Cut-backs and recruitment problems hit deaf education

A “deepening crisis” is facing deaf children’s education as on-going cut-backs hit the provision of specialist teachers.

New figures from the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) show that the average caseload for specialist teachers of the deaf has risen 36 per cent in the last four years.

In that same period, one in 10 teachers of the deaf has been cut – with teacher numbers falling from 1,032 to 913 – and local authorities are planning further cuts of £4 million this coming year, according to the NDCS

Deaf children already achieve one whole GCSE grade lower than their hearing classmates and the charity says that the system is “under siege”.

The figures, from the Consortium for Research into Deaf Education, show that in 2013, teachers of the deaf were supporting 43 deaf children on average, rising to 49 in 2015. The latest annual survey of local authorities, carried out in 2017, shows that they now support an average of 60 deaf children. In some areas, the figure rises to more than 100.

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