This year has forced major changes in schools, from closures and face coverings to cancelled exams and catch-up sessions. Far too many have something in common – little to no consideration of deaf pupils’ needs. This time it’s banning mobile phones in schools (Education secretary wants ban on mobile phones in English schools, 29 June). It’s understandable that ministers see them as a problem in class, but what about the thousands of deaf pupils who rely on theirs? I doubt the education secretary has plans to provide an alternative to their speech-to-text apps. Can he suggest another way to access information they will miss? And will he introduce new technology to help them socialise at break times if this vital tool is taken away?
It’s vital that the needs of deaf children, and those with other distinct educational needs, start being included in the major education decisions going forward. Currently however, the concerns and questions vastly outnumber the answers.
Director of campaigns, National Deaf Children’s Society
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