Schools 'Are Failing Deaf Children'

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Byline: Anna Davis Education Correspondent

SCHOOLS and local authorities in London are failing to provide sufficient teachers for deaf pupils, a damning report revealed today.

New research found deaf pupils do not have adequate access to specialist teachers, some of whom have charge of more than 140 children.

The findings from the National Deaf Children's Society also show a widening gap in educational attainment between deaf children and other pupils.

The charity called for more investment in specialist teachers of the deaf, who visit schools and help pupils, as well as check acoustics in classrooms and provide schools with equipment to help children hear lessons better.

In Bexley these teachers must look after 143 deaf pupils each -- the highest teacher-pupil ratio in the country. Hillingdon has the second worst ratio in the country, with 132 children per teacher, while Ealing, Sutton and Barnet also feature among the 10 worst local authorities.

Brian Gale, the society's director of policy and campaigns, said: "It is unacceptable that deaf children are missing out on vital support at school because of where they live. …