Special Educational Needs: Hearing Impairment

Department for Education written question – answered on 7th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the figures published by the National Deaf Children’s Society which indicate that the number of specialist teachers for deaf children has fallen by 15 per cent since 2011.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they will take to increase the employment of specialist teachers for deaf children by local authorities and schools.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the research published by the National Deaf Children’s Society in August on GCSE outcomes which indicated that deaf children fall a grade behind hearing classmates at GCSE.

Photo of Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Lord Hunt of Kings Heath Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to introduce a bursary scheme for trainee teachers for deaf children.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Department for Education has considered the report by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) setting out their research on the number of qualified Teachers of the Deaf and their request for a government funded bursary scheme. Officials are working with the NDCS and other organisations in the sensory impairment sector to identify wider solutions to support teachers wishing to train as Teachers of the Deaf, and qualified teachers of the sensory impaired more widely.

Local authorities should work closely with parents, young people and providers to keep the provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) under review. This includes its sufficiency for children and young people with hearing impairment. For 2020-21, we have announced more than £700 million of additional high needs funding, which funds children with more complex special educational needs and disabilities, including hearing impairment. This represents an increase of 11% compared to 2019-20, leading to a total of over £7 billion. This will help local authorities to manage the pressures that they will face next year. Every local authority will see a minimum increase of 8% per head of population aged 2-18. We will provide local authorities with provisional allocations in October.

The Whole School SEND consortium, led by nasen, are currently delivering a £3.9 million two-year programme of work to equip schools to identify and meet their training needs in relation to SEND and build the specialist workforce in mainstream and special schools, including support for pupils with hearing impairment. The National Sensory Impairment Partnership, the membership of which includes the NDCS, are key partners in the delivery of that programme of work.

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