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.

We have today (8 June 2017) published a new report: The Future of the Sector. This document is the result of research, surveys, seminars and events with specialist SI service and schools, SEND commissioners, parents and VCS colleagues. 

With the changes occuring to local authority funding and commissioning, the higher expectations on schools and teachers to address the need of children with SEND, the role of specialist support teachers and services going into the future cannot be taken for granted. The Future role of SI support services report examines the key changes in the organisation of local authority commissioning, legislation policy and practice to help chart what services should be doing in the future to ensure they stay relevant to the changing environment. Crucially it looks at what heads of services think about the future of SI services and the role of the professional qualification within this. The report concludes with practical recommendations for commissioners, services and Government on next steps to ensure that we have thriving and relevant sensory support services which can ensure that the needs of children and families are supported and outcomes improved.

The document is available:

From 1st April 2017 NatSIP is contracted, as strategic delivery partner for DfE, to achieve objectives agreed within the contract variation 2019 -18. As always this work is undertaken with SI partners in the sector and, in addition, NatSIP work goes on outside the contractual obligations to DfE, where a shared activity has been identified which will improve the outcomes for children and young people with SI. Proposals for new initiatives are always considered by the NatSIP Reference group.

Details of the activities for the work with DfE and colleagues who are leading and coordinating the workstreams during 2017 - 18 follow. There are two aspects to the contract. The first objective is to enhance the capacity and knowledge base of the front line workforce and the second is to develop the capacity of the SI sector.

 If you are interested in details of the work and how you can contribute, please contact the named workstream leads below.

A new NDCS service aims to provide free specialist advice to professionals on the factors that should be taken into account in any social care assessment of any child with a hearing loss or on how support should be provided. For example:

  • what factors related to hearing loss need to be considered when undertaking an assessment of the child  and when deciding whether  a child in need assessment is required or a child protection response
  • what factors related to the child’s hearing loss should be considered when deciding what should be included in support plans such as a child in need plan, looked-after care plan, education support plans, etc. 
  • what to consider if a deaf child is missing key developmental milestones
  • access to Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independence Payments
  • how to involve and communicate with a deaf child in any decisions made about them
  • what information and support foster carers or adoptive parents might require before a deaf child can be placed with them
  • other resources that may be useful.

The support is available to all staff who support deaf children, including Teachers of the Deaf and Heads of Services.

The service can be accessed by calling 0121 234 9825 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Please note that this service is aimed at professionals in areas where there is not already a specialist social worker/social work team for deaf children. Whilst NDCS can provide advice, this service should not be seen as a substitute for a specialist assessment from a specialist social worker for deaf children, where needed.

RNIB colleagues are giving advance notice that on 22 May the organisation will be sending a Freedom of Information (FOI) questionnaire about VI services to every local authority in England.

The last FOI was carried out in 2015 and RNIB now need to obtain up to date information on the current situation, and to monitor any changes, so they can continue their work to protect education services for children and young people with VI from local authority cuts. They hope that the information collected will be valuable and useful.

The questionnaire for each LA will be sent to the Information Access Officer, who should then pass it to the VI manager to complete. It is really important that a completed questionnaire is returned from all 152 LAs so that a State of the Nation report can be published. The previous, 2015 report, can be downloaded from: https://www.rnib.org.uk/knowledge-and-research-hub-research-reports-education-research/vi-service-provision-2015

For further information please email Sue Keil or Rory Cobb: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

NDCS have updated their guidance to explain what radio aids are and how they can help deaf children. It describes the different types of radio aid systems and how to use and look after them. It also looks at classroom soundfield systems and acoustics.

The guide can be downloaded from the NDCS website. Member login is required (but membership is free). Alternatively, paper copies can be ordered from NDCS Freephone Helpline (0808 800 8880 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

NDCS also recently worked with the FM Working Group to update the Quality Standards for the Use of Personal Radio Aids, available from http://www.ndcs.org.uk/professional_support/our_resources/education_resources.html#contentblock25. This resource is online only.

