Welcome to the NatSIP Website

This website offers access to a wealth of SI resources, most of which are now freely available.  We encourage you to register on the site for full access to everything we have to offer.  Registration is free, and open to anyone.  A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is here.

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has published a document summarising the responses it received to a review on communication support for deaf people. The aim of the review was to try and identify what is known about the supply and demand of professionals (such as interpreters, speech-to-text-reporters, etc.) whose role it is to provide support to deaf people with their communication.

Ian Noon of the NDCS has written an article about the review on the NDCS campaigns blog, Other articles on the blog can be read at https://ndcscampaigns.com/

Recent research in the USA about babies with hearing loss and the importance of early intervention can be accessed here:

Vision 2020 have published a new paper giving statisitics for sight loss in children and young people, updated for 2017.

The paper can be downloaded via the NatSIP document library pdf here .


We are pleased to announce that a special combined NatSIP working day and annual HoSS event Strengthening the sector in preparation for change is now open for booking.

Date: Wednesday 4 October 2017
Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Friends House
173 Euston Road

This special combined NatSIP working day and annual HoSS event is is for Heads of Service, managers and members of specialist SI service providers, including those in SI settngs, VCS, agencies and organisations working together to secure better outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.

During the day:

  • André Imich (SEND professional advisor at DfE) will bring us up‐to‐date with the latest information about impact and outcomes from the DfE
  • Brian Gale (Director of Policy and Campaigns, NDCS), will give an update on funding
  • Oxfordshire and London Borough of Wandsworth will present on SI service and school developments
  • Updates from the sector will include short presentations from HoSS, BATOD, VIEW and NatSIP
  • There will be dedicated networking time in the morning and over lunch

The cost of the day is £100/delegate reduced to £50/delegate for NatSIP‐affiliated organisations.

Available documents:

Delegates will be able to participate in two working groups during the day.

We are pleased top announce a new free-to-attend workshop for parents:  Education, Health and Care Plans post-16 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Date: Saturday 25 November 2017
Time: 09:30-16:30

Friends House
173 Euston Road

This workshop is for parents or carers of young people with sensory impairments.  Young people with sensory impairments who are aged 18 or over may also attend.

This workshop will provide participants with more information about Education, Health and Care (EHC) plans for young people with sensory impairment post‐19.

Whether the young person is already 19 or over, or is likely to have an EHC plan when they turn 19, we hope this workshop will provide useful information that will help support them as they move to adulthood.

We will cover what the law says should happen, both in terms of deciding whether the young person should have an EHC plan when they turn 19 and what happens afterwards.  We will set out the roles and responsibilities of different bodies that should be helping parent/carers and the young people themselves.

We will also explain how support can be given to young people about making decisions about their future. This will include finding out more about the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and also about the different education options that may be open.

How much does it cost?
The workshop is free to attend for parents, carers or young people, but you must book places in advance.

Available documents:

In November 2017, NatSIP is running a new Workshop event Education, Health and Care Plans post-16 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005

Date: Friday 24 November 2017
Time: 09:30-16:30

Friends House
173 Euston Road


This workshop is for professionals who work with young people with sensory impairments. 

The day will set out the legislation and policy context around EHC plans for young people with sensory impairment post-19.  It will also provide delegates with a more in-depth understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005, capacity assessments and how to support young people to make their own decisions.

The intended audience for this workshop is intentionally broad to cover the range of roles of professionals who work with young people in this age group and may include specialist SI teachers, further education college staff, support workers, etc.  It also includes any professionals who may be contributing to an EHC needs assessment, annual reviews or transition planning.


The cost for the day is £50/delegate reduced to £25/delegate for NatSIP-affiliated organisations.

Available documents:


In September, October and November 2017, NatSIP is running a regional working day event Equipping the SI sector for the future.  The event is available on three dates in three different venues:

Date 1: Wednesday 20 September 2017
Time: 10:00-16:00

Friends House
173 Euston Road

Date 2: Wednesday 18 October 2017
Time: 10:00-16:00

Novotel York Centre
YO10 4FD

Date 3: Wednesday 8 November 2017
Time: 10:00-16:00

Beeches Conference Centre
76 Selly Oak Road
B30 1LS


This full-day event is for managers and other members of support services, specialist settngs, VCS, agencies and other organisations working together to secure better outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.

The NatSIP Future of the Sector report (compiled by Brian Lamb) outlined a number of key changes to policy, funding and commissioning practice which are going to dramatically impact on how services are commissioned and operate in the coming years.  Understanding what commissioners are looking for, how best to position and market SI  services and what schools need are going to become ever more important.

This day will provide an overall framework for thinking about how to approach commissioners, what is needed in respect of service developments and offers and how this might fit with new commissioning models. There will opportunity to discuss and share recent experiences of good practice and understand in more detail what service leaders need to do to secure the future of their service with top tips and support with action planning.

There will also be an update about the NatSIP contract work programme and a session on the Sensory Learning Hub and how to use this to reach the front line workforce and support the specialist SI professional.

