Welcome to the NatSIP Website

This website offers access to a wealth of SI resources, most of which are behind a login wall: you need to be registered on the site and logged in before you can access them.

Also, you can't use (or see) the site search until you have logged in.

We ask you to register not because we are checking up on anyone, but because we need to show to the DfE and other organisations supporting NatSIP that our resources are being used in the SI community.

Registration is free, and open to anyone.  A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is here.

We are pleased to announce that the NatSIP National Working Day on 7 February 2017 is now open for boooking

National working day:  Equality of access for children and young people with sensory impairment

Tuesday 7 February 2017
Time: 10:00-16:00
Venue: Hamilton House
Mabledon Place

open now


This NatSIP event is for managers and members of support services, schools, specialist settings, VCS, agencies and organisations working together to secure better outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment (CYP with SI).

We encourage colleagues working across education, social care and health to attend and explore how the latest initiatives in government legislation are influencing the provision of education for CYP with SI and their families.

During the day:

  • Dr Tim Coulson, Regional Schools Commissioner for East of England and North-East London, (DfE) will talk about the influence and challenges within the new education systems in MATs, Academies, Free Schools, outreach services and commissioning
  • Brian Gale, NDCS, will bring delegates up to date with The Equality Act 2010 and implications for CYP with SI who access the curriculum through technology
  • Suzanne Wilkins, Head of Sensory Service for Kent County Council, will share the way the SI service work with special schools in the LA
  • Brian Gale, as the SEC (Special Educational Consortium) representative on the DfE Schools and Academy Funding Group, will deliver a funding update on the proposals and changes announced by the DfE in December 2016
  • There will be an update about the NatSIP workstreams within the DfE programme as we approach the end of the 2016—17 contract.

NatSIP working groups will take place in the afternoon to progress the objectives of the NatSIP contract with DfE.

These will include:

  • NatSIP Outcomes Benchmarking
  • Technology and CYP with SI
  • The future role for SI services
  • Impact for SI learners of the latest qualification, examination and assessment changes from Ofqual

The cost of the day, including lunch and refreshments, is £100/delegate, reduced to £50/delegate for NatSIP-affiliated organisations.

Available documents:

In March 2017, NatSIP, working with the RNIB, will be offering another presentation of our two-day training course:
Understanding the needs of children and young people with vision impairment

Day 1:
Day 2:
Wednesday 22 March 2017
Wednesday 29 March 2017
Time: 10:00-16:00
Venue: Friends House
173 Euston Road
Booking: will be open in early December 2016


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

  • Presenters:
    Rory Cobb, Principal Officer: Inclusive Education, RNIB
  • David Jackson, Advisory Teacher for Vision Impairment, Surrey County Council

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

  • £100/delegate,

discounted to

  • £50/delegate for NatSIP‐affiliated organisations

Course content:

  • Understanding the population of learners with vision impairment
  • Roles and responsibilities in supporting CYP with vision impairment
  • The structure of the eye and how we see
  • How is vision assessed?
  • Experiencing the effects of vision impairment
  • How vision impairment impacts on development and learning
  • Strategies for providing access to thecurriculum
  • Access to tests and exams
  • ICT and communication tools used by children and young people with vision impairment
  • Strategies for promoting social interaction
  • Developing mobility and independence skills

Available documents:

More details and a booking form will be published soon.  Please save the date now!

We are pleased to announce that booking for Preparing for the plan - a free workshop for parents is now open.

Date: Saturday 4 February 2017
Time: 09:30-16:00
Venue: Seashell Trust
Stanley Road
Cheadle Hulme
Booking: open now

This workshop is free but places must be booked in advance

About this event:

  • Does your child have a hearing and/or vision impairment?
  • Does s/he have a statement of special educational needs or an Education, Health and Care plan?
  • Is your child about to undergo an assessment for an Education, Health and Care Plan?

If you answered ‘yes’, our Preparing for the Plan workshop may be for you.

This is an informal and relaxed opportunity for parents to find about more about Education, Health and Care plans. There will be a mix of presentations, discussions and group work and lots of opportunities for you to ask questions throughout the day.

