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 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:

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

Childline has produced a YouTube film which discusses challenges for deaf young people.

Childline says: “Issues raised include: schools and teachers not understanding the support deaf children need; children being bullied because they are deaf. Advice given includes: talk to someone about problems; be active not passive; remember that it's not about you, it's about other people's lack of awareness.


You can find the film on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzP5d6I1JRA

The National Deaf Children's Society are taking on deaf apprentices for the first time. They hope that this will open up more opportunities in apprenticeships for young people with hearing impairment.

See: http://feweek.co.uk/2017/06/17/national-charity-pilots-deaf-apprenticeship-programme/

The updated Children and Young People pathway from Vision2020UK is now available from their website:


We have today (8 June 2017) published a new document:  Guidance on - specialist support services, early years services and post 16 funding.

This publication follows questions about funding of educational support for children and young people with sensory impairment (SI) which were raised by Heads of SI Services on their email forum during May 2017. Brian Gale, the Special Education Consortium representative on the DfE’s Schools and Academy Funding Group, responded with a series of answers which have been compiled in to a NatSIP guidance document.

Although the questions cover support of school-aged pupils, early years children and post-16 students, they all relate to what funding has been included in the High Needs Block and how this funding can be used

The document is available:

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: