Croydon College Deaf Support Team

Published: May 24th, 2013



Croydon College Deaf Student Support Team tells Deaf Unity about Croydon College and the support they offer deaf and hearing impaired students. The four staff members have been working as a team together for the past 5 years.


Croydon College is one of the largest providers of Further and Higher Education courses in the South East, offering over 350 qualifications.

As a large College, we have a team of Communication Support Workers (CSW), English/British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters and note takers. Our in-house team have been working together for five years and also have the luxury of employing freelance CSWs and interpreters to ensure the ratio of Deaf students to workers each year.

Our facilities offers a wide range of subjects and students of varying ages and abilities to provide the opportunity to structure a balanced for support staff.

At Croydon College our minimum qualification of CSWs and interpreters is BSL Level 3 and where necessary we are able to provide qualified BSL/English interpreters, registered with National Register of interpreters (NRCPD).  As an employer, we are also committed to promoting the best practice, sourcing funds and appropriate further training, for example NVQ Level 6 BSL language and Postgraduate Diploma interpreter qualifications.

Our CSWs are trained in language modification, which has proved to be an invaluable skill in both interpreting and for working with curriculum staff to provide necessary materials. Our relationship with curriculum teams enable to us to supply support staff with the necessary preparation materials in advance of these lectures.

Our team provides support in classes, lectures, workshops, for external speakers, at work placements, external visits and award ceremonies. We also liaise with other staff members to discuss what impact deafness may have on a student and how to adapt teaching styles and resources to accommodate this.

At Croydon College, we take pride in communicating through examples and comparisons depending on the student and their world knowledge.  We understand that each student’s case is individual and may require various needs; for example, a new student who may not be fluent in either BSL or English, or a student who previously attended a mainstream school without access to the Deaf community.

The BSL level of staff working in education is improving every year; but it’s not perfect yet. However, working in a College with a strong CSW presence allows us to provide two interpreters and a note-taker per lectures, spend extra time with the students and be available at short notice.

Our experienced staff members enable us to maintain our CSWs with student/subject and practical/theory sessions. We are able to balance consistency against dependency to ensure the appropriate provisions and encourage independent learning. We are also in a privileged position to see students achieve, which leads to long-term and professional relationships.

For more information, please visit the Croydon College website. The Croydon College Deaf Student Support Team offer a wide range of support for deaf and hearing impaired students. The four staff members are Chris Howes, Paul Pryce-Jones, Claire Holdaway and Frances Coates. They have been working as a team for the past 5 years.

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One Response to “Croydon College Deaf Support Team”

  1. Mary Power says:


    I am enquiring about computing courses for Deaf People. Do you offer computing courses for Deaf people? If yes, please send me some information about the courses.

    Thank you


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