UK specialist VI curriculum

Project update from RNIB/VIEW/VICTAR/TPT 19 March 2020

This is an update to our announcement below, about the new UK specialist VI curriculum:

Due to the changes in working patterns, and closure of schools, caused by the Coronavirus, the project partners have agreed to postpone the start of the project by approximately 3 months. Circumstances permitting, the project will now be launched at the start of the autumn term in September 2020.

We are continuing to take the contact details of anyone who is interested in taking part in the project, so if you would like to become involved in some way, please contact us using the email: development@viewweb.org.uk

We are inviting UK specialist VI education professionals to contribute to the development of a national VI curriculum

A joint project between RNIB, VIEW, Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research (VICTAR) at University of Birmingham, and Thomas Pocklington Trust (TPT), to establish a UK wide specialist curriculum for children and young people with vision impairment (VI) is to be launched in April 2020.

This follows the publication in April 2019, of a discussion paper that outlined why a UK wide specialist VI curriculum is needed

The 2-year project, funded by RNIB, will draw on extensive consultation across the VI sector to provide a single, unifying framework for VI education, that will give clarity, consistency of provision for children and young people, and a shared vocabulary for non-specialists and VI specialist education professionals. It will be informed by existing frameworks (such as the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC), National Sensory Impairment Partnership (NatSIP) Learner Outcomes and Quality Standards for Habilitation), have a strong theoretical underpinning, and specify outcomes that are relevant to the developmental and learning needs of children and young people with VI.

Formalising the specialist curriculum in this way will also strengthen our chances of getting it recognised as a statutory entitlement for children and young people with vision impairment in future.

The project will identify and catalogue a wide range of resources that have already been developed to deliver elements of the specialist VI curriculum. These will be made available from RNIB BookShare.

What happens next?

A management group made up of representatives from the four partner organisations has been set up to oversee the project, which is scheduled to start in September 2020 (delayed from April 2020 due to Covid 19). A reference group with representatives from across the sector will also be set up. There will be two key activities to the project:

  1. A UK wide consultation led by a team from VICTAR and involving all key stakeholders, will be carried out to agree the framework for the new specialist VI curriculum.
  2. Identifying and cataloguing key resources that have already been developed by VI services and schools throughout the UK. This will be led by VIEW.

How do I get involved in the project?

There will be several ways to become involved in the project, such as participating in the consultation and contributing details of resources that your service or school has developed. For more information email: development@viewweb.org.uk