Deaf students interrogate party leads on education

It’s hard to read a newspaper these days without being reminded that this year there will be a UK general election, probably in May, and until then, I’m going to need to be very careful not to trip over any political dividing lines.

I’m with Winston Churchill when he said that “Democracy is the worse form of Government, except for all the others”. The general election is a big opportunity to hold politicians to account and tell them what our priorities are. And if you’re a parent of a deaf child or deaf yourself, chances are you're going to want to know what will be done to improve deaf children's life chances.

So with that in mind, the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) has recruited three young deaf students from Heston Community School in west London and given them a big mission: to come up with a list of questions on what they think are key issues for deaf children and young people, and to then take these questions to the key decision-makers in Westminster to get answers on what each party promises to do for deaf children.

Well, the students passed the mission with flying colours. Their questions ranged from funding of specialist equipment for deaf children, bullying, accessible transport and cinema subtitles. They also slipped in a question on how the MPs would celebrate if they won the general election. And over the past two weeks, they've been travelling over to Westminster to interview Diana Johnson (Labour Government Minister responsible for special educational needs), Michael Gove (Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Children, School and Families) and David Laws (Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretary of State for Children, School and Families).

The fruits of their hard work will be appearing on the NDCS website and in the magazine in March, and you'll be able to see what each party is promising to do and see if that influences your vote. The students were also filmed in action by a TV crew, so hopefully we'll be seeing them on TV as well.

All very exciting and NDCS is very proud of the students.


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