Pearson National Teaching Awards

Celebrating transformational teaching

Deb Thomas

Exeter Deaf Academy

The Award for Excellence in Special Needs Education

Exeter, Devon

Deb is a qualified ‘Teacher of the Deaf’ with 14 years of experience. She teaches English at Exeter Deaf Academy, which specialises in education and care tailored to the individual needs of Deaf students. Through creative experiences and a combination of English and British Sign Language (BSL), Deb uses innovative methods to ensure Deaf students can access educational resources. This means Deaf students are able to understand complex texts such as Shakespeare as any hearing student in a mainstream school does. As her principal said, ‘Watching Deb and her class is a testament to the fact that Deaf people can achieve anything. Deb is a talented, passionate and dedicated teacher – she truly contributes beyond the classroom and to the life of Exeter Deaf Academy’.