Cuts blamed after deaf exam results show fall

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CAMPAIGNERS have claimed that cuts to support for children with impaired hearing are having a devastating impact after GCSE results show that deaf pupils’ achievements fell for the first time since records were collected.

New figures show that just over a third of deaf pupils, 37 per cent, achieved five good GCSEs including English and maths compared with more than two-thirds, 69 per cent, of their hearing peers.

The attainment of deaf pupils fell from almost 40 per cent in 2011.

Jo Campion, deputy director of policy and campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society said: “These figures confirm our worst fears; that the Government is failing deaf children by refusing to take action to stop irresponsible local council cuts. The attainment gap is widening due to councils and the Government constantly devaluing deaf children and taking away the support they need, putting the futures of thousands in jeopardy.

“Deafness is not a learning disability and there is no reason why most deaf children should not be doing as well as other children.”

She said an investigation by the charity had found that one-in-three councils are taking away support for deaf children such as specialist teachers and language therapists.

“We urge people to sign our Stolen Futures e-petition so we can force a Parliamentary debate on the issue and get the Government to take responsibility for the deaf children they are constantly ignoring,” she added.