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We're challenging Hampshire County Council cuts

Hampshire County Council cuts funding for children with special education needs. We are urgently calling on the Education Secretary Damian Hinds to challenge Hampshire County Council's decision, and for SEND funding to be included in the Government's next spending review so every child with a vision impairment can access the same level of education as their peers.

Hampshire County Council has announced that it plans to cut over £700,000 of funding for children with special educational needs and disabilities which could affect over 600 children and young people with vision impairment.

This announcement comes at a time when specialist educational provision is being drastically reduced across the country. In the last year, one third of local authorities cut their spending on services for children and young people with vision impairment and more than a third of local authorities reduced the number of Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (QTVIs) which they employ. 

The need to protect any further cuts has never been greater. This is why we’re campaigning with National Deaf Children’s Society to urge Hampshire Country Council to reconsider and prevent the devastating effect the cuts will have.

Abigail Fitzgibbon, RNIB’s Head of Social Change, said:

“We are deeply concerned about the appalling cuts to support for children and young people with vision impairment in mainstream schools, which are happening more and more regularly. It is vital that blind and partially sighted children and young people receive specialist support from a Qualified Teacher of Vision Impairment (QTVI). QTVIs perform the integral function of helping with development in early years, including teaching Braille and the skills needed to access information independently. The cuts to the Specialist Teacher Advisory Service mean a 25% reduction in staffing levels, with highly specialised staff being replaced by one part-time teaching assistant, which is very concerning.”

Visit our dedicated campaigns page to find out how you can help protect local vision services for children and young people.