The workshop is free to attend, but places must be booked in advancce,  Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

By the end of our workshop, you will:

  • Know how assessments for an Education Health and Care (EHC) plan should work
  • Understand the different sections of a plan and how they relate to each other
  • Understand how you can help ensure your child gets a good EHC plan that meets their needs and makes sure they achieve good outcomes

The workshop is led by Andrea Scrivens, a parent of a child with vision impairment and an education consultant for the National Deaf Children’s Society.  Andrea is working with Jude Thompson, Education Director for the Royal London Society for the Blind, and
Principal of Dorton College.

Please note that we are not able to provide childcare facilities.

To reserve your free place, complete and return a booking form by 20 January 2017.

Available documents:

We are pleased to announce that booking for NatSIP's new training day, Supporting the achievement of deaf and hearing-impaired apprentices, is now open.

Date: Wednesday 11 January 2017
Time: 10:00-16:00
Venue: Friends House
173 Euston Road
Booking: open now

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

About this event:

This interactive training day is aimed at apprenticeship training providers. It will help them meet the needs of deaf and hearing-impaired apprentices and fulfil their duties in the Equality Act 2010.

The day will be appropriate for both teaching staff and managers/co-ordinators.

Speakers include:

  • Martin McLean and Simon Harris from the National Deaf Children’s Society
  • Susan Arrand from the Department for Education
  • Debbie Vale from the Department of Work and Pensions
  • Nicki Harris from Surrey Post-16 Sensory Support Service
  • Jill Bussien from West Kent College
  • Chris Bowden from the National Deaf Children’s Society

The day will be facilitated by Martin McLean and Simon Harris.

Delegates will receive a comprehensive resource pack and practical information on:

  • Meeting duties under the Equality Act
  • Technology and communication support used by deaf people
  • Funding
  • Assessing the needs of deaf people
  • Maths and English support
  • The latest policy developments

There will also be the opportunity to meet and learn from colleagues.

Available documents:

NDCS colleagues have now updated and republished the National Deaf Children’s Society quality standards for early years support for deaf children.

This, along with a self-audit tool, can be found on the NDCS website at: www.ndcs.org.uk/QSEY.

The RNIB have released two new guides for families and friends of children with vision impairment:

Both can be downloaded from the RNIB website via the links above.


Following the successful SI commissioning event in London yesterday, 15 November 2016, we are pleased to make the speaker presentations from the day available:

You need to be registered on the NatSIP website and logged in before you can follow the links above.


NDCS have published a number of new and updated resources:


School exclusions webpage (www.ndcs.org.uk/exclusions)

Video: My deaf child and getting sign language lessons. Also on the Know Your Rights webpage (www.ndcs.org.uk/localcouncil)

Daisy and Ted’s Awesome Adventures(www.ndcs.org.uk/awesomeadventures) About the author: Alex Naidoo (www.ndcs.org.uk/alexnaidoo)

NDCS added the following stories from back issues of Families magazine to the website.

Mild deafness – major effects (issue 38)

Helping Harry hear (issue 39)

Never give up (issue 39)


Breaking the Sound Barrier: A guide to recruiting and supporting deaf colleagues has been updated in light of the disability ‘two ticks’ scheme changing to ‘disability confident’. The updated version is on the website and we also have hard copies in stock.

The Scotland version of Know Your Rights: Getting support from your local council is currently being updated following a change to the law over the summer. This will be ready to download in the next week or two. Printed copies will be available from around August next year when NDCS have more certainty around what these policy changes mean.

Bullying: Advice for parents of deaf children

Bullying and Deaf Children: A guide for primary and secondary schools

Bullying webpage www.ndcs.org.uk/bullying

Down’s syndrome and childhood deafness webpage (replaces booklet)

Following two successful presentations in London and Bristol, the NatSIP training event:  The specialist SI teacher; consultant, partner, trainer is open for booking for its final presentation in Newcastle.

This new, one‐day course is for Heads of Service and Senior Practitioners to enable them to train other QTSI colleagues to:

  • identify key features of the partnerships and relationships in which they work
  • develop their own practice in enhancing and sustaining effective partnerships

The course, and the associated materials, which will be useful for CPD for SI support service colleagues, have been developed by Sheffield Hallam University on behalf of NatSIP.

Date  3: Thursday 2 February 2017
Time: 09:30 - 16:00
Venue: Mercure Newcastle County Hotel
Neville Street
Booking: open now


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

The advice which ToDS, QTVIs and QTMSIs give when they go in to schools, colleges and settings is only as effective for the SI learners as its implementation after they have gone.

