Specialist VI curriculum framework

An update from RNIB/VIEW/VICTAR/TPT 

Now we have just passed the milestone of 6 months from the launch of the project we would like to take this opportunity to update you on our progress and let you know how you can still be involved as the project continues to develop. 

Following the launch of the UK specialist VI curriculum project on 7 September 2020, we were inundated with requests from parents, professionals and CYP to be involved in the consultation process to help create and shape a UK wide specialist VI curriculum framework for children and young people with vision impairment (VI). We would like to express our thanks to all those who have contacted us to offer support so far in the project. As you are aware, the framework aims to give clarity, consistency of provision for children and young people, and a shared vocabulary for non-specialists and VI specialist education professionals. It will sit alongside and be integrated with the academic curriculum to which all children are entitled. It will be informed by existing frameworks including, the Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) in North America, 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.  

Overview of the consultation process 

In developing the framework, we are following the ‘Delphi method’, a process used to arrive at a group opinion or decision by consulting a panel of experts. This is a recommended method for consultation for this type of work and has been used in a similar way in the USA. The British Psychological Society recommend a panel of between 10 and 50 members, and we have chosen to have the largest allowable number of 50 representatives taking part, so that our approach is in keeping with these recommendations. More information on Delphi can be found here: https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/volume-22/edition-7/delphi-method  

We have invested considerable time in identifying expert panels of professionals to take part, as well as ensuring young people and parent/carers are represented. This identification process has included working with our wider project partner organisations through our reference group to outline the types of roles, professional expertise and settings which should be represented as part of this consultation to ensure a thorough breadth of expertise across all areas of a child or young person’s journey. Some areas in particular, such as QTVI’s were over-represented. 

Following a successful recruitment process, we have now completed the first round of consultation and are moving onto the analysis of this. This analysis will feed into the second round of consultation which will be taking place in June.  

How can you be involved in the project? 

Although consultation recruitment is now closed, the amount of interest shown in the project has been incredible but this enthusiasm has meant that it has been impossible to select a panel which captures all of the required criteria without having to turn away some individuals who would have a great deal to offer to the project. We are conscious of this and are keen to ensure that all those who would like to contribute can and below are the ways in which individuals can contribute to the project as it progresses: 

Framework development 

If you have any comments, ideas or thoughts about the development of the framework for consideration, you can do this by emailing us. Your comments will be brought to the project team who will be able to represent your views on your behalf. 

Resources 

We need your assistance in identifying resources which help us to deliver the key elements of the specialist curriculum to the children and young people you support. These resources would be included within an online resource hub made available to all, free of charge through RNIB Bookshare, allowing us to share resources, knowledge and expertise as a sector.  

Resources could be anything from a useful one-page resource to help teach an aspect of independent living skills, to a scheme of work to support the teaching of a piece of assistive technology, to materials that support assessment or outcomes setting.  If you are unsure whether your resource would be of help to others, or if you think it may need some refining, please don’t let that stop you as we have a helpful group of professionals from the field who are on hand to support you and offer advice or guidance if required.  

If you are willing to share your ideas with colleagues in the sector, we would love to hear from you as the more resources we can make available the easier, and more efficient we can be in delivering information and resources to the children and young people we support.  

Find out more by downloading the following document to read about our plans for an online resource hub:  

Please email completed questionnaires to: development@viewweb.org.uk

Evaluation 

Post project, we will be looking to evaluate the impact of the framework in practice and will be looking for support from colleagues across the sector to assist with this. If you would like to register your interest, please email us.  

To contribute in any of the ways outlined above, please contact the project team at development@viewweb.org.uk  

Thank you for your interest in supporting this project and we look forward to hearing from you.  

If you no longer wish to be kept informed of the project developments, please let us know by emailing development@viewweb.org.uk