One in two deaf children in England are not getting necessary specialist teaching support since returning to school in September, The Independent can reveal, amid warnings that pupils with hearing loss are at risk of falling behind.
Before the pandemic, about two-thirds (67 per cent) of deaf children usually had visits from a teacher of the deaf (ToD), but only half of these pupils (51 per cent) are currently receiving the support they need during the pandemic’s second wave, according to a national poll of parents by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS).
Since going into year 2, six-year-old Liam has been asking his mother, Brodie Kingston, when his teacher will be coming in to see him. She’s had to explain that she won’t be able to come to his school – an academy in Stoke-on-Trent where he’s the only deaf child – because of the pandemic; the school told her they were informed that social distancing rules meant she would not be able to visit.
The visits have been stopped across the country for a range of reasons, according to the NDCS, who clarified that they did not have data on how many schools versus local authorities were making the decision. The charity said that several local authorities have said the decision lies with individual schools, while some schools will only allow the teacher to come if it is the only school they’re visiting that day. Additionally, some specialist teachers have not been able to make appointments because they have been self-isolating.
Note: This applies to the USA also. Please fight for your IEP rights!