How many children (0-18) in your Local Authority are deaf or hard of hearing?
848 (June 18).
What percentage of overall children (0-18) in your LA are deaf or hard of hearing?
Regarding budgets for Special Educational Needs (and Disabilities):-
How much has been spent on provision of British Sign Language tuition, in the form of lessons for parents, lessons for children, funding for schools to deliver lessons, or tutoring for children or families with deafness? Can you please provide me with the last 3 years of budgeted and actual figures?
2016/2017 – £526,291, 2017/2018 – £561,077, 2017/2018 – £555,196
Does the LA employ an individual to teach/tutor BSL to families of deaf children? Has this changed over the last three years?
No, Babcock, Devon County Council’s provider, does not have a specific tutor for British Sign Language. This has not changed over the last three years.
Do any of the LA’s teachers of the deaf / Specialist Teachers teach/tutor BSL to children or families? Has this changed over the last three years?
All the ToDs have a minimum of BSL Level 2 and as we support from initial diagnosis then BSL is part of the delivery with families during home visits. We also have two Advisory Deaf Inclusion Workers (ADIW’s) who are deaf themselves and go into homes and settings teaching BSL and also to provide positive deaf role model and deaf identity. This support is provided in 5 weekly blocks per half term.
We provide 2 x 2 days BSL courses per year for parents and professionals. We provide BSL support to the whole schools (those who sign up) during Sign Friendly Week.
Sign To Me – BSL signing club booklet created for primary schools which can be used with deaf & hearing children to promote BSL in schools.
Baby Sign booklet for professionals and parents to use with babies and toddlers.
This support has been the same over the past 3 years.
Regarding Education, Health and Care Plans:
How many children have British Sign Language mentioned as a special educational need in their Education, Health and Care Plan? Has this changed over the last three years?
Of these, how many children have British Sign Language tuition (for them or for their parents/carers/family) named in the provision section of the plan? Has this changed over the last three years?
How are these provisions fulfilled?
Are any of these provisions made through personal budgets?
Unfortunately, Devon County Council (DCC) is unable to answer the questions above relating to Education, Health and Care Plans under Section 12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – ‘Cost of Compliance’. Under the Freedom of Information and Data Protection (Appropriate Limit and Fees) Regulations 2004 public authorities are not obliged to comply with requests which exceed the cost limit of £450 (equating to 18 hours of time).
As indicated above, there are currently 848 children within the Local Authority area who are deaf or hard of hearing. Given that you are requesting changes over the last three years, this would mean that we would need to locate, extract and retrieve data from three reviews plus a plan for every child. On a conservative estimate of 15 minutes per child, we estimate that this would take circa 212 hours to complete.