Deaf children still under-achieving in GCSEs

children taking exams

Government figures show that deaf children are 36% less likely to get 5 GCSEs (including English and Maths) at grades A* to C. The NDCS is urging the Government, local authorities and health bodies to acknowledge this issue and provide the support needed to close the gap between deaf children and their hearing friends.

Jo Campion, Deputy Director of Policy and Campaigns at NDCS, says: “It’s clear that deaf children are being failed. The NHS newborn hearing screening programme has been in action for ten years and that should mean that deaf children and their families get the support they need right from the start. But a decade on, that’s still not happening. If a child is identified early as being deaf and receives good quality support in their early years, there is no reason that deaf children shouldn’t achieve the same as hearing children.”

They have also found that almost a third (31%) of parents don’t feel they received the support they needed to make sure their child made good progress after being identified through newborn hearing screening; and that a quarter (25%) of parents said they didn’t get any general advice on language and communication development, following identification.

The figures are taken from School Census, published by Department for Education. They refer to children placed at SEN support or who have a statement of SEN / Education, Health and Care plan and where hearing impairment is the primary type of special educational need.