Schools: Visual Impairment

Department for Education written question – answered on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Emma Lewell-Buck Emma Lewell-Buck Shadow Minister (Education) (Children and Families)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will take steps to require local authorities to ensure that school staff who teach young people with vision impairment have appropriate training from a specialist.

Photo of Nick Gibb Nick Gibb Minister of State (Education)

To teach a class of pupils with vision impairment, a teacher must hold a mandatory qualification, in addition to qualified teacher status. The Department is currently reviewing the educational outcomes of the mandatory qualifications for teachers of classes with vision impairment, to ensure they reflect the changing needs of the education system.

The Children and Families Act 2014 requires local authorities to work with parents, young people, and schools and colleges to keep the provision for children and young people with special educational needs and disability (SEND) under review and to consider carefully how best to meet the needs of children and young people in their area, including those with vision impairment. To support local authorities, the Department has announced an additional £250 million high needs funding, over this year and the next. This will bring the total allocated for high needs next year to £6.3 billion.

In addition, £3.4 million is being provided for 2018 to 2020 to equip the school workforce to deliver high quality teaching across all types of SEND, including vision impairment.

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