Vision support in schools

The Vision Support Team works with schools, early years settings and other professionals to offer assessment, observation and advice on the impact of sight loss, and ways to support children to achieve their potential.


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Vision Support Team

The Vision Support Team is made up of a group of Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) who are qualified teachers holding an additional qualification in the education of children with visual impairments. We also have an early years practitioner with training in visual impairment.

We are also supported by the Assistive Technology for Education Support Team (ATfEST) which comprises specialist technicians who assess and support with specialist technology, teachers who specialise in teaching touch typing and specialist access technology and resource technicians who create modified large print and braille books.

Our team:

  • Offers advice and support to all children and young people who have a visual impairment. We also offer support to their families, their schools and settings and work with other relevant professionals to achieve this.
  • Provides for children across the full age range from birth to the end of education as well as all ability ranges, including those with additional difficulties in special school placements.
  • Will respond to all the statutory requirements of the Code of Practice.

How to get our support

The Vision Support Team accepts referrals from parents, educational settings, health professionals, VISTA and LCC colleagues.


Our QTVI is very professional, approachable and has a calm and supportive manner with our pupils.

We are supported with advice and practical ideas for improving access to the curriculum which we can disseminate to the appropriate staff in school.

Regular visits, follow up reports and contributions to our EHCP Annual Reviews, and information for Access Arrangements is useful.

Last year our QTVI was very helpful at an Annual Review meeting, giving useful support to parents and offering a supportive and reassuring presence.


We can be contacted on the Specialist teaching service number 0116 3059400 or

How we work

  • After we receive a referral we will contact you to gather information about your child’s vision impairment and how you think it impacts on them.
  • Following on to this, one of our Qualified Teachers of the Visually Impaired (QTVI) will arrange an initial visit which may be at home or in your child’s school or nursery.
  • We may carry out a functional eye test (we look at how your child’s eyes see best on an average day rather than in clinical conditions). Sometimes, if your child is young or has complex needs, we may carry out several observations.
  • We will then decide on the level of support needed based on the criteria drawn up by the National Sensory Partnership (NatSiP) a national body that collates information on the education of children with sensory needs.
  • Conversations, testing and observations will provide us with information to write a report which will provide advice and ideas to help your child make the best use of their vision at school or nursery. This may also be used as part of an Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP). This can be shared by you with other professionals if you need to.
  • Dependent on need we will keep contact with your child, yourselves, and school for as long as the need exists within education.
  • We will provide tailored advice to schools about the best way for your child to access the curriculum, we can also provide training for nurseries or schools.
  • Dependent on need and if your child meets the NatSiP criteria guidance, we will often supply tailor made large print books to help a child with curriculum access. Sometimes we will provide special equipment to help your child which can range from simple magnifiers to more technical electronic ones or computer access programs. A few children may need to be taught braille, touch typing or special access skills like the use of screen readers.
  • We regularly assess the support we give and support schools with EHCP referrals.

Working with others

It is important to us to hear the voice of the child we are working with, we will do this in several ways:

We have regular conversations with yourselves, SENDCOS and class teachers or nursery staff as well as talking to your child about any vision related issues or concerns.

We also aim to work closely with parents. QTVIs will speak regularly to parents and are happy to receive calls and email, should parents have concerns or questions. Parents will receive copies of any reports that we write, and reports will also reflect your views.

We work with VISTA who provide mobility and living skills to children on our behalf.

We have regular contact with the LRI paediatric ophthalmology department and their family liaison workers. We also have contacts with other hospitals around the country.

We offer training to schools and other partners both general and tailored to individual needs.


She’s really helpful. If I am confused about anything I can go to her.


Useful resources

Useful links

Vista - local Leicestershire and Rutland charity supporting the visually impaired

British Blind Sport - find a local club and advice for schools

VICTA - national charity supporting the visually impaired who offer none means tested grants for equipment

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) - good information on applying to college, starting work and preparing for leaving home

Guide Dogs services - national charity providing support and hosting

Guide Dogs CustomEyes books - made for your child’s particular visual needs

The Amber Trust - musical support and grants for visually impaired children of all ages

Positive Eye - some good ideas for supporting home schooling for children with visual impairments during the Covid-19 epidemic

Royal Blind Learning Hub - lots of short videos on everything from how to sew on a button and making a sandwich to social skills

CALL Sctoland - accessibility information on Microsoft, Android and iOS

Calibre Audio - free to download audio books

Audible - audio books with free 30 day trial period from Amazon

eBooks - free to borrow ebooks from Leicestershire library services, accessible to large print users

RNIB Bookshare - usually for school organisations, but currently also open to parents during the Covid-19 epidemic. Works very well with Dolphin Easy Reader app

Dolphin Easy Reader app - super accessible and free ebook reader for extra large print readers

Talking Scientific Calculator app - Designed for a wide range of users, featuring large colourful buttons, optional high contrast, full voice-over support and the option to use speech for answers, buttons names and formulas

Help Kidz Learn - interactive games to support learning with 14 day free trial. Low cost sign-up during the Covid-19 epidemic