Moray House School of Education and Sport

Congratulations to recent Inclusive Education (Deaf Learners) graduate

BSL user, Shauna Flannigan, graduates with her Postgraduate Diploma, Inclusive Education (Deaf Learners).

About Shauna

Shauna Flannigan has achieved her ambition of becoming a certified Teacher for Deaf Children and Young People (ToD). A member of the faculty at Doncaster School for the Deaf, Shauna completed a specialised PGDip, making her a fully qualified ToD.

Originally from Derby and now residing in Selby, North Yorkshire, Shauna dedicated the past five years to teaching art and photography at Doncaster School for the Deaf, a division of Doncaster Deaf Trust. Her journey began with a placement at the institution as part of her initial teacher training program in 2019.

To obtain full accreditation as a specialist ToD, Shauna pursued further education, culminating in her recent graduation with a Postgraduate Diploma in Inclusive Education (Deaf Learners) at Moray House. Rachel O'Neill shared some heartfelt words about Shauna's time studying at the School: 

Shauna was an excellent student who contributed a great deal to the course. For her external placement she chose to go to a school for deaf children which didn't use any sign language. The school was happy to try this; she worked with a BSL interpreter, and I think she changed attitudes and expectations by her positive outlook. We are all really pleased with her progress and entry to the teacher of deaf children profession. I'm sure she will continue to challenge and stimulate positive change in the field.

Rachel O'NeillDeaf education pathway co-ordinator

Dr Audrey Cameron also expressed her warmest wishes for Shauna and shared hopes for future collaborations with deaf teachers:

We are thrilled that Shauna had a positive experience with the course at the University of Edinburgh. We are enthusiastic about collaborating with new deaf teachers, like Shauna, to ensure that all deaf children have equitable access to quality education. We believe that by working together, we can make significant strides towards creating an inclusive education environment for all.

Dr Audrey CameronChancellor's Fellow (Science Education and BSL)
Shauna Rachel and Audrey
Rachel O'Neill (left), Shauna (middle) and Dr Audrey Cameron (right) at graduation ceremony

Jane Goodman, head of Doncaster School for the Deaf, said:

“We are really proud of Shauna and all the hard work she has put into graduating from her course. She is a really valued member of our team who brings an abundance of enthusiasm and dedication to her role at the school, which really helps benefit our pupils.”

'Becoming a deaf ToD has always been my dream’

Shauna, who is deaf herself and communicates primarily through BSL, expressed her joy and pride at this achievement:

Video: Shauna BSL
Shauna shares her pride and excitement at completing her studies.
Shauna bursting with pride
Shauna expresses her joy at graduation

“Working with and teaching deaf children is something I have always wanted to do. I enjoy experimenting with new and interesting ways to engage the children in learning and love to see the impact this has on them.   

 Being part of a specialist school enables me to get to know each of the children I teach very well, meaning I can adapt the lessons to meet individual needs, which ultimately means the pupils can achieve their best work. As a deaf person working in a deaf school, I have good empathy and experience which fuels me to be the best role model I can be. It is important to me that the pupils I work with develop a ‘deaf can’ attitude.

 To become a fully qualified ToD, I recently completed the Postgraduate Diploma Inclusive Education (Deaf Learners) at the University of Edinburgh which is the only university in the UK to include a Deaf Studies module.

This module was of the upmost importance to me as a deaf person as it has supported me to better teach the children I work with in developing their deaf identity and self-worth. I also liked that the course had deaf lecturers, and as a deaf BSL user myself it was wonderful to be able to attend a lecture that is delivered in my first language.

 Becoming a deaf ToD has always been my dream and I am really pleased to have now achieved it and learnt such a lot along the way. I believe with every fibre in my being that deaf children deserve access to good quality education, and that with this, they can achieve anything.  I want deaf children to have full and equal access to education, and to leave school confident and competent to transition to their next stage.

One of the biggest takeaways I have from the ToD course is I have developed a deeper understanding of the impacts of language delay and deprivation and the long-term effects this has on deaf children. I have become more knowledgeable about how we can support deaf children to read. I have also enrolled on a course which will teach me how to assess pupils’ BSL productive skills, working alongside the Speech and Language Therapy team. I look forward to the development of this, which will ultimately benefit the pupils.”

Shauna now continues her career in education.


Related information

Inclusive Education (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Deaf Learners

The University of Edinburgh BSL Plan

Rachel O'Neill

Dr Audrey Cameron