Animated VISEN logo

Visual Impairment :
Special Educational Needs

The logo of Blatchington Court Trust


The child or young person's special educational needs (SEN)

The SEN Code of Practice states that section B should include :


All of the child or young person’s identified special educational needs must be specified.

SEN may include needs for health and social care provision that are treated as special educational provision because they educate or train the child or young person.


This is a type of diagnosis, so that details of each and every one of the child’s special educational needs are identified and described, following the LEA’s statutory assessment and the advice they received which will be listed in section K and attached as appendices to the EHC plan.

Children with multiple disabilities and visual impairments will have a complex variety of sensory, physical and learning difficulties. For sighted children approximately 80 per cent of learning is vision based and so a child without sight will need to find compensatory ways of learning and this can be particularly difficult for those children who also have additional needs. A child’s potential to learn may also be difficult to recognise because the consequences of her visual impairment may hide that potential. Children with visual impairment often have additional needs and may have difficulty in achieving his/her educational potential

  • optimising his/her access to the curriculum
  • optimising his/her expressive and receptive communication skills
  • achieving an appropriate sense of self and self-esteem
  • optimising his/her social skills
  • optimising his/her autonomy (intellectual, physical, social)

It is very important that the descriptions of all conditions and special needs are accurately and fully described within the various sections (Motor, Educational, Communication, Sensory etc.) as the outcomes in section E and the provision and help described in sections F, G and H depend on section B. The appendices included in section K should include all the relevant reports and documents that the LEA used during their assessment of needs.

Staff working with the child will use section B as the basis for thinking about his/her needs, while the LEA is legally required to specify provision in section F to meet the needs identified in section B and enable the child to achieve the outcomes described in section E. Often this section contains paragraphs copied from specialist reports which are difficult for school staff to understand. It is essential that the language and terminology used is appropriate for the EHCP's target, i.e. school staff. This is an example of specialist terminology copied into section B, which is probably meaningless and unhelpful to most school staff :

Investigations have identified that he has a translocation of 46XY inversion (4) (Q21; Q35) -?silencing of key genes near proximal breaking point.


Use the electronic copy of the EHCP to show the amendments that you want.

Remember that each identified need in Section B must be matched with an outcome in Section E and provision in Section F, so it is often useful with severely visually impaired pupils to add a summary of needs and consequences to the end of Section B, for example :

As a consequence of his visual impairment and without sufficient and appropriate targeted support, Barney will have difficulty in:

Achieving his educational potential
Accessing the curriculum on a par with his peers
Achieving age and ability appropriate interaction and communication with his peers
Achieving and maintaining an appropriate self-esteem
Achieving age appropriate independence skills, for example intellectually, physically and socially
Achieving successful integration and inclusion within his peer group.

  Go to previous page      
Go to next page