Parents ‘disgusted’ at Merseyside school after kids with hearing difficulties left feeling ‘isolated’

Children without a dedicated teacher for weeks.

<p>Peyton and Luke from Townfield Primary</p>

Peyton and Luke from Townfield Primary

A Wirral mum is ‘disgusted’ with her daughter’s school, after she claimed it has made her deaf 11-year-old so angry and upset with her education that she can’t even talk about it.

Townfield Primary School, in Oxton, Wirral, has come under fire from two parents of children who have hearing difficulties.

They say there has been no qualified teacher in the Hearing Support Base (HSB) since Christmas and that the school is instead leaving the class to teaching assistants.

Qualified teachers

A Wirral Council spokesperson said it is working together with the school to recruit a teacher of the deaf to work with children who access the base and it hopes to make an appointment imminently.

It is understood that children attending the HSB have access to a fully qualified teacher when they attend mainstream classes and that the base is currently run by two teaching assistants who have British Sign Language qualifications.

Townfield Primary School, Oxton. Image: Google

Angry and frustrated

Barbara McDonnell, whose daughter Peyton McDonnell, 11, is deaf and attends the base, said her daughter has felt “isolated” for several days.

Ms McDonnell added: “She [Peyton] has been going into school and not learning anything. She has been sat down for six hours a day reading books.

“She’s getting frustrated and emotional about it and she’s constantly upset and angry. She can’t talk about school.”

The Hearing Support Base is understood to educate six children at the school for some of their lessons, with the children attending mainstream classes for other lessons.

Ms McDonnell said she was “absolutely disgusted” by the school’s lack of response to her complaints.

A ‘nightmare’ scenario

Cheryl Hardy, whose son Luke Wakelam, 9, has hearing difficulties and also attends the HSB, said the situation was a “nightmare”.

Ms Hardy said: “You wouldn’t get away with this [not having a fully qualified teacher] in a mainstream class.”

She also feels that her son does not get enough support to fully take part in lessons currently.

Council’s response

A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: “Wirral Council and Townfield Primary School are continuing to work together to recruit a teacher of the deaf to work with children who access the base. This process is ongoing and we hope to make an appointment imminently.

Parents should be assured that all children in the base access a full curriculum, have access to a fully qualified teacher and a number of well-qualified Teaching Assistants.”

The spokesperson added: “The school and the council have informed parents that a single point of contact at Wirral Council has been set up to allow parents to directly raise any concerns they might have.

“We will continue to keep parents fully informed with regards to future developments.”