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Educational support for deaf children 'in disarray'

From BBC - January 8, 2018

Support for the 45,000 deaf children in England is in "complete disarray" as staffing levels fail to match increased demand, a lobby group has claimed.

Specialist staffing levels have dropped by 14% over seven years, despite a 31% rise in the number of children requiring support, says the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education (CRIDE).

Almost 60% of existing specialist staff are due to retire within 15 years.

Ministers say an extra 223m is being spent on special needs education.

But the National Deaf Children's Society says there has been a "dereliction of duty".

Its CEO, Susan Daniels, urged the government to act: "The evidence could not be clearer. From every angle and at every turn, a whole generation of deaf children will have their futures decimated if the Government does not act before it's too late."

She added that despite deafness not being a learning disability, deaf children often fell "a whole grade behind their hearing friends at school".

The CRIDE survey of almost every authority in England found that more than a quarter of services employed one specialist teacher for every 80 students.

In some areas there is one specialist teacher for every 100 students.

Funding gap

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