This week marks 2018’s Deaf Awareness Week, so it is sad, but unsurprising to hear reports that council funding cuts have meant that hundreds of children in schools across the country that need extra help because they are deaf or hard of hearing are now struggling.
The figures, obtained through Freedom of Information requests, show that deaf children will be losing £4million of support this year, with 45 councils, that’s more than a third of the country’s local authorities cutting on average 10% from specialist services. The report has been released by the National Deaf Children’s Society. The cuts are especially worrying as the Department of Education has data that shows that deaf and hard of hearing children are falling behind their hearing classmates at all levels of education. At GCSE, two-thirds of children with hearing disabilities are failing to achieve ‘good’ grade 5 in English and Maths. The National Deaf Children’s Society warned that in the last four years alone, one in 10 specialist Teachers of the Deaf has been cut. The charity is calling on the government to step in and tackle this “funding crisis” as they fear the support deaf children receive is now reaching “breaking point”.
The councils that have revealed they are cutting their budgets for deaf children’s support include Bath & North East Somerset (-19%), Bristol (-7%), North Somerset (-18%) and South Gloucestershire (-6%). Parents across the country are concerned that their children are not getting the support that they need in school to achieve their potential. Is your child affected by these cuts? We’d love to hear from you, get in touch on Facebook or Twitter to share your views.
The 14th to the 20th May marks Deaf Awareness Week, where charities are tackling the perceptions of deafness and hearing loss in the UK. There are a number of events to promote the campaign being held across the country, so look out to see what is happening in your area. If you or a family member would like to speak to someone regarding their own hearing, they can contact their GP to be referred for a hearing test or book an appointment with a highstreet optician and hearing centre. If you would like resources to help with deafness or hearing loss, you can contact Action on Hearing Loss, The Deaf Council or the National Deaf Children’s Society.