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Special Educational Needs: Visual Impairment

Question for Department for Education

UIN 3604, tabled on 22 October 2019

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, with reference to the report entitled Left out of learning: FOI 2019 report published by RNIB in October 2019, what steps he is taking to ensure (a) adequate and (b) equitable provision of specialists to support children with vision impairment throughout the UK.

Answered on

28 October 2019

We want all schools to have a workforce fully equipped to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and are working with various organisations, including the National Sensory Impairment Partnership, to make sure that is the reality.

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 have recently announced a £780 million increase to local authorities’ high needs funding, boosting the budget by 12% and bringing the total spent on supporting those with the most complex needs to over £7 billion for 2020-21.

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 consider carefully how best to meet the needs of children and young people in their area, including those with vision impairment.

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