There is criticism of Kirklees Council for planning to cut the number of deaf children's teachers.
The council had pledged to set up a committee to examine the help deaf children need to succeed at school, following strong opposition from campaigners and parents. But despite agreeing to set up the committee, Kirklees Council has announced the decision over how many teachers will be cut is likely to be made in January, before the committee even has a chance to meet.
Parents and campaigners collected more than 4,000 signatures to secure a debate at a full meeting of Kirklees Council in September, after councillors announced their proposals to cut the number of teachers of deaf by a third in Kirklees. Teachers of the Deaf support deaf children to develop speech and language skills, ensure they have the right equipment at school. They also provide advice for parents and teachers in how to communicate with them. In Kirklees 235 deaf children use this service. Teachers of the Deaf go into schools as well as visit children who haven’t yet started school to prepare them for mainstream school.
At the council meeting in September councillors admitted they may not have had the full facts to make a decision on cutting support for deaf children, and pledged to work with Kirklees Deaf Children’s Society (KDCS) and the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) to set up a scrutiny committee to get all the facts before any decisions are implemented.
Kirklees Council assure they will still meet local need due to a fall in demand.