A North East MP has called on the government to increase funding for deaf children’s services.
South Shields MP, Emma Lewell-Buck, has criticised the government for education cuts, leading to a lack of support in schools for deaf children.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ms Lewell-Buck said: “A toxic combination of Government-imposed local authority cuts, education cuts, the shambolic roll-out of SEND reforms and unfettered off-rolling have led to what the National Deaf Children’s Society rightly refers to as “stolen futures”.”
She continued: “Local authority spending on services for children and young people has fallen in real terms by almost £1 billion since 2012, with a £3 billion shortfall predicted by 2025. Just last year, the APPG for children found that 89 per cent of directors of children’s services were struggling to fulfil their statutory duties towards children in need of support.”
Ms Lewell-Buck spoke, following Jim Fitzpatrick, MP for Poplar and Limehouse, who stated that over one third of local authorities in England plan to cut £4 million from their budgets for education support for deaf children this year.
Ending her speech, Ms Lewell-Buck quoted local school boy, Thomas Bailey, from Bamburgh School in South Shields, as saying: “Being deaf makes me feel depressed and very frustrated. Having no support in school is very mean. When I don’t have support, I don’t have that person to repeat and break down that information for me and to sign important key words, so I am not able to learn the same as other children in class. I feel left out. Improving equipment would make the sound easier and clearer for me to hear, but having no equipment makes everything very quiet and unclear. This means I’m not getting any important information, leaving me feeling annoyed and again left out. My life and learning becomes a blank.”