Deaf children in the East Midlands slip behind national GCSE benchmarks

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Around 69% of deaf children in the East Midlands have left secondary school having failed to hit national GCSE benchmarks.

According to regional statistics realeased yesterday by the Department for Education (DfE) these were the lowest figures across England. This compares with 38% of their hearing classmates and highlights a distrubing widening gap.

Alongside these results, a recent national report issued by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) on behalf of the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education (CRIDE) shows that England’s local authorities have reported a continued drop in the numbers of qualified teachers of deaf students.

CEO at the national Children’s Society, Susan Daniels said: “Deafness is not a learning disability so having a widening gap in GCSE attainment is simply unacceptable. The dwindling support from local authorities for qualified teachers of deaf students is resulting in deaf children being set up to fail and lagging behind throughout their education. It’s crucial that the government takes action to clarify how local authorities will be properly held to account for failing deaf children.”

The NDCS report indicates the lowest ever number of qualified teachers of deaf students, which has dropped from 1,031 to 999 and shows the damaging erosion of vital specialist support which allows deaf children to thrive. This is particularly concerning given that the numbers of deaf children in England identified by local authorities has risen to over 40,600 this year, up 7% from 2013. The findings also suggest that the situation is nly going to get worse for England’s deaf children, with over half of all trained teachers to retire in the next 10-15 years.