Cued Speech has an answer for school
Recently Cued Speech UK went and spoke with students from the University of Edinburgh, where they are training to be teachers of the deaf. It was a great opportunity to discuss the latest figures from the NDCS, which highlight how deaf children are struggling in their school years, and how, following the publication of these figures, educators and underfunded councils appear to have been given the accountability for this under achievement of deaf children in schools.
An article “Deaf children fall behind at school, says charity” by the BBC’s family and education reporter Katherine Sellgren highlights these recent statistics from the NDCS and focuses on the idea that education is struggling to meet the needs of deaf children. The news item also implies how more government funding will by some means improve the situation.
“Deaf children in England are falling behind their classmates from primary school through to GCSE, analysis by the National Deaf Children’s Society shows.
“Only 30.6% achieve a GCSE strong pass – Grade 5 or above – in both English and maths, compared with 48.3% of children with no special educational needs.
“And 57% fail to reach expected levels in reading, writing and maths in Sats tests at the end of primary, compared with 26% of children with no SEN.
“The NCDS urges more government funding.”
In the article Chief executive of the NDCS, Susan Daniels, said: “These figures show the true depth of the crisis engulfing deaf education in this country.
“Meanwhile, the government is starving local councils of funding, meaning their support is cut back and their specialist teachers are being laid off.
“The government needs to address the gap in results urgently and begin to adequately fund the support deaf children need.
“It promised every child in this country a world class education, but until deaf and hearing children progress and achieve at the same level, it is failing to deliver and that is utterly unacceptable.”
However, we know that overall early years deaf children, when they arrive at school, are just not ready. They arrive at school unprepared and without sufficient language to take advantage of their education. It’s only at school that children’s language ability is benchmarked, and their insufficiencies are made apparent.
The student teachers at the University of Edinburgh were demonstrating how willing they were to experiment and adapt to new methods to improve the outcomes for their deaf pupils. But perhaps we are asking too much, to expect these teachers to get their deaf pupils to catch up with language that was never there in the first place.
Deaf children, like all children, need full exposure to complete language as babies well before their school years. Only, for deaf children this language needs to be visual.
Cued Speech UK provides parents with free support and training in Cued Speech, to allow them to provide visual language to their deaf children. Parents are key. They want the very best outcomes for their deaf children and language is the priority. Cued Speech allows deaf children to see what their parents are saying, so that they can arrive at school pre-equipped with all the language they need to become literate.
Cued Speech provides a solution for parents, to allow them to support the work of schools and improve the outcomes and outlook for all deaf children, particularly as cued speech, based on a phonemic system, offers a direct link to literacy.
If you have a deaf child or want to learn more about Cued Speech, you can contact Cued Speech UK by using our contact page, you can also send an email to [email protected] or you can call us on 01803 712553.
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