Better communication, better data and better outcomes for deaf children

Some festive good news came last week with the publication of a Government action plan on speech and language therapy, called Better Communication. The action plan followed the Bercow review, where the Conservative backbencher MP of the same name led a review on services for children with speech, language and communication needs. The action plan sets out a range of things the Government will do to improve such services.

And, to our surprise, the action plan committed the Department for Children, Schools and Families, to looking into collecting data on all children with special educational needs AND by type of disability from 2011. In terms of deaf children, we currently only have data on how deaf children who getting a high level of support are doing. If the Department goes ahead, this announcement means that for the first time we will have information on how ALL deaf children are doing.

This is a big step forward and is one of the recommendations from our campaign report, Must do better!, on the educational under achievement of deaf children. After all, we cannot improve the attainment of deaf children if it is not being measured in the first place. Better data also arms parents, local authorities and NDCS with the means to work out which schools and areas are doing best and, basically, what works.

On that positive note, I’m off for my Christmas break. Thanks to all for reading this and for their comments – do keep leaving your thoughts on these musings. Otherwise, have a great break and see you in 2009!

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