Ring-fenced budget failing to protect children


Figures released by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) reveal that almost one in five local authorities across England have cut education services for vulnerable deaf children, despite the education budget being protected by the Government.

The NDCS has highlighted cuts in 28 local authorities across England and reveals that a further 24 local authorities are at high risk of making cuts. In some local authorities, cuts to frontline staff, such as specialist teachers, are as much as 50 per cent.

Despite being a legal requirement, 96 per cent of local authorities did not consult parents on the cuts.

Susan Daniels OBE, Chief Executive of NDCS, said: “We are appalled at these widespread cuts to vital education services for deaf children across the country. It is unacceptable that it has fallen on charities and parents to find out about cuts to services for these vulnerable children and we are calling on the Secretary of State to launch an investigation and explain why frontline services are being cut from budget he said would be protected.

“The support being taken away is not an optional extra, it is absolutely crucial for deaf children’s learning and development, particularly as they are already underachieving compared to other children. We are so alarmed about the long-term impact of these cuts that we will support families in legally challenging reductions to services their child receives.”

Results of a survey conducted by NDCS shows that 95 per cent of parents of deaf children are concerned their child’s education will suffer as a result of the cuts.