UK’s oldest deaf school closes amid concerns children are being let down
Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate closes as campaigners say widening attainment gap between deaf and hearing pupils ‘totally unacceptable’
by Sally Weale, Education correspondent
4 January 2016
Deaf children are being let down by the education system, with growing numbers of specialist schools closing and too many vulnerable pupils struggling in mainstream settings, according to campaigners.
The Royal School for Deaf Children in Margate, Kent, which was the oldest deaf school still operating in the UK, dating back to 1792, is the latest to close its doors after administrators were called in in December.
The closure comes amid growing concern about poor academic attainment among deaf children, who achieve considerably lower GCSE results than their hearing peers. According to the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), 36% of deaf children achieve the government’s benchmark for five good GCSEs at A* to C compared with 65% of hearing children with no special educational needs.