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MP Jim Fitzpatrick calls for safeguard for deaf children services

PUBLISHED: 14:11 20 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:11 20 May 2013

MP Jim Fitzpatrick with seven-year-old Matthew English who is partially deaf

MP Jim Fitzpatrick with seven-year-old Matthew English who is partially deaf

Paul Tanner

MP Jim Fitzpatrick has pledged support to stop services for deaf children in schools being axed.

He was among MPs backing the National Deaf Children’s Society’s call for a Parliamentary debate to save specialist services.

“We must protect funding for vulnerable learners,” he said. “It is deeply worrying to learn of reductions to vital services—so I’m calling for a debate to spotlight this key issue.”

The Poplar & Limehouse MP has signed up to the society’s national campaign for the government to hold local authorities to account for decisions that could leave deaf children without specific services.

The charity’s chief executive, Susan Daniels, said: “Specialist support continues to be at risk. These services are not a luxury—they are absolutely vital.”

Deaf children rely on services such as ‘Teachers of the Deaf’ which provides one-to-one support to help overcome communication barriers in the classroom. Other services include speech and language therapy and social care.

The charity has started a petition signed by 50,000 so far, urging the Department for Education to ensure local authorities protect funding for deaf children. The petition is online at: www.ndcs.org.uk/petition


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