Add Makaton Language Programme to the National Curriculum

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Pupils with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities (SEND) including hearing impairment, are at a huge disadvantage when they are outside their special school environment. Usually only being able to communicate freely with their family and close friends.

That is why I would like Makaton Language Programme to be added to the National Curriculum. French is taught throughout our schools, but I question how many people benefit from it? I would say more people would benefit from the use of Makaton, thus improving the quality of life for so many disadvantaged people.

I wrote to Damian Hinds the Education Secretary a few weeks ago to request this, but the response was negative. Simply pointing out how much money is already being spent in schools addressing the needs of these pupils. (The relevant part of the email is included below) It is good to know that pupils with SEND are being catered for, but it doesn't help them communicate in the outside world.

Why do I chose Makaton above British Sign Language? you may ask -     Makaton is a language programme that combines signs, symbols and speech to ensure that everyone living with learning or communication difficulties has the tools and resources they need to understand and be understood. Makaton transforms lives by giving people a way to express themselves independently, overcoming frustration and promoting inclusion. I am aware that limited time would be given if it were to be added to the National Curriculum and Makaton is quicker and easier to learn than BSL 

Response from the Education Secretaries Office - The department is firmly committed to ensuring that children with Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND), including hearing impairments, receive the support they need to achieve in their early years, at school and college. The high needs budget for pupils with special educational needs (SEN) is just under £6 billion this year – the highest on record and core school funding will rise to a record £43.5 billion by 2020 – a 50% real terms per pupil increase from 2000.

 The department has announced new contracts worth more than £25 million to help provide children with SEND – including those who are deaf or have a hearing impairment – access to excellent support.  In order to ensure that all teachers are equipped to deliver high quality teaching across all types of SEN, the department is undertaking a review of the resources and training available to schools to support pupils with SEND.

 With regard to the national curriculum, schools are free to teach additional content to suit the needs of their pupils and communities.

 I hope this information is helpful.