Government figures1 show that that deaf children in the South East are 25% less likely to get 5 GCSEs (including English and Maths) at grades A* to C2. With thousands receiving their results this week, the National Deaf Children’s Society is urging the Government, local authorities and health bodies to acknowledge this issue and provide the support needed to close the gap between deaf children and their hearing friends.
Jo Campion, Deputy Director of Policy and Campaigns at the National Deaf Children’s Society, says: “It’s clear that deaf children are being failed. The NHS newborn hearing screening programme has been in action for ten years and that should mean that deaf children and their families get the support they need right from the start. But a decade on, that’s still not happening. If a child is identified early as being deaf and receives good quality support in their early years, there is no reason that deaf children shouldn’t achieve the same as hearing children.”
The National Deaf Children’s Society have also found that almost a third (31%) of parents don’t feel they received the support they needed to make sure their child made good progress after being identified through newborn hearing screening; and that a quarter (25%) of parents said they didn’t get any general advice on language and communication development, following identification.
“Despite the fact that more than 12,000 newborn babies are screened for hearing problems every week, many of those who are identified as having a hearing impairment are simply being let down because they are not receiving the vital support they need once they have been diagnosed,” Ms Campion adds.
To find out more about the National Deaf Children’ Society’s Right From the Start campaign, please go to www.ndcs.org.uk/right_from_the_start.html