Education professionals

If you are working with blind and partially sighted learners from birth to 25, including those with complex needs, at RNIB we want to offer you support.

We want to ensure children with vision impairment get the best possible start in life and go on to achieve their full potential.

Facts and figures

We estimate that around 25,000 children and young people up to the age of 16 in England and Wales have a vision impairment of sufficient severity to need specialist educational support. As many as 50 per cent have additional disabilities, including some who have very complex needs. Most are born with a vision impairment. You can find more key statistics in the document below:

SEND Reforms

The Children and Families Act 2014 and the SEND Code of Practice set out a vision for changing the way that children and young people with special edicational needs and disabled children and their parents are supported.This means changes for the professionals who work with them in education, health and social care. RNIB has developed resources which will provide information on making the SEND reforms work for children and young people with a vision impairment and their families. 

Visit our SEND reform resources page for information and resources about making the SEND reforms work for children and young people with a vision impairment and their families. 

Guidance and resources

At RNIB we strive constantly to improve the quality of teaching and learning for all children and young people with vision impairment, so that they can achieve even more.

Our guidance on teaching and learning section is designed to help you provide the best possible education and developmental support to blind and partially sighted children and young people. In this section, you'll find effective practice guides and information around educating children and young people with a sight condition including:

  • working with children in the early years
  • teaching National Curriculum subjects
  • working with school age children
  • working with children with complex needs
  • supporting students in further and higher education.

Our education resources section compliments our guidance on teaching and learning and tells you about classroom resources including books and electronic textbooks. In our access to exams and texts section you'll find information on making exams accessible, including how to modify papers and how to obtain past papers. Our technology in education and independent learning sections explore how technology can help facilitate greater learning.

Events, training and networks for education professionals

Find out about some really useful events, training and networks for education professionals working with children and young people with vision impairment, including those with complex needs. These networks and events help to bring professionals together from different settings to share effective practice, professional development, networking and peer support.

Why is specialist support needed?

Read the evidence and arguments for protecting vital local authority VI services.

Resources for young people

Our pages for young people offer advice and guidance for blind and partially sighted young people aged from 14 to 25 on all stages of their transition from school, to college, university and into employment.

Resources for parents

Our resources for parents of blind and partially sighted children includes information to help parents understand their child's sight condition, financial support, other parents stories, a who's who guide for parents and more.

Get the latest news

To keep up to date with news and information to support children and young people who have a vision impairment, sign up to receive our free online magazine for families and professionals called Insight.

Knowledge and research hub

We are a leading source of information on sight loss and the issues affecting blind and partially sighted people. Access our statistics, evidence and reports in our research hub.

Visit the research hub