This compares with 36% of their hearing classmates, highlighting a disturbing 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 the Deaf.
The NDCS report across England indicates the lowest ever number of qualified Teachers of the Deaf, 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 only going to get worse for England’s deaf children, with over half of all Teachers of the Deaf due to retire in the next 10-15yrs.
Commenting on the West Midlands recently released figures, Susan Daniels, CEO at the National Deaf Children’s Society 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 Teachers of the Deaf 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.”