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North Tyneside Council are delighted at closure of deaf support centre

MonkhousePrimarySchool.jpgNorth Tyneside Council seem to be happy at the closure of a deaf support centre:

Councillors have expressed their delight at closing a deaf support centre – as it means all the youngsters on the books have been integrated into mainstream schools.

An attitude that seems to lack a lot of foresight and clearly fails to understand history, backed by a councillor's remarks:

Coun Norma Redfearn, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: "It has been our ambition to integrate as many children as possible from the centre into mainstream schooling.

"At this point in time there is one child at the centre, all the others have been integrated. "I would just like to say 'well done' to all the staff there.

If the council knew its Education policy, it would understand that integration is an outdated concept and inclusion has been very much a concept for the past decade, and enshrined in the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001. Inclusion is a policy that has been driven by disabled people, and ultimately led to a be all and end all approach within Education policy. What disabled people have failed to understand is that deaf people do not share the same history education wise.

Due to this policy, it ultimately could lead to damage for some deaf children's education. With the closure of such resources, we enter a spectrum of a lack of choice for parents and this ultimately has implications on children.

My other concern is that the media is a powerful tool for shaping attitudes, where is a deaf view within this? Instead we have hearing people with no direct experience of deaf people making statements. What makes them think they are qualified to do so?

Ask the Readers: Do you know anything about this decision? What do you think?

Source:
News Guardian: Delight at the closure of deaf support centre

Delight at the closure of deaf support centre
By DAVID SEDGWICK

COUNCILLORS have expressed their delight at closing a deaf support centre – as it means all the youngsters on the books have been integrated into mainstream schools.
Four years ago there were 16 pupils on the books of Monkhouse Deaf Support Centre, based in Monkhouse Primary School in North Shields, but that has fallen to just one child this year.

And North Tyneside Council's cabinet were told at their meeting last week that the pupil will be transferred to another school by the end of the school year, leaving the centre empty.

As a result, members agreed to close the centre from September and transfer all staff to a similar facility at Marden High School.

Coun Norma Redfearn, cabinet member for children, young people and learning, said: "It has been our ambition to integrate as many children as possible from the centre into mainstream schooling.

"At this point in time there is one child at the centre, all the others have been integrated.

"I would just like to say 'well done' to all the staff there.

"We want to close it from September as all the children will have gone and keeping it open would not be value for money.

"It really is good news to have all those pupils in mainstream schools and know the staff who will be involved in the cutbacks will help at Marden High."

Comments (4)

I feel absolutely disgusted after reading Norma Redfern comments. No, I do not realised about this decision but it is of no surprise that more and more deaf children are moving to mainstream.

In all honesty, what can we do?! Or are we just going to wait until 30 or 40 years down the lane before they actually realised their mistake when its come to those children who have missed out on all that vital education that they could have.

Media may have the tool but we need to have something much bigger than just our view if we want to reshape the attitude amongst the public or even the government.

I am still not convinced mainstreaming is a good idea. The mainstreaming pioneer recently realised this. I have a powerful feeling that these staff were powerless against these decision-makers and councillors and never were consulted with.

It would be great to get some data on how much value mainstreamed pupils get out of this so called "obsession" with mainstreamed education approach. Some may get through the education years unscathed and find it of some benefits but what I would really like to see the return of schools for the Deaf - given a 2nd chance now that the climate is increasingly aware of importance of sign language in educational settings.

I have always wondered whether our economic and self-worth would be far much better if we are taught in the optimal inclusive educational settings rather than be the only deaf in the class i.e. deaf school bilingually, and gaining real qualifications. Sometimes I think the Government are short-sighted in avoiding hefty school fees under the guise of integration and mainstreaming without any consideration of the social impact beyond the classroom. Won't it be much better to educate us in a thriving and effective environment, with a level playing field amongst peers. Therefore, we become an asset to the nation - paying taxes - to sort of repay quality education we had, at the latter stages of our lives and justify our costs. Rather than leaving school with low expectations, poor social skills and poor communication skills (from both oralist and mainstreaming phases) then relying on benefits for significant chunks of adulthood. I am not saying no one will succeed. I would really would like to know how much we, each individual, would cost accumulatively to the government over our lifespan when we could be an asset to the society.

I think it is time to learn from past lessons and plan beyond the school years, in term of creating new dynamism and self-worth as a Deaf person being confident in the hearing world. I

@ Tony B - I was mainstreamed for my entire education, had "integration" all the way. Its not without its shortfalls. DEX might be in a good position to comment on this.

Yeah I do hope they can contribute. As far as I am aware. I fear the mechanism aren't in place to measure the success of the "integration" approach. We have a mixture of positive and negative feedbacks but to what extent and its wholly dependent who's happy to come forward to give their version. Don't ya think it is irresponsible of the Government to pursue this policy without being able to measure the impact of this policy.

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