Deafness should not hinder a child’s education

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) conducted an analysis to determine how deaf children were performing in school.

The charity discovered that if a child had hearing difficulties their education was more likely to suffer and consequently, they were more likely to fall behind in school compared to their peers.

Figures revealed that only 30.6 per cent of deaf pupils achieve a GCSE strong pass of grade five or above, in both English and Maths compared with 48.3 per cent of children with no special educational needs (SEN).

Furthermore, 57 per cent failed to reach expected levels in reading, writing and maths in their SATs tests at the end of their primary education, compared with 26 per cent of children with no SEN.

The Government’s data suggested that the average attainment eight score (how well pupils do across eight core subjects) for children with impaired hearing was 39.2, however those with no SEN, the average was 49.8.

Chief Executive of the NDCS, Susan Daniels, said: “These 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.”

Ms Daniels added: “The Government needs to address the gap in results urgently and begin to adequately fund the support deaf children need.

“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 spokeswoman for the Department for Education said: “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 £250 million in funding for high needs over this and next year.”