My child has VI, what are SENCOs and QTVIs and how can they help with my child’s education?

SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)

Is a teacher who coordinates the provision for children with special educational needs or disabilities in schools. Many are also class teachers and fulfil their SENCO duties on a part-time basis. SENCOs who were in position before 2009 may have been trained on the job, but now all new SENCOs have to complete a Masters level National Award for Special Educational Needs. A SENCO is involved in making sure that any recommendations or input from external specialists (like QTVIs, other sensory teachers, physiotherapists, OTs etc) is delivered in school.

QTVI (Qualified Teacher of children with VI)

Are based in a specialist service, sometimes called the “VI Service” or “Sensory Service” at the local authority and work on a peripatetic or visiting teacher basis. A QTVI will have a caseload of children across several schools in an area. They perform assessments of children with VI and define the support, resources, adaptations and support that should be made to enable access to learning. QTVIs can also be involved in direct teaching of specific subjects or skills, particularly for braillists where they may go into schools for certain lessons. Another key aspect of the work of a QTVI is to provide ongoing advice and training for in-school teachers and teaching assistants about meeting the needs of pupils with VI children. QTVIs have teacher training and also complete a 2 year postgraduate qualification (mandatory requirement by DfE) specifically in the needs of children with VI.

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