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.

As part of the 2017-18 Contract with the DfE, NatSIP and OnLineTraining Limited (OLT) are working in partnership to make funded training places on OLT blended learning courses available to frontline teaching staff, with the support of cohort tutors who are themselves SI professionals.  For more on the courses available, and on OLT itself, please see here.

In the first year of partnership under the DfE funded contract (2016-17) for workforce development, there were 40 tutors trained who delivered the training to 228 participants. We are now the second year of funding and word has been spreading about the quality and effectiveness of the courses, resulting in an increase of participation across the UK.  Some sensory services have just started, and others are now offering an additional course after the success and interest generated through their engagement last year.

The second year of delivery started in April 2017. Since then, 74 SI professionals (who hold the Mandatory Qualification or MQ) have become involved as cohort tutors.  Each tutor has to familiarise themselves with the course content and plan how they will deliver the course, and then invites frontline teachers to participate in their cohort.  35 tutors have passed their course, received tutor training and are running or preparing to run a cohort this year.  Some 297 participants have started courses and 19 participants have passed so far (November 2017).

All teachers are teachers of SEND, but one in seven (15 per cent) respondents to the May 2017 teacher voice survey said they disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement “I feel able to meet the needs of pupils on SEN support". 

To help teachers to identify their strengths and weakness, and build confidence and confidence, Whole School SEND have launched the free SEND Reflection Framework, part-funded by the Department for Education.

The Framework was developed in collaboration with children, families and professionals from early years, primary, secondary, mainstream and specialist providers, placing those who would use and benefit from SEND Reflection at the heart of the development process.

It is available for free download from www.SENDreflection.com 

and supported by the Whole School SEND community of practice.

There are still a few places for our 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:

Places are still available for our 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:


Between September and November 2017, NatSIP and NDCS offered three presentations of the event  Early years language and development in deaf children - what the research shows in Exeter, London and Manchester.

During the event, the presenter, Dr Sarah Collinson, NDCS Regional Director for the South West,  shared the main findings from a literature review by the National Deaf Children’s Society of research on key factors affecting deaf children’s language and communication in the early years.

We are pleased to announce that videos of the two sessions of the event, as well the presentation slides, are now available via the NatSIP website.

You must be a registered user, and be logged in to the site in order to access the videosRegistration is free, and open to anyone.  A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is here.

Between September and November 2017, NatSIP offered three presentations of a regional working day event Equipping the SI sector for the future  in London, York and Birmingham.

Feedback from delegates was very positive.  They said:

  • "I loved the step by step guide to commissioning. The whole day flowed really well and I felt that the presenters clearly put a lot of time in to co-producing this..."
  • "Information presented was really informative and useful. Great to hear from other professionals in other LA’s.."
  • "Lots of ideas which I will definitely take back and implement..."

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.

The day provided 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

The following documents are available from the event:

Following a successful first presentation in September 2017, NatSIP, working with NDCS and London Borough of Tower Hamlets Sensory Service, is pleased to offer a second presentation of its new two-day interactive training course: Understanding the needs of children and young people with deafness

Delegates at the first presentation said:

  • "This course was very useful, lots of information about deafness. The ladies explained so well..."
  • "Very informative. Tina and Jen great presenters..."
  • "Amazing teachers! [...] it has taught me so much that I will take back to school and share with others..."
  • "Really well prepared and delivered. Good video and quiz activities. Hands on experience with different hearing aids."
Day 1:
Day 2:
Thursday 1 March 2018
Friday 2 March 2018
Time: 09:30 - 15:30

Hamilton House
Mabledon Place

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

The cost for the two‐day course including refreshments and lunch each day is:

  • £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:

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

Follow the link below for a new publication issued today, 24th October, by the UK Government


The new guidance is intended to ensure that sight tests are carried out consistently across schools in England.

The following presentations from the NatSIP working day and HoSS event on 4 October 2017 are available:

Over the last year, OnLineTraining International (OLT Ltd) have partnered with the sensory support service teams in over 25 local authorities as part of the NatSIP/DfE contract to deliver professional development for the schools’ frontline sensory workforce. The funding covered the course licence fee and enabled sensory teams to deliver the OLT courses as a flexible and effective means of training school staff in sensory impairments.

We will be publishing more updates on this joint NatSIP/OLT work soon.  In the meantme, have a look at OLT's blog about the project.


We are pleased to announce that NatSIP has today published a new guidance document:  Getting started - Teaching pupils who have sensory impairment.

This guidance is intended to support colleagues from the frontline workforce who are new to working with a pupil with sensory impairment (or require a short refresher!) 

It aims to provide a quick introductory guide to useful resources for those who may be short of time and need a starting point.  The guidance contains links to over 40 NatSIP and other useful resources.

As well as being available for download in the document library, this guidance is also available as a web page in the Sensory Learning Hub.

Available document:

We are pleased to announce that the NatSIP Outcomes Benchmarking Exercise for Academic Year 2016-17 Data was launched today, with a personalised invitation mailed out to 139 previous participants.

If you are not involved in the Outcomes Benchmarking process, and would like to be, please contact NatSIP Associate This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., who co-leads the work.

The guidance document for the 2016-17 exercise, which contains a full description of the exercise together with details of how to participte, is now available in the document library.

Available document:

Prof Wolfgang Mann at The University of Roehampton has asked for assistance to recruit deaf young people to a research project. They are carrying out a study on deaf and hearing children's use of strategies when reading online.

They are looking for deaf children, aged 13-14 years, who have good reading levels. For more specific details about the project, please see http://www.ssc.education.ed.ac.uk/research/onlinereading/

The deadline for involvement is now the end of 2017.