Our Vision For Equal Education

We are taking forward the “Our Vision for Equal Education” campaign to highlight the need for increased support in Scotland’s schools for blind and partially sighted pupils. 

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Royal Blind has highlighted that because up to 80% of our learning is through our vision, pupils who are vision impaired start at an immediate disadvantage to their fully sighted peers. There is also a growing number of children in Scotland’s schools who are vision impaired, but the most recent figures show there has been a fall in the number of specialist teachers.  The charity is concerned that this is contributing to an attainment gap for vision impaired young people.

Royal Blind’s Vision for Equal Education is calling for action in four key areas:

A Scottish Government Action Plan to recruit and retain the specialist teachers we need for increasing numbers of vision impaired pupils

A new SQA training qualification in vision impairment for education support staff and others including those providing care and therapy

Effective transitions for vision impaired young people

A fair and pupil-centred placement system for vision impaired young people.

Campaign Key Stats

Rising numbers of VI children

The Scottish Government’s Pupil Census for 2017 shows there were 4,331 pupils with vision impairment. This is more than double that recorded in the Pupil Census in 2010, which showed in that year there were 2,005 vision impaired pupils.

A reduction in specialist teachers

A 2012 study by the Scottish Sensory Centre (SSC) reported there were 88 Qualified Teachers of Children and Young people with Vision Impairment (QTVIs) working in 27 local authorities for 2,019 vision impaired pupils.  A second study by the SSC in 2016 found there were a total of 65 QTVIs working in all local authorities for 4,177 pupils.

An attainment gap for vision impaired children

The figures for 2016/ 17 showed 88.8% of pupils with vision impairment progress to higher education, training or employment, an increase on the previous year compared with 94.9% of pupils without additional support needs.

Up to 80% of our learning is through our vision

This means it is vital for vision impaired pupils to benefit from learning approaches designed by specialist teachers with knowledge of delivering and designing a curriculum.

Full report

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