Special Educational Needs: Visual Impairment

Department for Education written question – answered on 30th October 2019.

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Photo of Lord Storey Lord Storey Liberal Democrat Lords Spokesperson (Education)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what support is provided for children and young people with visual impairment in (1) early years settings, and (2) schools.

Photo of Lord Agnew of Oulton Lord Agnew of Oulton The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

We want early years providers and schools to have a workforce equipped to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and we are working on this with various organisations, including the National Sensory Impairment Partnership. We have recently announced a £780 million increase to local authorities’ high needs funding, increasing the budget by 12% and bringing the total spent on supporting those with the most complex needs to over £7 billion for 2020-21. This funding can be used to fund children aged 0 to 25 with complex additional needs, such as visual impairment.

The Children and Families Act (2014) requires local authorities to work with parents, young people and providers to keep the provision for children and young people with SEND under review, including its sufficiency. We do not prescribe in detail how local authorities should allocate their high needs funding. In consultation with schools and other services, local authorities should carefully consider how best to meet the needs of children and young people in their area, including those with visual impairment.

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