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.

Exams and Tests 

RNIB has responded to the most recent Ofqual consultation regarding 2022 public and vocational exams with the needs of candidates with vision impairment at the forefront. Exams are due to take place next summer but several adaptations are being proposed to mitigate the ongoing impact of the pandemic.

These proposals focus on the provision of pre exam information and content and the removal of some practical exam elements.

We will await the results of the consultation to ensure our concerns were taken on board. 

Availability of Modified Past Papers

We went to Ofqual earlier this year to raise concerns about a potential shortage of modified exam papers available to be used as past papers, due to the lack of exams over the last two seasons. At the most recent Ofqual Access Forum (July 2021) all the exam boards reassured us that if past papers in the desired format were not previously created, they will do their best to fulfil any requests they receive. This is hugely reassuring, and we hope supports the preparation for exams for candidates with a vision impairment. 


RNIB have worked closely with GL assessment, one of the main providers of the 11+ tests to update their guidance to schools/centres administering the test.  The updated version will be available at this link later this term.

New for 2022 – Revision Guides

RNIB is currently producing a range of accessible revision guides, a much-needed resource for students with vision impairment.  Core subjects are being produced in turn and will be available in Grade 2 UEB (with tactile images) and Structured Word – Arial 14 with a layout for easy navigation, with diagram descriptions.

The guides will be available to download from RNIB Bookshare

Coronavirus update

We are keen to support education professionals during this crisis period. We produced advice and guidance with our partners about how to adapt professional practice and support children and families during Coronavirus lockdowns and homeschooling. This is still available and our Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) Education team remain on hand via our Helpline at 0303 123 9999 or email us at [email protected].

We are also producing specific coronavirus advice for families on Sight Advice FAQ.

RNIB has wider advice for anyone with sight loss on our coronavirus updates page.

Development of new UK specialist VI curriculum framework

RNIB is part of joint project that aims to establish a UK-wide specialist VI curriculum framework for children and young people with vision impairment (VI).

The VI Curriculum Framework will clarify and define the elements of specialist skill development, interventions and best practice support that are essential for children and young people with vision impairment.

Find out more about this project and how you can get involved.

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 information here.

The role of the QTVI

Qualified teachers of children and young people with vision impairment (QTVI) play a crucial role in the development and education of blind and partially sighted learners. You can read a factsheet below about their role.

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
  • 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.

The VI Forum is an email discussion list for Qualified Teachers of Vision Impairment (QTVIs) and associated VI professionals to share good practice and seek solutions to the challenges of the VI profession. The purpose is to enable those who work with children and young people with VI to ask questions and discuss issues of current interest. 

You can find more information about the forum and how to subscribe at siforums.org.uk.

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.

For further information please contact the RNIB CYPF Team at [email protected].