The National Deaf Children’s Society has hailed a parliamentary reply by children’s minister Sarah Teather regarding cuts to the Dedicated Schools Grant as “very welcome”.
The NDCS recently exposed the scale of council cuts to educational support for deaf children in its Stolen Futures report. This found that a quarter of England’s councils plan to cut support this year and half say they will review the way they help deaf children at school.
Yesterday, Stephen Phillips MP posed a parliamentary question asking whether the minister was concerned about the scale of council cuts to support for deaf children.
Teather responded by saying there is “no excuse for wholesale cuts” to education support funded by the Dedicated Schools Grant.
Of the councils that NCDS knows are cutting deaf children’s education support this year, the support is partially funded from the Dedicated Schools Grant in seven cases and fully funded from it in 19 cases.
After Teather’s comment, the charity’s deputy director of policy and campaigns Jo Campion said: “This new warning from government to councils planning such cuts is very welcome, but deaf children need actions, not just words.
“The government must explain what steps it will be taking against councils who cut support for deaf children.”
NCDS has launched a petition calling on the government to act, and for greater transparency from councils on the support they provide to deaf children. It currently has just over 5,000 signatures but needs 100,000 for the issue to be debated in Parliament.