How can I make sure my child gets the right support, now they are starting secondary school?

It’s important that 'transition' planning to move your child into secondary school starts at the end of Year 5 or early in Year 6 (end of primary 6 and start of primary 7 in Scotland and NI). Depending on local arrangements, you may be required to start thinking about secondary schools in Year 5 either at a formal transition meeting or through informal conversations.  Applications are usually made early in your childs last year of primary school.

The SEND code of practice in England says that if your child has a vision impairment, a Qualified Teacher of Vision Impairment (QTVI) must be consulted before educational advice or information is given to you. This support should have been in place since the time of diagnosis and referral to your local service.  The QTVI in conjunction with a Qualified Habilitation Officer, will be able to advise you about asking for the kind of support that will benefit your child at secondary school.

This might include:

  • How your child can access material from a distance, such as the whiteboard
  • The modifications necessary to ensure worksheets and text books are in the correct size, font, colour, spacing, or if needed, in braille or electronic format
  • Input from a Habilitation/Mobility Officer to learn routes around a new school
  • Where support staff time needs to be allocated with clear identification of role, planning time with teacher(s) identified and when resource preparation is to take place
  • What teaching strategies are most effective to achieve access for your child
  • What specialist equipment is needed to ensure access in different curriculum areas, such as PE or science, including who will ensure it is in place
  • What information and communications technology or specialist equipment training for your child needs to be put in place (for example keyboard skills, use of specialist software and low vision aids)
  • Broader inclusion in wider activities – are specific strategies needed to support social inclusion and independence, including support from a Habilitation/Mobility and Independence Officer
  • Training for mainstream staff delivered by the specialist Vision Impairment Service may be arranged
  • Good liaison should be set up to exchange information and knowledge, so everything is in place at the beginning of the term when your child starts their new school.

Further information can be found on RNIB's education and learning webpages. 

Guide Dogs also provide an education support service which can give you advice about rights for children with sight loss in education which can be found on Guide Dogs children and young peoples services and support webpages.

Did this answer your question?

Related questions

Brought to you by