A charity has accused the council of gambling with deaf children’s futures over proposed changes to a funding scheme that supports their education.

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) is warning that deaf pupils at the borough’s schools will lose more than £60,000 of support if a planned shake-up of additional resource provisions (ARPs) goes ahead.

ARPs are used by schools to pay for extra support for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

They can help deaf children by providing radio aids, specially trained staff and classrooms equipped with speakers to help youngsters take part in lessons.

Barnet Council says overall funding for SEND pupils will not be reduced and insists every pupil will continue to have all of their needs met.

The council also claims the actual drop in funding for deaf pupils will be just over £33,000.

But the NDCS says the changes could harm the prospects of deaf pupils, who are already a grade behind their peers at GCSE level.

Hazel Badjie, senior engagement advisor at the NDCS, said: “Deaf children already face barriers every day of their lives and now they are looking at savage cuts to support at the only schools that can meet their needs.

“Barnet Council has failed to share any evidence of how deaf children will still get the support they need and seems prepared to roll the dice with their futures.

“The council has a legal duty to help every child achieve their very best at school, but deaf children in the borough already fall an entire grade behind at GCSE.”

The consultation on ARPs drawn up by the council proposes redistributing the money between different types of SEND provision to deal with rising numbers of children and young people with complex needs.

It also suggests creating a panel of experts who would review any requests for top-up funding from schools.

But the NDCS claims the changes would mean funding per deaf pupil falling by £2,749 at Summerside Primary School in Finchley and £1,425 at Hendon School.

The charity also criticised the council’s decision to consult with parents during the school holidays – against Government guidance – saying it is “significantly flawed” and risks excluding people from a vital process.

Ms Badjie added: “The council must quash these proposals immediately and reassure parents that deaf children will receive the support they need.

“Every child deserves the same chance in life, and deaf children are no exception.”

A Barnet Council spokesman said: “The proposal being consulted on will not involve a reduction in overall funding for children with SEND. Funding and expenditure for SEND in Barnet will increase in 2019-20.

“We understand the concerns raised but we want to reassure parents that every pupil will continue to have all of their particular needs met as set out in their individual education, health and care plans.

“We know how important this support is to children with a hearing impairment and it will continue to be provided.

“We’ve also offered to meet with the National Deaf Children’s Society to discuss their concerns.

“The proposal being considered would ensure per pupil funding is evenly distributed between units which offer similar support as one another.

“At the moment, the ARPs receive different amounts. This redistribution will also ensure that children with the most complex needs continue to receive the support they need. There are no plans to change the place funding amount for any of the ARPs.

“We have extended the consultation until May 31 to ensure people can have their say before any final decision is taken.”