The MP for Loughborough has pledged her support to children and young people with a vision impairment through Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign. She is also encouraging parents and carers of Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) children to take part in a government consultation to improve the support that is available to them.
At a Parliamentary event hosted by the charity Guide Dogs, Jane met children, young people and their families to talk about the challenges they face in the education system.
Recent research conducted for Guide Dogs found that 69% of teachers lack confidence that they have the right skills to support disabled children, including those with a vision impairment, to reach their full potential.
This is reflected in outcomes for children with sight loss, who are significantly behind their peers in terms of academic attainment.
Guide Dogs’ “All Things Equal” campaign is calling for greater recognition of vision impairment throughout the SEND system. The critical role of specialist professionals needs to be prioritised, and more support should be given at an earlier stage to help prevent young people with sight loss from falling behind.
The government is now seeking views on proposals to improve support for children with SEND in England, with the consultation closing on 22nd July and Jane is encouraging parents and carers to take part in the consultation.
“Children and young people with vision impairment want to grow up enjoying the same opportunities as their classmates. But all too often, they struggle to get the support they need. We know that the lack of support in childhood can have a far-reaching impact later in life. That is why I am backing this campaign by Guide Dogs.
“I am keen to see parents and carers in Loughborough input their views into the support that SEND children receive in the future. I would encourage everyone to take part in the government consultation.”