Deaf children in the UK may require extra support from their school teachers to enable them to perform at the same academic standard as their hearing peers, according to a new report.
Research from the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) - which was carried out in association with the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education - found that the number of teachers qualified to teach pupils with hearing problems has decreased by four per cent in the last five years. At the same time, however, deaf students have increased by two per cent over the past 12 months alone.
Figures from the report reveal that 41.1 per cent of deaf 16-year-olds achieved five GCSEs at grade A* to C - including English and maths - last summer, marking an increase from the 36.3 per cent who achieved the same feat in 2014.
Although this is certainly a step in the right direction, it means that more than half (58.9 per cent) of students with hearing problems failed to gain five good GCSEs. When this statistic is compared to that for hearing children, just 35.8 per cent did not get five A* to Cs in their exams.
Overall, deaf children are 43 per cent less likely than their healthy peers to achieve this feat.
This highlights that greater support is needed in the classroom for young people with hearing difficulties, as it is likely that communication issues mean they are not able to learn to the best of their ability.
Chief executive of the NDCS Susan Daniels commented: "Too many deaf children do not get the specialist support they need in the classroom.
"Deafness is not a learning disability and there is no reason why most deaf children should not be performing as well as their hearing peers."
Figures from the organisation show that there are currently 35,000 children who are either partially or fully deaf in the UK, with approximately 85 per cent of these attending mainstream schools.
Posted by Theo Foulds