Skip to main content

Deaf Roma children in the UK: Some of our partners


Paul Simpson

Paul Simpson is the National Executive Officer of the British Association of Teachers of the Deaf (BATOD). He edits the Association magazine as part of his role.He has worked in a secondary school for deaf children where he was housemaster, and as a peripatetic teacher, head of specialist support services, lecturer in deaf education at the University of Birmingham, head of a primary school for deaf children and in a primary resource base. He also worked for the RNID, writing educational publications. He is involved in Europe through his role as the vice-president of FEAPDA (Fédération Européenne d'Associations de Professeurs de Déficients Auditifs: European Federation of Associations of Teachers of the Deaf).


Sandie Griffiths

Sandie Griffiths works as a peripatetic teacher of the deaf in Bradford Sensory Service. Her experience spans primary and secondary deaf education both in Additionally Resourced Centres and in the broader community. Changing demographics prompted her interest in the Roma Community.




Tina Wakefield

Tina is a psychologist and qualified Teacher of the Deaf with many years experience. She has taught in resource bases, peripatetic teams and managed a Service for Deaf and Hearing Impaired Children. She is presently working for The Ear Foundation and National Deaf Children's Society delivering workshops, both nationally and internationally, contributing to research and writing resources. She has experience of working with Roma families and a great interest in this topic.


Mark Payne

Mark taught Modern Foreign Languages in schools in Harlow and Cambridge before studying for his PhD. After his PhD, Mark moved to the University of Sheffield where he directed the MFL PGCE programme for 10 years before launching a new MA in Language and Education. During this time, Mark focused primarily on researching language, education, policy and planning. Latterly, he has obtained three tranches of funding to research with the Roma community in Sheffield, which has also seen him undertake high-impact fieldwork trips to Eastern Slovakia over the last four years to work amongst some of our most marginalized and impoverished Roma communities. He has presented widely to schools and conferences in the UK, Spain, South Africa, Czechia, Romania and Slovakia, and he has been interviewed about his work on BBC radio and television, and in the Slovak and Czech media


Arthur Ivatts

Arthur Ivatts worked initially as a teacher and youth leader. Following a higher degree in anthropology, which focused on the Gypsies/Roma in England, he become involved with the early efforts to secure education for Roma/Gypsy and Traveller children.  After some years working within the voluntary NGO sector concerned with Gypsies/Roma and Travellers, he joined Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Schools (HMI) in England in 1975 and soon became the HMI with national responsible for the education of Gypsy/Roma and Traveller children. More recently he has worked as a consultant on a range of Roma/Gypsy related projects.  He is currently a senior consultant to the Open Society Foundations – Early Childhood Program. In 2004, Arthur was awarded an OBE for his services to education