Title: Out of the Paddling Pool: A report of the first and second year follow ups of students with visual impairment following transition to school sixth form or colleges of further education in Wales.

Author: Sue Keil, Publisher: RNIB, Year of publication: 2005. 


Between 2003 and 2006, RNIB carried out case studies of five young people with visual impairment in Wales as they went through the process of transition from compulsory to post-compulsory education at the age of 16. Contact with the five case study participants was maintained through follow-up telephone interviews at regular intervals during the two-year period following transition. This has enabled us to gain further information about the young people’s experiences as they have progressed through school sixth form or FE college and to track them through to the next transition stage at the age of 18. This report gives a brief account of what happened to the young people during that two-year period and describes the arrangements that were made for their post-18 transition.

Related reports

This is the second report in a series of three:        

Key findings     

  • Participants were asked the reasons for their choice of post-18 destination. Regardless of the type of setting they were leaving (ie sixth form or FE college) participants gave a range of reasons for their choice of destination. These emerged through both positive statements about the destination of choice, and negative statements to explain why certain options had been rejected.    
  • That the preferred setting had provision for or experience of supporting people with visual impairment was an important consideration for four out of the five respondents. There was a perception that while certain universities were known to be accessible to students with visual impairment, others were more of an unknown quantity.     
  • Students in both sixth form and mainstream FE settings had experienced difficulties and delays at times in obtaining their study materials in accessible formats.
  • The five participants were asked to reflect upon the transition process and to say what they felt had worked best and what might have been done better. Two key themes emerged from the young people’s responses. The first was the importance of having their needs understood and of knowing that there was someone they could go to discuss any concerns.     
  • The second theme was the importance of communication between the young person and the school or college in order to prepare not just for their specialist support, but also to prepare the student for the culture change of studying at AS/A level.