Ten dedicated teaching units for deaf children in schools are being closed every year, according to a new report, The Guardian is reporting.
The latest study by the Consortium for Research into Deaf Education (CRIDE) and the National Deaf Children’s Society found that the number of facilities for deaf children in schools had fallen from 260 to 240 in the past two years, a drop of 8%.
The National Deaf Children’s Society said that deaf pupils who lose their unit or specialist teacher miss out on crucial one-to-one support at school, while teachers and teaching assistants were left without advice and training on teaching deaf children.
The charity warned that the cuts could lead deaf pupils to fall even further behind at school and reduce parental choice as to how their children were educated.
They raised concerns that, in many areas, schools and local authorities were failing to inform parents of the existence of specialist units, which then allowed them to close them due to low pupil numbers.
Susan Daniels, chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said the figures showed the pressures on the education of deaf children. “Their support is being reduced, their specialist teachers are being cut and, unsurprisingly, their grades at school have started to get worse,” she said.
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