a better education for visually impaired children



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

Bradford District does not have any special schools for VI/Blind pupils. The local policy is that pupils whose primary need is VI/Blind then they should be educated with their peer group at the local school. This pupil would be entitled to an appropriate level of support from the VI Support Service managed by Education Bradford, and assuming the pupil has a statement of SEN, then the school is most likely to receive additional money and equipment to provide for the pupil with exceptional needs. Based on that principle, technically all Bradford's mainstream schools should be prepared and supported to provide for pupils whose primary need is VI/blindness.

That said, until August 2004 Bradford did have a special school for VI/blind (Temple Bank). On closing that school the agreement was/is that the pupils registered at Temple Bank would transfer to either Grove House Primary School and Killinghall Primary School as of Sept. 2004 and the secondary aged pupils to Hanson Secondary. The great majority of the staff at Temple Bank were also transferred to these mainstream schools. These three provisions are temporary and were set up singularly for Temple Bank pupils. Bradford does not have any permanent 'units' or similar in its mainstream schools.

Bradford has only used one independent school - Worcester College for the Blind. We do not have any pupils whose primary need is VI/Blind placed by Bfd in an independent school. I would suggest the requestor contacts the RNIB for further information, or the DfES who hold a register of such approved provisions.

Each LEA is provided, by the DfES, with a list of non-maintained Special Schools approved under section 342 of the Education Act 1996. This is not confidential information and might be available from the DfES’s website or from their general communications.




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