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Moving on

Moving on investigates the process of post-16 transition for young people with visual impairment (VI) in Wales at the time of the study.

Title: Moving on: how the process of transition to school sixth forms and colleges of further education in Wales is managed for students with visual impairment. Author: Sue Keil, Publisher: RNIB.


Between 2003 and 2006, RNIB carried out a qualitative research study to investigate the process of post-16 transition for young people with visual impairment (VI) in Wales. The aims of the study were to identify the factors leading to, or preventing, a successful transition from school to further education (FE) at the age of 16, for young people with visual impairment. The five case studies were used to examine the process of transition from compulsory to post-compulsory education at the age of 16. By tracking the transition pathways for the individual case study students, it has been possible to see where the model works and to identify factors that might lead to ‘bottle-necks’ in the process.

Key findings

  • The case studies identified the importance to the young people of having ongoing, specialist support in the period following transition.
  • Differences were found between the culture of FE college and school sixth forms with respect to the young people with visual impairment.
  • Problems relating to funding of equipment for students in FE were identified. This issue did not arise for sixth form students because they continued to use their existing equipment and as at the time of the study funding still went direct to the local education authority (LEA), any additional items continued to be paid for out of the VI service budget.
  • Anomalies were found in assessment procedures and practices for young people on transition to school sixth forms, FE colleges and higher education (HE) institutions respectively.
  • The key role of the specialist teacher following transition was also apparent from the case studies of the young people who continued into school sixth form. This support was not available for young people in FE.