An end and a beginning for deaf children in Westminster

Last week, the parliamentary year ended. And then this week, a new one began. Nobody did an Auld Lang Syne, though the Queen did dress up a bit and hit the town.

With the end of the parliamentary year, all parliamentary petitions (known as early day motions) were wrapped up and no more signatures could be added to them. So we did a bit of number crunching to see how many MPs supported one or both of the two early day motions that were tabled in the last year on deaf children and education. These were early day motions 592 and 1607. Both called on the Government to take action to close the gap in attainment between deaf children and their hearing peers, and both pointedly pointed out that deafness is not a learning disability.

And the total number of MPs came to…. 156. Considering there are 645 MPs, this is nearly a quarter of all MPs. Since Ministers or anyone with a small part in running the machinery of Government cannot sign an early day motion, 156 is really quite good. I’m pleased. It’s allowing us to say that one in four MPs support our campaign.

But we won’t be looking back. On Wednesday, the Government set out it’s priorities for the future and its legislative plans for the year ahead via the Queen’s speech. NDCS did a news item on this, setting out the Bills that NDCS is going to be paying close attention to. For example, the proposed Equalities Bill might provide us with an opportunity to put forward changes that will benefit deaf children. This will be a big piece of work for us going forward. The proposed Children, Learning and Skills Bill might also be an opportunity for NDCS as well.

So its out with the old and in with the new…

PS Did you spot anything in the Bill that caught you eye or which might positively impact on deaf children? Let us know any thoughts you might have…


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