According to the recent CRIDE report (2019), ten teaching units for deaf children are being closed every year meaning that deaf pupils are getting less one to one support which is, ultimately, leading to these pupils falling even further behind at school.
Peter Gale, Principal and CEO of Mary Hare shares his views on this.
'The data from the CRIDE report is deeply worrying. Deafness is a low incidence disability which all too often ends up being an insurmountable barrier to a good education and good mental health. For deaf children to excel, all the key ingredients - good acoustics, learning in small groups and specialist staff, need to be in place. There needs to be a range of provision, but whatever that provision is, it needs to take away the barriers to learning and fulfilment. The closure of units means that deaf children will be even more isolated and I believe that a deaf peer group can be vital if we are to secure a positive self image. I believe that specialist schools have a place in this and that LAs should use schools like mine as part of their spectrum of provision. I see too many pupils seeking to join Mary Hare in Years 8 , 9 and 10 telling me that they were isolated, unhappy and critically that they could not hear well enough in their previous provision. The ideal of inclusion - every child in their local school - should not trump the voice of young people and their families. To end on a note of hope - deafness need not be a barrier to learning and to good grades and bright futures.'
To read the article published by The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/feb/06/teaching-units-for-deaf-children-keep-closing-report-finds