Specialist teachers of the deaf: Alarm at dramatic fall in numbers

Cost-cutting and a crisis in the recruitment and retention of specialist teachers of the deaf is putting the education of thousands of deaf children at risk.

Redundancies and high caseloads for those who remain are creating a perfect storm that has seen one in five posts lost since 2012. We now have only 860 teachers of the deaf working in England, compared to 1,064 in 2012.

And more than half of specialist teachers are due to retire in the next 10 to 15 years meaning that if trends continue the workforce could be down to 727 by 2030.

A report from Consortium for Research into Deaf Education (CRIDE, 2022) says that around four in 10 local authorities have seen a decrease in the number of teachers of the deaf in the past year alone. At the same time, there are recruitment problems in some areas due to a lack of qualified applicants.

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