The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is urging Derbyshire County Council to halt plans to cut vital transport services for deaf children.
Derbyshire County Council has launched a consultation on plans to stop providing school transport for pre-school children and post 16 young people with special educational. Ending this support will make it challenging for deaf children to access good education in the county.
Until 2014 transport was provided by the council for children from early years to post 16 education to schools and colleges free of charge. Since then families of post 16 learners have had to make a contribution. However, now Derbyshire County Council propose to stop providing this service completely.
Speaking on behalf of the National Deaf Children’s Society, Jamie McMahon, Regional Director for the East Midlands said:
“This is extremely concerning. Education in the early years and Post 16 is crucial for deaf children. Deaf children and young people often have to travel further to get to the school that fits their needs. Derbyshire County Council agreed just over a year ago that withdrawing transport will negatively impact on deaf children and young people so we’d really like to know what has changed.”
“This is such a small saving for Derbyshire County Council but it will hit those families affected incredibly hard. Deafness is not a learning disability and with the right support deaf children can achieve the same as their hearing peers. However at the moment 63% of deaf children do not achieve 5 good GCSEs A-C including English and Maths.”
The National Deaf Children’s Society is urging parents to take action and take part in the consultation which is open until 17 March 2016: www.derbyshire.gov.uk/schooltransport2016
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