Support for school-age pupils

The majority of children with visual impairments in Central Bedfordshire will attend their local mainstream school.

The VI Teacher will complete a functional vision assessment, and make recommendations to enable the pupil to visually access the curriculum and school environment.  The VI teachers can offer training for school staff, and awareness-raising for pupils.  They will also train the teaching assistants appointed to work with the pupil, including, if necessary, training in Grade 1 and Grade 2 Braille.  The Resource Officer will also give training on the use of specialist equipment.  The VI teacher and mobility officer will jointly carry out an audit of the environment if appropriate.  The Access Plan required of all schools under the Equality Act should already take into account simple requirements such as highlighting edges to steps.


Multiple Disabled and Visually Impaired (MDVI) and Multi-Sensory Impaired (MSI) Pupils in Special Schools

MDVI is a term used to describe children and young people who have severe learning difficulties (SLD) and a visual impairment.  They may also have other physical disabilities and always have complex needs.  Cerebral visual impairment (CVI), where the brain is unable to process visual signals, is the most common cause of visual impairment in this group.  The VI team supports the special schools in Central Bedfordshire, and the Qualified Teacher for Visually Impaired/MDVI/MSI ensures that the schools maintain the necessary in-house skills and training to support the MDVI children.

MSI is a term used where pupils have a dual sensory loss; a varying degree of hearing and visual loss which impacts on their access to the curriculum, information gathering, mobility, social and independence skills.  Joint working takes place with the Teacher of the Deaf in mainstream special schools and pre-school stage.


Monitoring and Evaluation of Provision

The VI teachers and Resource Officer will monitor and evaluate the effective use of resources and equipment.  The NatSIP criteria are evaluated yearly by the VI teachers.  As with any method that attempts to classify levels of impairment, they are intended to be used by trained professionals who will use their knowledge and experience to make decisions about the correct descriptor levels.  A child may move between levels, particularly if the eye condition is degenerative, or during transition phases.  This in turn may change the frequency of visits made by the VI teacher in each academic year.  If the pupil has a Education Health and Care Plan/Statement of Educational Needs which includes their visual impairment, the VI teacher will be closely involved with the Annual Review.