A summary of the latest attainment data published by the Department for Education (DfE) in England, highlighting the gaps between children with VI and their fully-sighted peers.
These reports cover the attainment gap between blind and partially sighted students and those with no special educational needs (SEN).
Title: Educational attainment and progress of young blind and partially sighted pupils in England.
Author: Paul Bassett, Statsconsultancy, Publisher: RNIB
A 2010 study into the attainment gap between blind and partially sighted students and those with no special educational needs (SEN).
Previous research for RNIB into the educational attainment of pupils aged 14 and 16 had found that the attainment gap between blind and partially sighted pupils and those with no special educational needs (SEN) appeared to be present from an early stage in their education, before they started secondary school (Chanfreau and Cebulla, 2009). This study was therefore carried out to find out:
- whether the attainment gap is present when children first start school
- whether it then remains the same, increases or decreases with age
- the effect of other factors such as having another SEN, gender, ethnicity and social disadvantage.
- Primary-aged pupils with a visual impairment are more likely than pupils with no recorded special educational needs (including those who are supported at School Action) to experience social disadvantage.
- While pupils with a visual impairment have higher attainment and make better progress than other SEN groups, they have lower attainment scores at the end of Reception when compared with pupils with no recorded SEN/at School Action and this gap appears to increase with each Key Stage.
- As had been found with older pupils, for pupils with visual impairment the most important factor is whether or not a pupil has another SEN in addition to a visual impairment. Pupils with a visual impairment as their single SEN do much better than pupils with a second SEN.
- Having another SEN has an even greater negative effect on pupils with visual impairment than pupils with other types of SEN.
Author: Jenny Chanfreau and Andreas Cebulla, Publisher: RNIB
A 2009 study into the educational attainment gap between blind and partially sighted students and those with no special educational needs (SEN).
RNIB commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to carry out detailed analysis of government statistics relating to the educational performance of blind and partially sighted pupils in the UK. According to published government statistics, pupils with visual impairment as their primary special educational need (SEN), do better at GCSE in comparison with other groups of pupils with SEN, but considerably less well than pupils with no SEN. The aim of this research was to look behind the official statistics to find out whether blind and partially sighted pupils still do less well at GCSE in comparison with pupils without special educational needs, when the following factors are taken into account:
- having an additional SEN
- social disadvantage
- area in which pupils live
- type of school attended.
- In England and Northern Ireland, in particular, pupils with visual impairment experienced a greater level or risk of social disadvantage than pupils without special educational needs (SEN). In comparison with pupils with no SEN, a higher proportion of pupils with a visual impairment (with and without an additional SEN) received free school meals and lived in areas of social deprivation.
- Social deprivation was one of the factors that made it less likely that a pupil would do well educationally.
- While pupils with visual impairment do less well educationally than pupils with no SEN, the most important factor is whether or not a pupil has another SEN in addition to a visual impairment. This remains the case even when social and other differences between pupils with visual impairment and pupils with no SEN are taken into account.
- At GCSE, pupils with no SEN were found to do best, followed closely by pupils with visual impairment and no additional SEN ("VI only"). Pupils with visual impairment and additional SEN and pupils with all other types of SEN (treated as a single group) did least well, coming some way behind the "VI only" group.
- Full report - Educational attainment for blind and partially sighted pupils (Word)
- UK briefing - Educational attainment UK briefing (Word)