Deaf pupils face learning barriers in Wales, says NDCS

Deaf pupils
Image caption Deaf pupils are 41% less likely to land a higher grade in core subjects, Welsh government figures show

Deaf children in Wales face barriers to learning at schools and colleges which are stopping them from reaching their full potential, says a charity.

The National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) Cymru said there is an attainment gap between deaf pupils and their peers at every Key Stage.

A video petition to ministers calls for action to close the gap.

The Welsh government said it was "reviewing the way we support pupils with additional learning difficulties."

The charity said Welsh government figures showed that in 2012, deaf pupils were 41% less likely to achieve a higher grade pass in core subjects English/Welsh, maths and science.

Deaf youngsters took part in the video petition, called Close the Gap, launched during Deaf Awareness Week.

It calls for:

  • Appropriate support from specialist professionals
  • Good acoustics in classrooms
  • Teachers and hearing pupils to learn sign language and to be more deaf aware

Jayne Dulson, director of NDCS Cymru, said: "It is unacceptable that so many deaf pupils throughout Wales fail to reach their full potential because they face barriers in education.

"We are so grateful to all the young people who helped us create our video petition.

"As deaf young people themselves, they are the experts and are best placed to tell politicians about the things that schools need to get right for deaf pupils throughout Wales."

The video will be presented to the Welsh assembly's petitions committee on Tuesday.

A Welsh government spokesman said: "We are committed to ensuring all children reach their full potential while in education and that is why we are currently reviewing the way we support pupils with additional learning difficulties.

"During this process we are working closely with a number of support groups, including the National Deaf Children's Society."

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