Number of Fife pupils with vision problems soars

The number of school pupils in Fife with a visual impairment has more than doubled in just eight years.

Monday, 18th March 2019, 12:08 pm
Updated Monday, 18th March 2019, 12:13 pm
The number of pupils with vision problems has risen.

The news has sparked a call from charity Royal Blind to ensure pupils with vision impairment in Fife receive the support they need.

New Scottish Government figures show visual impairments in Fife youngsters have increased significantly, from 43 pupils in 2010 to 114 in 2018.

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Over the same period when there has been an increase in the number of blind and partially sighted pupils there has been a reduction in the number of specialist teachers for children and young people with vision impairment.

Royal Blind is calling on the Scottish Government and local authorities to ensure the right support is in place for pupils with vision impairment and their families in the future.

Royal Blind supports blind and partially sighted in both specialist and mainstream education through the work of the Royal Blind School and the Learning Hub based in the school.

Responding to the figures, Mark O’Donnell, Chief Executive of Royal Blind said: “Up to 80 per cent of our learning is through our use of vision, so it is vitally important that specialist support is provided for pupils with vision impairment who have a huge learning disadvantage in comparison to their fully sighted peers.

“Our concern is that over the same period there has been an increase in the numbers of pupils with vision impairment there has been a reduction in the support available to them in mainstream schools.

“This situation is leading to an attainment gap for pupils with vision impairment.

“That is why we have launched Our Vision for Equal Education campaign, calling for better support in mainstream schools for pupils with vision impairment and a fairer process for securing a place at a special school for pupils who would benefit from it.”

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