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Mandatory Qualifications: specialist teachers
Mandatory Qualifications for specialist teachers of classes of pupils with hearing impairment, vision impairment or multi-sensory impairment.
To teach a class of pupils with hearing impairment (HI), vision impairment (VI), or multi-sensory impairment (MSI), a teacher must hold a mandatory qualification. This is a qualification approved by the Secretary of State and is in addition to qualified teacher status.
The Mandatory Qualification is part of the statutory requirements for qualified teacher status set out in the regulations governing qualified teacher status in The Education (School Teachers’ Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003, also amended in 2012. The Secretary of State delegated responsibility to approve providers for this qualification to the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).
The Mandatory Qualifications specification was last reviewed in 2014, to ensure that it took account of the special educational needs reforms and changes to policy since 2009. This review included people from the Department for Education Special Educational Needs and Disability Division, and a national stakeholder group comprising the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP), provider representatives and experts. More information on these reforms and Low Incidence SEN and Disability (LISEND) is available on the National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) website.
The following providers are approved to offer courses leading to the MQ, against the updated specifications from September 2016.
|Provider||Specialism||Link to course details / contact|
|University of Birmingham||VI, HI and MSI||Vision Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Multisensory Impairment|
|University of Leeds||HI||Hearing Impairment|
|University of Manchester||HI||Hearing Impairment|
|Mary Hare School / University of Hertfordshire||HI||Hearing Impairment|
|University of Edinburgh||VI||Vision Impairment|
|Liverpool John Moores University / St Vincent’s special school||VI||Peter Horsfall|
Specifications for Mandatory Qualifications for courses starting from September 2016
For specialist teachers of children and young people with vision impairments (PDF, 154KB, 26 pages)
For specialist teachers of deafblind children and young people (PDF, 208KB, 27 pages)
For specialist teachers of children and young people who are deaf (PDF, 162KB, 28 pages)
We have undertaken a review of the Mandatory Qualification, to ensure that it:
- reflects the changing landscape
- is sufficiently flexible to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the profession and children and young people with sensory impairment
- aligns with Department for Education and NCTL priorities to ensure schools, higher education institutions and others across the sector are working collaboratively on the design and delivery of training
The consultation concluded in December 2014. A summary of responses to the consultation and the government’s response can be found on the consultation page.
Mandatory Qualifications for specialist teachers
Published: 10 November 2014
Updated: 3 October 2016
- Updated Mandatory Qualification provider list
- Updates to specifications for Mandatory Qualifications for Sensory Impairment for courses starting September 2016.
- Consultation information updated and a new call for providers.
- Consultation has closed.
- First published.