Birmingham head writes in support of Frank Barnes School for deaf children

I write in support of Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children. Its location is currently under threat to make way for a new Academy on Adelaide Road. I am a headteacher of a similar school for deaf pupils in Birmingham, working in the same way, and I want t

I write in support of Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children. Its location is currently under threat to make way for a new Academy on Adelaide Road. I am a headteacher of a similar school for deaf pupils in Birmingham, working in the same way, and I want to support my London colleagues strongly.

We are also currently undergoing a review of SEN provision and there is a real understanding that this particular group of 'low-incidence/high cost' pupils is to be protected. Deaf children such as ours need a linguistic community to develop their self-esteem and a full language that gives them access to the curriculum.

Frank Barnes is a vital resource that provides excellent provision for deaf children and enjoys a national and international reputation in deaf education, where a sign bi-lingual policy enables the children to access the national curriculum through British sign language (BSL). To lose or even disrupt this excellent provision would be a devastating blow to the deaf community and have consequences lasting for generations.

Having fought for many years to establish BSL as a recognised language, it would surely be discrimination against deaf children if this school were to be replaced.

Babs Day

Longwill Primary School for Deaf Children, Birmingham