a better education for visually impaired children



A request under the Freedom of Information Act to the Oxfordshire County Council for a list of mainstream primary and secondary schools in the county with facilities for the visually impaired drew the following response:

Please note that Oxfordshire County Council is a totally inclusive authority. It does not have any separate VI Units attached to primary or secondary schools so I am unable to supply the information you requested.

However I would like to give you some background information which I hope you will find useful.

In line with government thinking, it is the policy of Oxfordshire County Council, as the Local Education Authority (LEA), that most children with special educational needs should be educated alongside their mainstream peers, so that they are fully able to participate in the life of an ordinary school.

Oxfordshire County Council supports children with special educational needs in mainstream schools in a variety of ways, tailored to suit the individual child. There are substantial resources allocated to meeting the needs of pupils with special educational needs. These include extra funding in mainstream schools (the SEN Index), the statementing budget and special educational needs support services. The Council currently has a central team of teachers, a resource technician and specialist equipment and these are deployed as necessary to meet individual needs.

However, the Council recognises the continuing role for specialist provision, including special schools, as an integral part of an inclusive education. Children with visual difficulties may attend these schools, but in most cases their visual impairment is regarded as their secondary disability and it is not the main reason for their attendance nor is it referred to in their statement.

Further information about special educational needs education in Oxfordshire can be found on this web page.



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