Deaf pupils falling behind due to lack of funding, says charity

As reported by the BBC, deaf children are falling behind their peers in school due to a lack of support

New analysis by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NCDS) shows that deaf children are falling behind in their studies compared with non-deaf classmates, all the way from primary school to GCSE-level.

Nearly half – 48.3% – of children with no SEND requirements achieve a strong GCSE pass in English and maths, but this number drops dramatically to 30.6% for deaf pupils.

Additionally, a huge 57% of deaf children fail to reach nationally-expected levels for reading, writing and maths for SATs – compared to 26% of non-SEND children.

More government funding is required to help combat the issue, according to the NCDS.

One mother, Ann Jillings, told the BBC that the only reason her 12-year-old deaf son is not falling behind at school is because his family has had to fight for additional support.

“Sometimes I’ve been quite dogged in making sure that Daniel’s [education, health and care] plan reflected what he needed – it takes a certain amount of stubbornness and perseverance to navigate the system,” she says.

“I can see my child is very able – he wants to go to university – and I’ve vowed there’s no way I’m going to let him be let down by the system.

“But I do fear for about what happens to the children whose parents aren’t as well informed or who don’t have the ability to fight so hard for their children.”

Chief executive of the NDCS, Susan Daniels, said: “The figures show the true depth of the crisis engulfing deaf education in this country.

“Meanwhile, the government is starving local councils of funding, meaning their support is cut back and their specialist teachers are being laid off.

“The government needs to address the gap in results urgently and begin to adequately fund the support deaf children need.

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“It promised every child in this country a world class education, but until deaf and hearing children progress and achieve at the same level, it is failing to deliver and that is utterly unacceptable.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education added: “Our ambition for children with special educational needs and disabilities, including those who are deaf, is exactly the same for every other child – to achieve well in education, and go on to live happy and fulfilled lives.

“We recognise that local authorities are facing cost pressures on high needs and that there is more to do which is why in December 2018 we announced an additional £250m in funding for high needs over this and next year.”

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