Stopping Stoke from slashing services for deaf children

A combination of holidays and post-holiday work mean I haven’t been blogging for a while. But I think I might break the silence to give an update on the Save Services for Deaf Children campaign in Stoke on Trent. Stoke has been one of the big battlegrounds from the start. 2 years ago, they had 8 Teachers of the Deaf. When deaf children start school again in September, there will just be 4. Despite this, the council still maintain the fiction that their changes will improve matters for deaf children in Stoke.

A few campaign tactics from the start have been bearing fruit recently. NDCS set up a petition early on and which attracted nearly 600 signatures. As a result, NDCS was asked to speak before the whole council last week. By all accounts, this had a big impact. One councillor wrote in to NDCS to say it was a “very moving, reasoned and inspiring speech”. The speech got a round of applause and was covered in the respected local paper too.

Encouragingly, the petition has now been unanimously referred to a scrutiny committee within the council which will look again at the decision. Though I’m not holding my breath, the hope is that the council will finally realise they cannot slash the service for deaf children in Stoke by half without it having a devastating impact on deaf children.

The moral of the blog though? Even doing a simple thing like creating and signing a petition can have a big impact in saving services.

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