Jim Fitzpatrick MP pledged his support to protect vital services for deaf children, at an event held at Parliament last week.
The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) invited MPs from across England to support a call for a Parliamentary debate to protect specialist services, such as Teachers of the Deaf.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP boarded the NDCS Listening Bus, which travels around the country to provide support to deaf children, to learn more about support in their area, and also talk to a group of deaf children about their hopes for the future and the help they need in school.
Jim Fizpatrick MP said: “It was so important to attend this event and learn more about the situation on the ground. Everyone agrees that we must protect funding for vulnerable learners, so it’s deeply worrying to learn of these reductions to vital services. Deaf children must be heard, so I am calling for a Parliamentary debate to shine a spotlight on this key issue.”
As part of the campaign, NDCS has been running a petition to support calls for the debate. Nearly 50,000 people have signed the ‘Stolen Futures’ petition so far, calling on the Department for Education to intervene at a national level and ensure local authorities protect funding for deaf children.
Susan Daniels, Chief Executive at NDCS, said: “We are concerned that specialist support for deaf children continues to be at risk. Services such as Teachers of the Deaf are not a luxury, they are absolutely vital. Through our campaign thousands of people have shown their support, and the support of Jim is hugely appreciated.
“We are calling on the national government to step up to the plate and hold councils to account for decisions that are leaving deaf children without a future.”
Deaf children rely on a range of services, including Teachers of the Deaf, speech and language therapists and social care. Specialist Teachers of the Deaf provide one-to-one support to help deaf children overcome communication barriers in the classroom, ensure the equipment they use, such as hearing aids, is working and support classroom teachers to meet the unique needs of deaf children.
Supporters can help deaf children by signing the Stolen Futures petition at www.ndcs.org.uk/petition.