Literacy: Special Educational Needs

Department for Education written question – answered at on 8 September 2023.

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Photo of Anthony Mangnall Anthony Mangnall Conservative, Totnes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many primary schools in England use literacy resources at Key stage 1 designed specifically for (a) deaf children and (b) other visual learners that include visual languages to support access and inclusion in early literacy as of July 2023.

Photo of David Johnston David Johnston The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

​​The department recognises the importance of supporting all children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND), including deaf children and those with a hearing impairment.

On the Get Information About Schools service, there are 197 primary schools and five all-through schools listed as providing for children with hearing impairments. This information is available at:

The government does not collect local authority level data on specialist education services for children with sensory impairments. The Children and Families Act 2014 requires all local authorities to publish a local offer of services for children and young people with SEND in their area, to ensure that families are aware of services that are available in their area and are able to contribute to shaping the services to meet local needs. Information about the support available for children with sensory impairment should be included within that local offer.

In the SEND and Alternative Provision Improvement Plan, published in March 2023, the department set out a mission for more children and young people to have their needs met effectively in mainstream settings, reducing reliance on Education, Health and Care plans to access support.

The department will improve mainstream education through setting standards for early and accurate identification of need, and timely access to support to meet those needs. The standards will include clarifying the types of support that should be ordinarily available in mainstream settings, who is responsible for securing the support and from what budgets.

On 11 July 2023, the department published an updated version of our Reading Framework, available at: This provides best practice guidance for improving early reading teaching, including for pupils with SEND.

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