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

2024

Ofsted – The Big Listen consultation response

In March 2024, Ofsted launched The Big Listen – a consultation asking for feedback on how they carry out and report on inspection findings in educational and social care settings. They asked how they can have a positive impact and what they need to do to be a world-class trusted inspectorate and regulator. 

Thomas Pocklington Trust submitted a response highlighting the importance of using the Curriculum Framework for Children and Young People with Vision Impairment (CFVI) as criteria to report on best practice in supporting blind and partially sighted children and young people. 

Read our Ofsted The Big Listen consultation response

Advanced British Standards (ABS) consultation response

In December 2023, the Department for Education launched the Advanced British Standards (ABS) consultation. A new Baccalaureate style qualification framework for 16 to 19-year-olds.

The consultation sets out several proposals in the way the qualification could potentially be structured and delivered. These include increased teaching times, require the study of Maths and English up to 18 years, and ensures a greater breadth of subjects can be studied.

Thomas Pocklington Trust has submitted a response to this consultation to safeguard the transitions of blind and partially sighted young people into post 16 education and ensure equitable participation and fair access. Our response was submitted in March 2024.

Read our ABS consultation response

 

2023

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.

Read our policy position statement on post 16 reforms

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.

Read our response to the transition from education to employment for young disabled people enquiry

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.

Read our policy briefing on the Gatsby Benchmarks

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.

Read our assistive technology policy briefing

UCAS personal statement review

A UCAS consultation on proposed changes to the personal statement.

Read our response to the personal statement changes

 

2022

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.

Read our thoughts on the draft Disabled Student 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.

Read our full SEND inspection consultation response

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.

Read our full EHC Plans Timescales consultation response

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).

Read our full response to the review of SEND provision

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.

Read our policy position on reforms to DSA

2021

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.

Learn more about the findings of the research and get started with our practical guidance

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.

Read what parents, children and young people told us

2020

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!

Read our policy position on Disabled Students’ Allowance (DSA): A single allowance

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.

Read our full report ‘Making childhood equal’

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.

Read our report on how careers advice supports blind and partially sighted young people

2019

Our Right to Study

We launched our 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.

Read our full report, ‘Our Right to Study’ 

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