The cost of the day is £50/delegate, reduced to £25/delegate for NatSIP-affiliated organisations

Available documents:

London - 20 September 2017

York - 18 October 2017

Birmingham - 8 November 2017


The NatSIP Reference Group's report to the DfE on work carried out in the first quarter (April to June 2017) for the contract for 2017-18 has now been published and can be downloaded pdf here .

NDCS published today a new report on the difference that radio aids can make in the early years. The report can be downloaded from www.ndcs.org.uk/research and it is hoped that colleagues will find it helpful and interesting.

The latest presentation of our 5-day MSI RCE Course, will be running in Kent in the Autumn Term. This is jointly supported by NatSIP, Sense and Kent STLS Sensory Service. Booking is open for delegates. 

Day 1:
Day 2:
Day 4:
Day 5:
Thursday 21 September 2017
Thursday 5 October 2017
Thursday 19 October 2017
Thursday 9 November 2017
Thursday 30 November 2017


Please contact:
Beverly Ingleton (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Carolyn Lewis (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

This 5-day taught course covers key areas of working with deafblind/MSI learners.

There are 15 places available.  The course is for professionals who currently provide direct support for deafblind children / young people.

Delegates on the course will have the opportunity to identify and share good practice, whilst receiving support from a mentor. A mentor could be identified locally by participants and agreed with course organisers, or be provided by the course team at additional cost.

Available documents:

The following document is available:

On 28 and 29 September 2017, NatSIP, working with NDCS and London Borough of Tower Hamlets Sensory Service, will be offering a new two-day interactive training course:
Understanding the needs of children and young people with deafness

Day 1:
Day 2:
Thursday 28 September 2017
Friday 29 September 2017
Time: 09:30 - 15:30

St Giles Hotel
Bedford Avenue

Booking: Open now


This two‐day training course is for teaching assistants and other education professionals new to working with learners with deafness.

Most children with deafness (which includes all degrees of hearing loss) are educated within a mainstream settng, many with the support of a learning or communicatoon assistant. This course will provide a basic understanding of the causes and impact of deafness. It explores the role of providing support, and covers different support methods that can be used. It will improve knowledge of hearing technology and listening conditions, and help develop practical strategies to ensure the child you support achieves his or her potential in listening, learning and communicating.


  • Tina Wakefield, Education Consultant, National Deaf Children's Society/The Ear Foundation
  • Jen Nicholson, Head of Sensory Support Service, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Cost for the two‐day course including refreshments and lunch each day:

  • £100/delegate,

discounted to

  • £50/delegate for NatSIP‐affiliated organisations

Course content:

  • An understanding of the basic causes and impact of deafness
  • The latest hearing technology: cochlear implants, hearings aids, BAHA, radio aids and other hearing technologies
  • Strategies for improving learning conditions
  • Developing techniques and strategies for supporting communication and access to the curriculum in the classroom
  • Reviewing your role in providing support
  • Developing social and emotional interaction
  • Partnership working and the voice of the child
  • Literacy and working memory

Available documents:

The following documents are available:

Supporting the achievement of deaf young pople in higher education is a new NatSIP publication which has been produced by the National Deaf Children’s Society with support from the Consortium of Higher Education Support Services for deaf students (CHESS), The Ear Foundation and NatSIP.

The resource will help staff in higher education (HE) to:

  • make sure that deaf students have the support they need to make good progress, take advantage of the opportunities of HE and successfully complete their studies
  • take the reasonable steps required under the Equality Act 2010 (or the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) in Northern Ireland) to make sure that deaf students are not treated less favourably than other students.

The following file is available in the document library.

With immense pressure on local authority SEND budgets it is increasingly important to set out a strong business case for commissioning specialist support services for children and young people with sensory impairment.

With our thanks to Brian Gale of NDCS, NatSIP has today (30 June 2017) published a new document containing a framework and checklist to help sensory support services align their services with key duties and requirements set out in legislation and government guidance. This checklist should be used in conjunction with other support materials such which analyse the needs of and outcomes for children and young people with SI

There are two versions of the document available on open access in the document library:

In recognition of the unique and independent role played by NatSIP, we hold a contract with the DfE to provide support for sensory impairment. 

During 2017 – 18 there are two key objectives as part of this contract

  • To enhance the capacity and knowledge base of the front line workforce
  • To develop the capacity of the SI sector

As part of the front line workforce programme NatSIP has committed to the development of face-to-face training and specialist support materials for SENCOs.  Through the promotion of best practice in the SI field NatSIP will provide SENCOs with the knowledge required to address the needs of SI learners in the classroom.

We looking for strategic national partners who will be able to support the programme by offering opportunities for NatSIP Associates to deliver an awareness raising session as part of an existing SENCO qualification provider course or through presentations at SENCO forums and events.

During the session, there will be an opportunity to contribute to the development of a training package, the focus of which will be supporting SENCOs in identifying and addressing the needs of SI children and young people and informing them of the specialist support available.

For more information about the SENCOs programme contact Bev Mars, NatSIP Associate