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Salford mother urges council to maintain specialist education services for deaf children

By James Booker

The mother of a deaf Salford teenager has spoken of her happiness that Salford Council has postponed plans to cut education support for deaf children, but stresses more needs to be done.

She praised the council’s decision to put these plans, which would see services slashed by more than half, on hold, but emphasised the importance of these services remaining permanently intact.

Lisa Frankland is the mother of 14-year-old Kieran, who is profoundly deaf, and is also a member of Salford Deaf Children’s Society.

“It is good news that that council has decided put its plans on hold.  It is absolutely imperative that these services are not cut.  There would be no point in my son going to school without them.

“He is doing so well with this support in place, and I have sleepless nights worrying about what will happen if it is taken away.”

Salford City Council stress that such measures were considered in order to make sure the money that is available to them is spent in the best possible way, and will take more time before making a permanent decision.

Councillor John Merry, Leader of Salford City Council, said: “We do need to look at how we best support young people with a wide range of special educational needs in the city. But it is also incredibly important we maintain the services we are already doing well.

“Ultimately we need to make sure any redesign is in the best interests of children with a wide range of different special educational needs in the city.”

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), is supporting parents from Salford Deaf Children’s Society with their campaign to keep these specialist educational services for deaf children intact, which so far has gained around four thousand signatures of support.

Jo Campion, NDCS Deputy Director of Policy and Campaigns added: “We are pleased that the council is now listening to the concerns of families and the 4,000 local people who signed a petition opposing the cuts.

“We and parents were very concerned that the council was rushing through a decision, which would have a huge impact on the future achievement of deaf children in the area, without consulting families.” 

Lisa added: “I and other parents won’t sleep easy until the council not only puts these plans on hold but scraps them, making sure that our children continue to get the help they need.”

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