Information for education professionals
We are working with RNIB, NatSIP (www.natsip.org.uk/) and other sensory impairment charities to support you during the Covid 19 crisis.
Image created by Sophie Cane.
VIEW, RNIB and BATOD
Specialist Support during Covid Times
VIEW, RNIB and BATOD recognise that, in the current challenging pandemic, providing specialist support to families and children/young people who have a vision impairment and/or are deaf is not totally straight forward.
In order to support you in your role, and with your invaluable work we have produced the following document together.
We’ve updated guidance that we produced jointly with NatSIP and RNIB about the return to school and how specialist support for children with VI can be provided in the context of government requirements and regulations.
The latest version focuses on face coverings and recent changes to government guidance, whilst also acknowledging concerns around new variants of coronavirus. It also covers peripatetic specialist support, exam arrangements and catch-up support.
These open letters are available to you to share with schools and colleges in your area as appropriate.
Open letters for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales will be available shortly.
- Meeting the needs of children with vision impairment as schools and colleges during summer term 2021 (Word, 169KB) – updated May 2021.
This briefing focuses on support for children with VI in mainstream schools. However, many of the principles and suggestions may also be helpful in other types of education settings.
This document has been produced alongside: VIEW – Considerations for students with vision impairment returning to school after the lockdown (Word, 61KB), (June 2020) and Habilitation VI UK – Coronavirus (COVID-19): Habilitation & Mobility Risk Assessment Guidance (May 2020) which provide further detail.
From 17 May, guidance from DfE on the use of face coverings in schools has changed. Visit NatSIP’s “Guidance on face coverings in education 10 May 2021” for the latest update. Also see the blog post on face coverings produced by NDCS, which is relevant to children and young people with VI.
Advice and recommendations from NDCS, VIEW, RNIB and BATOD have been considered and included in the guidance that specialists should be providing advice regarding access arrangements and reasonable adjustments in place for any evidence used for gradings.
The Information for heads of centre on the submission of teacher assessed grades: Summer 2021 guidance document published by Ofqual specifically calls for the involvement of specialist VI teachers in decisions about assessment and grading.
The Head of Centre declaration also includes statements to confirm involvement of specialist teachers and consideration of access arrangements.
COVID 19 VIEW survey of VI education workforce
We hope that the key findings from the survey that VIEW has presented to the Education Select Committee inquiry will lead to changes that will enable more resilience and flexibility to be built into the system of VI education, to the long term benefit of children and young people with VI.
Download the findings here:
- How support for children and young people with VI is being provided during the Covid-19 schools shutdown
Safe return to school premises
VIEW, together with RNIB and other partners and practitioners, are collating responses from across the sector on protocols, guidance, risk assessments around the safe return to the school premises.
- Return to school information – this page houses documents that have been shared with VIEW and our partners, as well as guidance from The Department of Education
Advice and support
Education Financial Hardship Grant – Teaching Staff Trust provides financial support to people working (or who have retired from working) in education of under-19s for five years or more.
The Council for Disabled Children FAQ – SEND support during the Coronavirus pandemic. FAQ shares questions sent into the CDCQuestions@ncb.org.uk email inbox. The questions received are collated and shared with the Department for Education (DfE) as well as colleagues with specific areas of expertise within CDC.
Coronavirus information on VI forum. Not a member? Join here.
Advice and support to professionals is now live on the following page: www.rnib.org.uk/educationprofessionals
RNIB CYPF Education team is available as usual to support you with advice and information, telephone 0303 123 9999 or email: email@example.com titled “how we can help.”
Information from NDCS
A lot of the following content is applicable to VI children and young people
- https://www.ndcs.org.uk/blog/coronavirus-and-support-for-deaf-children-information-for-professionals/ – frequently updated information around school closures, and children with EHC plans/statements.
- https://www.ndcs.org.uk/blog/coronavirus-and-support-for-deaf-children-information-for-families/ – information for parents