Deaf children ‘are forced to move house due to budget cuts’
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Friday 04 January 2013
Families of deaf children are being uprooted from their homes as cuts in education spending turn provision of services into a postcode lottery, according to new research.
One in ten families interviewed by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) said they had been forced to move to get the support they needed for their children. In addition, one in four thought they might have to do so in future – although one in three of these felt the move would be too difficult and stressful because of the current economic climate.
In one case, that of ten-year-old Miles Baker, the child has had to move schools four times in the past four years before ending up in a specialist boarding school costing the authorities £35,000 a year. His parents also had to move from Hampshire to Lincolnshire to secure adequate facilities.
“It seems as though everything has been a battle,” said his father Andrew. “It shouldn’t have to be like that.”
Miles first had to move when it was announced the impaired hearing unit at his school was closing and all facilities for the deaf would be concentrated in one school which was more than 12 miles away. His parents eventually decided to move him again – this time to a school in Lincolnshire – when they realised the support on offer was not as good as in the previous school.
“He was doing really well – he had one on one communication tuition and was making really good progress,” said Mr Baker. Eventually, though, as he improved so support was withdrawn with the result that his parents were told that he had only made two months’ worth of progress in his speaking in a two year period.
He is now at a boarding school in Yorkshire which is a two-and-a-half hour drive from his home. “Miles absolutely loves it,” said his father. “He is now in a school where every child is hearing impaired – his confidence has grown and he shines there.
“However, it is costing the local authority £35,000 and – if he had received the support earlier – he could have remained in a mainstream school.”
Jo Campion, deputy director of policy and campaigns at the NCDS, said; “Deaf children are losing out as budget cuts are made and are facing a postcode lottery of support which many families are powerless to stop.”
Ministers stress the overall budget has not been cut but local authorities say they just do not have enough money to top up spending on special needs as they have done in the past.
The National Deaf Children’s Society needs to collect 100,000 signatures on its Stolen Futures e-petition, which calls on the Government to stop cuts to deaf children’s services, in order for the issue to be debated in parliament. Sign the petition at www.ndcs.org.uk/stolen
- 1 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 4 Ebola virus: UK health officials issue warning to doctors as experts admit the outbreak 'is not under control'
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Zayn Malik on Israel-Gaza: One Direction singer bombarded with Twitter death threats after posting #FreePalestine
MH17 crash: Black boxes show plane suffered 'massive explosive decompression' following shrapnel hit
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
- < Previous
- Next >
£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Ecommerce/Retail/E...
Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...
£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...