole range of hearing loss.

What does the ToD do?

Provision of advice:

  • Providing clear impartial information
  • Discussing the implications of hearing loss with the deaf learner, parents and families, teachers, all involved agencies especially in the context of education
  • Sharing information about communication modes (English, BSL, Cued Speech etc.)
  • Advising on educational provision e.g. early years/schools/colleges and other educational settings
  • Facilitating family and learner access to professional and extended services
  • Provide advice and training to schools to facilitate teachers addressing the particular educational needs of pupils who have HI
  • Advising on how the curriculum can be differentiated for pupils/students with HI
  • Advising on classroom strategies for optimal listening and lip-reading conditions
  • Support with the transition between settings/phases
  • Provide advice for statutory assessment
  • Advising home and settings on how to maintain audiological equipment such as hearing aids, cochlear implants and soundfield systems
  • Providing advice around exam access arrangements

Assessment, monitoring and access

  • Assessing and monitoring functional hearing levels
  • Assessing the full range of communication and language levels: including the use of sign and spoken language and any modes of communication
  • Monitoring the acoustic environment (home and/or educational setting) and advising on ways to improve it for the deaf learner
  • Participation in multi-agency assessment to identify overall needs and progress of the deaf learner
  • Contribution to mainstream monitoring and review of progress (in accordance with SEN Code of Practice and statutory requirements)


In meeting the individual needs of their learners, the QToD may utilise a range of techniques including:

  • Modelling of strategies and approaches
  • Working 1:1 with the pupil/student
  • Produce an individualised learning programme
  • Pre-tutoring language and skills
  • Post tutoring/ revision of new skills taught
  • Small group teaching, which may include peers with or without hearing needs
  • Team teaching

Social and emotional Support

  • Helping to develop self-esteem and wellbeing
  • Helping to develop/promote positive deaf identity
  • The delivery of a monthly baby and toddler group

Pre-school children

  • Helping families understand the diagnosis of hearing loss
  • Explaining the stages of language development with the ultimate goal of empowering parents to make informed choices
  • ‘Direct teaching’ sessions with pre-school children that demonstrate to parents how they can support their child’s HI needs and how to develop their child’s language and listening skills
  • Co-ordinate and facilitate contact with other families with deaf children and voluntary organisations
  • Guide parents through the process of applying for nursery and school placements and the statutory assessment process if this is required

Partnership working

The role of the Teacher of the Deaf involves working closely with other professionals and agencies.  This may include regular liaison, shared delivery of programmes e.g. Speech and Language, sharing of information.