NatSIP, the National Sensory Impairment Partnership is a partnership of organisations working together to improve outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment. 

The agreed purpose of NatSIP is:

  • to improve educational outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment, closing the gap with their peers, through joint working with all who have an interest in the success of these young people.
  • to help children achieve more and fulfil the potential of children and young people who have SI.
  • to promote a national model for the benchmarking of clear progress and impact criteria for children and young people who have SI.
  • to support a well-trained SI workforce responsive to the Government agenda for education.
  • to inform and advise the DfE and other national agencies on the education of children and young people with SI.
  • to promote collaboration between services, schools, professional bodies and voluntary bodies working with children and young people who have SI.
  • to promote collaborative working between education, health and social care professionals in the interest of children and young people who have SI.

To these ends NatSIP activity is agreed, planned and monitored by the working partners and offers strong and effective support, providing tangible progress and impact for children and young people who have sensory impairment.

The greatest assets of NatSIP are the members of the workstreams who have driven forward an agenda for change in the SI field. Members of LA SI services and school provision, specialist schools (in the maintained and non-maintained sectors) and SI voluntary and professional organisations have worked together to produce guidelines and frameworks which address current national issues specific to outcomes for SI children and young people.

The economy of scale which can be achieved through services for low-incidence disability working together has been demonstrated through the many consultations, communications and publications, available to download from this website.

In the particular times of the Covid19 pandemic NatSIP has been actively supprting the SI sector through publications and interpretation of guidance for SI colleagues to follow. We welcome and are appreciative of the contributions to this from NatSIP partrner organisations.


How NatSIP is funded:

The Government recognises the value and influence of NatSIP and has given assurance in Parliament that it is committed to young people with Sensory Impairment receiving the services they require, through working with organisations including NatSIP.

Since April 2013, NatSIP worked with the Department for Education for the provision of  specialist information, advice, support and training to improve outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairments in the context of the wider SEND reforms. The impact of the NatSIP work undertaken and completed during the DfE contracts and the position of the partnership as strategic partners for SI resulted in NatSIP becoming  part of the SEND schools' workforce contract, delivered for DfE through Whole School SEND since 2018.

NatSIP will continue to support the workforce (sensory impairment and wider workforce) to implement the SEND reforms through improving understanding about how to deliver better outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.

 Additional funding to NatSIP is secured through membership of the partnership and, since 2020, sponsor stakeholder support, and grants from other organisations.

The History of NatSIP:

NatSIP's predecessor groups date back to around the year 2000, when the UK Government implemented strategies to create Regional Partnerships for children with low-incidence disability.

In the South East Partnership (SERSEN), a working group for Sensory Impairment was formed and the benefits of joint working across 19 Local Authority (LA) specialist services and schools became apparent. This was recognised by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

In 2008, when the Regional Partnerships came to an end, the DCSF funded the South East Sensory Impairment Partnership (SESIP) to take forward the joint working agenda for children with SI at a national level.

Renamed as the National Sensory Impairment Partnership to reflect the greatly increased reach of the activity the partnership was further resourced by the DCSF in 2009 with an objective to improve outcomes for children and young people with sensory impairment.