Deaf children’s services cut at one in five councils in England
Freedom of Information Act request reveals specialist teachers and radio aids are being scrapped.
Almost one in five councils in England have cut services for deaf children, some by scrapping posts for specialist teachers and cutting budgets for radio aids, according to figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
There have been cuts in 28 local authorities. In Stoke-on-Trent, five “teachers of the deaf” posts have been cut in the past two years. The visiting teachers train mainstream staff and provide extra support to help deaf children.
The cuts are detailed in responses to FoI requests by the National Deaf Children’s Society. In Thurrock, Essex, the council confirmed it was cutting a teacher of the deaf who specialises in early-years education, leaving one teacher to support about 90 children.
In Sandwell, West Midlands, one post was being cut, leaving 5.5 staff to support about 51 deaf children each. The council added that “the frequency and duration of support to some individual children will be reduced”.
In Cumbria, the council said 2.8 posts were being cut, leaving 5.8 teachers supporting about 52 children each.
Cuts were expressed as fractions where local authorities are reducing hours or referring to part-time posts.
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