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 Eventually, though, as he improved so support was withdrawn with the result that his parents were told that he had only made two months’ worth of progress in his speaking in a two year period.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
Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'
Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
Isis releases first video showing the stoning of woman accused of committing adultery as her father shouts 'don't call me Dad'
Banksy not arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Diwali: What is the festival of lights and how is it celebrated around the world?
Nelson Bunker Hunt dead: Former world’s richest man dies in 'modest circumstances' in US after losing his fortune
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
£20000 - £22000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Systems Tester - Functional/Non-Func...
£350 - £360 per day: Ashdown Group: SQL Developer with T-SQL, Watford, Hertfor...
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Intelligence Consultant - C...
£70 - £85 per day: Randstad Education Group: SEN Teaching Assistants needed in...