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Parliament: Signing Assistance in Schools & Educational Achievement of Deaf Children

On the 18 December (I've not had time to blog!) a question was tabled in parliament over deaf education:

Mark Harper (Forest of Dean, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

(1) what guidance is issued to local education authorities on the provision of signing assistance in schools for children with hearing impairments;

(2) what assessment he has made of the educational achievement of (a) deaf and (b) hearing impaired children in each of the last five years.

Here's the answer, and anyone who has worked in this field will completely get this is the government (again) not addressing a longstanding concern:

Jim Knight (Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families)

There is no specific guidance issued to local authorities on the provision of signing assistance in schools for children with hearing impairments, however the SEN statutory framework and the SEN code of practice should ensure that all children with special needs have those needs identified and assessed and receive appropriate support.

It is for local authorities to determine what provision they make for children with special educational needs, including children with hearing impairment, taking into account the needs of the individual child, parental preference and local circumstances.

Parents of deaf and hearing impaired children with a statement of special educational needs, are able to express a preference for the maintained school they would like their children to attend based on the communication approaches offered by different schools—auditory-oral, total communication and sign bilingualism.

We do not routinely make a separate assessment of the educational achievement of children with hearing impairment. All pupils both with and without SEN are assessed at the end of key stages of learning and pupils with a statement of SEN have their needs reviewed annually. We are currently in discussion with deaf and hearing impairment organisations about improving the availability of school attainment data for this group of pupils.

The issues around education in the UK is deserving of a blog post on its own sometime. However, one thing that strikes me, if you look through the archives of this blog, it seems similar questions has been raised in the past year (see links below). Questions and answers recycled but nothing acted upon? A case of everyone getting, but a government that refuses to listen?

They Work for You

See also:
Parliament: Cost of Deaf Education & Effectiveness of Appeals
Parliament: BSL in schools
Parliament: Prime Minister agrees to meet a BSL delegation

Comments (1)

Hi Ladies... This posting reminds me of the old phrase, "There are none so Deaf as those who refuse to listen."

For many years I've thought we needed a third category of deaf people:

1. Deaf
2. Hard of Hearing
3. Hard of Listening

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