Laura Sharman 14 May 2018

Support for deaf children at ‘breaking point’ due to council cuts, charity warns

More than a third of English councils are planning to cut the education support they give to deaf children this year, new research has revealed today.

An investigation by the National Deaf Children’s Society found these councils will cut an average of 10% from deaf children’s services. The charity said this will see deaf children losing £4m of support in these areas.

The charity added that one in 10 specialist Teachers of the Deaf have been cut in the last four years, causing a decline in deaf children’s GCSE results.

‘Deaf children can achieve anything other children can, but to do this it is crucial they get the right support,’ said Susan Daniels, the chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society.

‘Despite councils having a legal duty to support deaf children, we are seeing the vital support system that they rely on for their education torn apart. Deaf children are falling even further behind at school, and the Government’s response is nothing short of woeful complacency.’

The National Deaf Children’s Society is calling for the Government to make sure funding for deaf children keeps pace with increasing demand, and review the ring fence on schools funding.

The Local Government Association (LGA) said it is calling for an urgent review of funding to meet the unprecedented rise in demand for these services.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s Children and Young People Board, said: 'We have made it clear for some time now that there must be additional and on-going funding from the Government to enable us to support high-needs children and their families, otherwise councils may not be able to meet their statutory duties and these children could miss out on a mainstream education.'

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