With the new ice age upon London, I came across some good news the other day that warmed the cockles of my heart.
After years of stagnation, the attainment gap between deaf children and other children is finally beginning to close with provisional government figures showing deaf children making a big leap in the last year. Last year, 29% of deaf children achieved the government’s benchmark for GCSE success. This year, it’s 36%, compared to 66% of children with no special educational needs.
The attainment gap is still pretty wide and there are still far too many deaf children under achieving. But the new figures do at least hold out the promise that the National Deaf Children’s Society’s campaign work to close the gap has begun to have an impact. By shining a spotlight on how many deaf children under achieve and banging on about the injustice of it, I hope the campaign has led to higher expectations for deaf children and better results. Not that I want to take all the credit for these figures…
Of course, all of this could be placed at risk if local authorities make massive cuts to their services for deaf children. NDCS is continuing to call on decision-makers to protect funding for these vital services. Members of the public can show their support by contacting their local councillors about this issue.
But for now, a nice piece of news to enter the Christmas holidays with.