QTSIs need to understand how to work successfully in partnership with non-specialist colleagues in early years, school and post-16 settings in order to improve the outcomes of the child or young person.

Heads of Service and Senior Practitioners will benefit from knowing how to foster and develop these skills in their teams.

About the training event:

The day offers an introduction to the materials and the ideas that underpin them. By the end of it, you will be enabled to support professional learning in your team.  In the morning you will experience some of the content of the materials and learn how to apply them to in partnership working. In the afternoon we will explore how the content of the morning’s session might be best used to support the learning of your colleagues.  Materials will be available to course participants, for future use with your colleagues.

About the course leader:

The course leader is Niki Elliot of Sheffield Hallam University. Niki leads on SEND for the Sheffield Institute of Education and has wide experience of working in schools and Local Authorities. She teaches on the National Award for SEN Coordinators at Sheffield Hallam and
works closely with SI colleagues.

Available documents:

Date 3:  Newcastle - 2 February 2017

The NatSIP Reference Group's report to the DfE on work carried out in the second quarter (up to 30th September) of the contract for 2016-17 has now been published and can be downloaded pdf here . (Registration and login required).

This means that we are half way through our activities to meet the objectives of the contract. The time has gone very quickly. We would like to thank all NatSIP affiliates and partners who have contributed to the work so far. There is always more to do!

Sense has published two brand new toolkits on accessible play!  The toolkits have been designed for parents and professionals, to provide them with a practical guide about how to make play activities accessible for children with multiple needs. The toolkits contain simple ideas, suggestions and practical tips on making play activities and settings more inclusive.  Each activity is complemented with instructional style videos by Sense play experts.

Following the successful annual HoSS event held this week, on 19 October 2016 in Birmingham, presentations and papers are now available to share. These can be downloaded, once registered and logged on to the website.

The suite of all ten documents can be found  folder here

We are pleased to announce that booking is now open for the final date of the NatSIP Regional Working Day - The future of SI services:

Thursday 19 January 2017
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Venue: Mercure Bristol Holland House Hotel
Redcliffe Hill

 There have been many changes in the landscape of SEND and the way services to support children and young people are delivered, with implications for the future of services for CYP with sensory impairment. This seminar forms part of a research project within the NatSIP contract as we look at how structures to ensure a quality service to SI CYP may be maintained.

This NatSIP seminar 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 (CYP with SI).  We encourage colleagues working across educational settngs to attend and explore how the latest initiatives in government legislation are influencing the provision of education for CYP with SI and their families.

During the day:

  • Brian Gale will talk about the implications of changes to SEND funding and how this might impact on the development and delivery of services for SI CYP
  • Brian Lamb will explore the future role of SI services in this new environment
  • there will be an update about the DfE SEND contract holders, for 2016‐17, including NatSIP.

This will be a seminar day with opportunity for delegate discussion

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

The following documents are available:


Following its first run in London on Friday 14 October, we are pleased to anounce that booking is now open for the second and last date for our workshop
Quality Improvement: Are you making a difference?

Date 2:  York
Thursday 19 January 2017
Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Venue: Novotel York Centre
YO10 4FD
Cost: £50/delegate, reduced to £25/delegate for NatSIP-affiliated organisations


This workshop is intended to support specialist sensory services in reviewing the quality of their provision for children and young people with sensory impairment so that they can effectively demonstrate their impact.

It is aimed at heads of sensory services, teachers of the deaf and teachers of children and young people with vision impairment and multi-sensory impairment.

The workshop will:

  • provide an overview of the importance of quality improvement
  • introduce services to the NatSIP quality standards and quality improvement pack
  • facilitate group activities, using self‐audit tools
  • discuss how the quality improvement pack can be used in preparation for Ofsted/Care Quality Commission local area SEND inspections.

By the end of this workshop, it is intended that participants will feel more aware of the tools and resources available to them to show their effectiveness and also feel confident in demonstrating the impact they are making to their commissioners, Ofsted and the Care Quality Commission.

The workshop is led by Tina Wakefield.  Tina, a Teacher of the Deaf, worked as Head of the HI Service and Early Years Inclusion for all Special Educational Needs in a local authority before joining the National Deaf Children’s Society as an educational consultant.