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Deaf children across England fall an entire grade behind at GCSE

Published Date: 20 Aug 2019

New data shows deaf children across England fall an entire grade behind at GCSE

  • New analysis shows that England’s deaf pupils fall a grade behind their hearing classmates at GCSE.
  • Most of them also start school having already fallen behind their new classmates, leaving them with a huge battle to catch up.
  • Figures also show that specialist teachers for deaf children have fallen by 15% since 2011.
  • The National Deaf Children’s Society wants the Government to “get a grip on the situation” and fund more specialist teachers across the country so every deaf child can reach their potential at school.

Deaf children in England are falling an entire grade behind their hearing classmates at GCSE, according to new analysis by the National Deaf Children’s Society.

The charity issued the warning after analysing the Department for Education’s 2018 exam results data, which showed that the region’s deaf children score an average grade of 3.92 across eight key subjects. For hearing children, this rises to 4.99.

Most deaf children are also beginning their education having already fallen behind their new classmates. Just over one in three (38%) have achieved a good level of development in key areas like literacy, maths and communication by the time they start school, compared to three quarters (77%) of hearing children.

There are 45,000 deaf children in England and the National Deaf Children’s Society says there’s no reason why any of them should under-achieve if they get the right support. However, these gaps in achievement show that they’re clearly not receiving it.

Specialist teachers for deaf children, who provide crucial support for these children and their families across the country, have fallen by 15% over the past seven years.

As a result, the charity is calling on the Government to get a grip on the situation and halt this crisis by funding the support every deaf child needs.

It says this should start with the introduction of a £3.3m bursary to provide hundreds of new specialist teachers, enabling every deaf child to succeed at school.

Martin Thacker, Deputy Director at the National Deaf Children’s Society, said:

“Deaf children arrive at school with amazing potential only to begin a lifetime of being left behind. While some of them are achieving excellent results and going on to their dream jobs, these results show that many more are being completely failed by the system they rely on.

“The new Education Secretary Gavin Williamson now has a golden opportunity to change the lives of more than 45,000 deaf children by investing in their support and reversing devastating cuts to staff.

“Every child deserves the chance to shine at school, and deaf children are no exception.”

Region

Attainment 8 score – deaf children

Attainment 8 score – children with no identified SEN

East

38.4

50.1

East Midlands

35.6

48.5

London

39.7

53

North East

38.3

48.6

North West

41.1

48.6

South East

43.5

51.2

South West

39.8

50.1

West Midlands

37.8

48.5

Yorkshire & Humber

36.6

48.2

England

39.2

49.9

 

Region

Number of fully qualified Teachers of the Deaf in 2010/11

Number of fully qualified Teachers of the Deaf in 2017/18

% change between 2010/11 and 2017/18

East England

97.6

91.4

-6%

East Midlands 

87.6

61.8

-29%

London

165.4

159.31

-4%

North East

57.5

51.8

-10%

North West

192.0

145.4

-24%

South East

142.2

120.06

-16%

South West

95.6

70.45

-26%

West Midlands

98.2

84.9

-14%

Yorkshire & Humber

126.2

113.7

-10%

Total

1062.1

898.82

-15%

Proportion of children achieving a good level of development in the early years foundation stage, by region

Region

Deaf children

Children with no identified SEN

All children

North East

36%

78%

71%

North West

41%

74%

69%

Yorkshire and the Humber

34%

75%

69%

East Midlands

32%

74%

70%

West Midlands

29%

78%

70%

East

41%

77%

72%

London

37%

80%

74%

South East

43%

80%

75%

South West

49%

77%

71%

England

38%

77%

72%