1. ITV Report

Deaf children in Hampshire could miss out if service cuts go ahead

  • Watch Juliette Fletcher's report below

Deaf children in Hampshire could miss out on additional services if funding cut proposals by the county council go ahead.

That's according to the National Deaf Children's Society after it claimed that cuts would affect 'over 1,000 children' in Hampshire.

Hampshire County Council is proposing changes to its Specialist Teacher Advisory Service, which provides support for children who have hearing or visual impairments, physical disabilities or speech, language and communication needs.

The changes could see the number of teachers and their visits reduced.

10-year-old Roseanna receives additional support at school

10-year-old Roseanna Harris from Alton is profoundly deaf and uses additional support from specialist teachers to help her at school.

Her mother says it would be a 'travesty' if proposed cuts were to go ahead.

These children need a lot of input. They need input with their technology, they need input accessing language so that they can understand what the curriculum is."

– Victoria Harris, Roseanna's mother

According to the National Deaf Children's Society, there are 1,162 deaf children in Hampshire.

  • Interviewee: Sally Etchells, National Deaf Children's Society

Hampshire County Council spends £3.1m of its budget on the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service.

It says the proposed cuts would save £708,000.

While we understand the concerns of the National Deaf Children Society, it is important to emphasise that no decisions have yet been made.

Furthermore, we can assure parents and children that if it is agreed that the proposals should be taken forward, appropriate support would continue to be provided for children who are deaf or whose hearing is impaired in any way.

The consultation we are undertaking is part of a review of the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service. Our aim is to consider ways in which the Service could operate more effectively to deliver the support needed for all children and young people with special needs and disabilities.

The challenge is to do so within the limited resources available to us – which is why the feedback from the consultation is so important to us.”

– Hampshire County Council