Education and learning

Most blind and partially sighted children are educated in mainstream schools, or in special schools that do not specialise in vision impairment. 

In this section you'll find information about how to support children's education, from the early years to transition into adulthood and life beyond school. This includes how to secure the right support for your child in nursery and school through a process of assessment and specifically tailored support.

Young children’s education

SEN reforms

New legislation brought about by the Children and Families Act 2014, means that statements for special educational needs will be replaced by Education, Health and Care Plans. The principle of setting out what an individual child needs remains the same. Changes only affect families living in England and nothing will change until September 2014.

Content on this page refers to the system of statutory assessment and the statement process, which until September 2014, you can still apply for. We will be updating our content to reflect the new changes as they are gradually rolled out. 

For more details regarding the Children and Families Act 2014 and the new Code of Practice visit:

Education is changing - Contact a Family:

Resources on the Children and Families Bill - Council for Disabled Children:

Mainstream schools have a Special Needs Coordinator (SENCO) who will work with you to look at how your child's educational needs can be best met at school. Your child may get support from Qualified Teachers of children with Vision Impairment (QTVIs) and teaching assistants. Your child may also benefit from resources such large print, braille or technical equipment.

E mail to get in touch with us, and you can also check out the Sightline Directory which holds details of thousands of other organisations in the UK that can give you information, advice and support.

You can also download our Starting out - Education guide.

School, college and university

School is a big part of your life and we have advice around choosing subjects, exams and study skills, after school clubs and activities as well as how to start planning for life after school and moving on to college, uni or work. If you're going to school, college and university, visit Young people for more information and advice. We also have advice if you are looking to start studying as an adult or retraining because of sight loss. It is never too late to start learning!


We have a large amount of advice and guidance about teaching blind and partially sighted pupils from the early years to secondary education in our Education Professionals section.

Get the latest news and views

You can also find out more by reading Insight Magazine, which keeps you up to date with the very latest news and information to help support children and young people with sight loss.

We're here to help

Our Helpline is your direct line to the support, advice, and products you need to face the future with confidence. If you or someone you know has a sight problem, our specialist advice workers can help.

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