Children with vision impairment

Thank you very much for contacting me about the Guide Dogs report on children and young people with vision impairment. I understand that it makes a number of recommendations for the Government to consider. As such, I am glad that a number of measures are in place to support children who are visually impaired.

I believe it is very important that measures are taken to ensure that visually impaired children have all the necessary support in educational settings, and more widely at home. As such, I welcomed that high needs funding, which is specifically for supporting children with more complex SEND, will be increasing by £1 billion during the 2022-23 financial year. This will bring the overall funding for high needs to £9.1 billion, and this unprecedented increase of 13 per cent comes on top of the £1.5 billion increase over the last two years. I understand that decisions about how funding is used, including for the employment of specialist teachers for visually impaired children, are made by local authorities and schools. 

More broadly, I welcomed the publication of the Department for Education's SEND Green Paper which proposes to establish a single, national SEND system. This will set clear standards for provision, processes and systems, clear roles and responsibilities, and set strengthened accountabilities at every level. This will help to improve outcomes and improve consistency for children and young people with SEND, including the visually impaired.