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Cash boost to break down barriers for deaf pupils as society trains staff

Teachers and other school staff will be given special training to raise awareness of deaf pupils' needs.

Education minister Leighton Andrews this week pledged more than #163;17,500 to the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) Cymru to run three regional events delivering deaf awareness training to education professionals.

The events, which will be held in Cardiff, Carmarthenshire and Wrexham, aim to give a basic understanding of the causes and effects of childhood deafness.

Last year, statistics released by the charity revealed that deaf pupils are falling behind their hearing peers at every stage of their education.

The figures showed that deaf pupils are 30 per cent less likely than hearing pupils to gain five A*-C grades at GCSE. At key stage 3, only 42 per cent of deaf pupils achieve the core subject indicator, compared with 71 per cent of their hearing counterparts.

Jayne Dulson, NDCS Cymru director, welcomed the funding. "We hope that this will be the start of an ongoing commitment to address the barriers that young deaf people in Wales face and to close the gap in educational attainment," she said.

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