Find out about the work we do to lobby Government and decision makers to help ensure blind and partially sighted people can pursue their educational aspirations.Find out more about 'Education Policy'
What We Have to Say
Want to know what our education team has to say in response to key government consultations and announcements?
Here you will find links to all of our responses and position statements. If you have any questions about what we have to say, then please contact EducationPolicy@pocklington.org.uk
Our position on post 16 reforms
The landscape of post 16 education is going through a considerable transformation, and we are concerned about how these reforms will impact on blind and partially sighted young people.
The transition from education to employment for young disabled people
The Public Services Committee called for evidence for an inquiry looking at the transition from education to employment for young disabled people. Our response focuses on the experience of blind and partially sighted students as they transition into work from higher or further education.
Good career guidance: Gatsby Benchmarks
We attended a roundtable review of the Gatsby Career Benchmarks to provide feedback on how careers education should be improved for blind and partially sighted young people.
Assistive technology: House of Lords debate
The House of Lords held a debate on assistive technology. In partnership with RNIB we provided a briefing to the house.
UCAS personal statement review
A UCAS consultation on proposed changes to the personal statement.
Disabled Student Commitment
The Disabled Student Commitment is a call to the sector and its bodies to make the step change that is required to create a more inclusive higher education environment for disabled students. The Disabled Student Commission held a consultation to gather feedback on the draft commitment.
SEND inspection consultation
The Office for standards in education, children’s services, and skills (Ofsted) and the Care quality commission (CQC) carry out joint inspections on SEND provisions
A recent consultation was launched to find out the views on the proposed changes to these inspections. The focus of the proposals is on the impact of local partnership arrangements and the experiences and outcomes of children and young people.
We have responded to the consultation and are in agreement with the proposals that children, young people and their families will have a direct opportunity to share their experiences and outcomes as part of the inspection process.
Education, Health and Care (ECH) Plans
The Department for Education, as part of its review of special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) provision has asked for views on whether the period for receiving ECH Plans should be extended from four to eight weeks. We oppose these plans as we don’t believe that blind and partially sighted children and young people should be waiting for the support they need to access education.
SEND green paper
We believe that everyone should be able to thrive in education. We have set out to Government our views on their proposals for further changes to education for children and young people (CYP) with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).
Reforms to Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA)
The Student Loans Company (SLC) is changing the way in which assessments, assistive technology and assistive training for Disabled Students’ Allowance operates in England and Wales.
We broadly welcome these changes, as we know that this essential grant is not supporting blind and partially sighted students as effectively as it should.
Technology and Further Education
We commissioned All Able to explore how blind and partially sighted students access technology and learning resources in a college setting. The research found a lack of compliance with website regulations and little focus on inclusion, accessibility and anticipatory adjustments. It also identified an over-reliance on specialist disability/learning support staff, coupled with a general lack of staff disability awareness.
SEND consultation on Covid
In partnership with RNIB and Guide Dogs, we spoke to parents, children and young people to hear their views of their experiences of accessing support during Covid.
A single allowance for Disabled Student’s Allowance
This was a campaign win as we called for DSA to be one single allowance for undergraduate, in line with post graduate students. This will mean that students’ will have the flexibility to spend their allowance on equipment, if that is what they need to support them through their studies!
Making childhood equal
Our joint report with Guide Dogs into the provision of habilitation shows that children with a vision impairment are being denied access to the support they need to develop independent lives.
This lack of access to habilitation support comes from decreasing levels of funding available. Covid-19 has also led to even more children missing out on vital habilitation, with social distancing, shielding and reduced capacity limiting access to services.
Career support for blind and partially sighted students is lacking
Research from Thomas Pocklington Trust and the Vision Impairment Centre for Teaching and Research has revealed inconsistent support and poorly defined careers provision for blind and partially sighted people at school, college and local authorities in England.
Our Right to Study
We have launched our new campaign, calling on vast improvements to be made to Disabled Student’s Allowance (DSA). This vital support to enable blind and partially sighted students to access their education, isn’t working as it should. No student should have to make the difficult choice to leave university, because they can’t access the support they need.