67 colleagues joined us for the NatSIP Working Day in London on 9 May 2017.  The day, entitled Demonstrating Impact: SI interventions improving outcomes for children and young people with SI, was well reviewed by attendees. Presentations from the day are now available for download.

The following files are available:

We have today (3 May 2017) published a new Guidance Document: Just Enough Support , which includes and provides guidance on supporting young people with sensory impairment in Further Education.

The document has been written with contributions from HI and VI professionals, input from young people with SI, and input from Dorton College and West Kent College.

The following document is available:

We are pleased to announce that we have today (26 April 2017) published a new Guidance Document on Easy Access Technology, which includes an evaluation tool for SI specialists considering the introduction or evaluation of new technology.  Both can be found in the folder document library .

The following documents are available:

You will need to be registered and logged in to the NatSIP website before clicking on the above links.

 

We are pleased to announce that the 10 NatSIP Model EHC Plans which were written/revised in March 2017 for publication are all now available for download in the document library. Many thanks to all NatSIP colleagues who contributed to this work.

The following folder Model EHC Plans are available:

  •   pdf Chloe - a child with multi-sensory impairment, aged two years ten months
  •   pdf Daniel - a young person with a hearing impairment, aged eighteen.
  •   pdf Eva - a child with vision impairment, aged nine
  •   pdf Hannah - a young person with a vision impairment, aged sixteen
  •   pdf James - a young person with multi-sensory impairment, aged seventeen
  •   pdf Raj - a child with multi-sensory impairment, aged five
  •   pdf Robert - a child with hearing impairment, aged eleven
  •   pdf Rosie - a child with a vision impairment, aged three
  •   pdf Ruby - a child with hearing impairment, aged three
  •   pdf Steven - a child with a vision impairment, aged five

You will need to be registed on the NatSIP website and logged in before you click on any of the above links.

You may be interested in these case studies of effective or innovative practice in VI services that have just gone onto the RNIB website: https://www.rnib.org.uk/services-we-offer-advice-professionals-education-professionals/maintaining-quality-provision

RNIB colleagues have published research briefings on VI data. These can be accessed on the RNIB website through this link:

http://www.rnib.org.uk/who-we-are-knowledge-and-research-hub-research-reports-education-research/sen-briefing-2016

 

A big thank-you to all of the LA Sensory Support Services who have submitted data for the seventh annual NatSIP Outcomes Benchmarking excercise.

As of today (31 March 2017) 101 LAs are represented in the submitted data.  This means that the target of 100+ LAs included within the DfE contract has once again been achieved.  The final number of LAs is likely to rise even higher with the online submission system remaining open until Friday 7 April 2017

The early achievement of this target, in comparison with the usual beginning of June in previous years, will enable the reporting to take place well in advance of the end of June deadline, which will hopefully be more helpful to services in terms of development planning.

Today, Monday 20 March 2017, as part of the work of the Technology workstream, NatSIP has published a new briefing note on LENA - the Language Environment Analysis Tool.

The briefing note is available pdf here in the Document Library. You will need to be registered on the NatSIP website and logged in to follow this link.

Today, 8 March 2017, NatSIP has launched its new Sensory Learning Hub, a central resource for the sensory impairment community.  It hosts trusted information about sensory impairment and a hub of discussion, shared ideas and resources.

It is aimed at the mainstream workforce (teachers, SENCos and Teaching Assistants) as well as specialist practitioners (qualified SI teachers and therapists).

Once logged in to the web site, you can access the Sensory Learning Hub from the menu above.

We want the sensory impairment community to access the hub to gain and share information. The hub has been designed to be interactive, a place to ask questions, share good ideas as well as tap into resources or access two new  What works databases for Teaching and Learning and Technology.

We look forward to receiving your feedback on this exciting new development.