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Blind/Partially Sighted Schoolchildren

Volume 447: debated on Thursday 8 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many school children in (a) England, (b) the North East and (c) the Tees Valley are blind or partially sighted. (73655)

The available information is given in the following table.

Maintained primary, secondary and all special schools1, 2: number and percentage of pupils whose primary need is visual impairment3, 4 as at January 20065

Pupils whose primary need is visual impairment

Primary

Secondary

Special

Total

Number

Percentage 6

Number

Percentage 6

Number

Percentage 6

Number

Percentage 6

England

3,750

1.3

3,070

1.4

940

1.1

7,760

1.3

North East

160

3.4

140

3.8

10

0.9

320

3.1

Tees Valley7

40

0.3

30

0.2

0

0.0

70

0.2

1 Includes middle schools as deemed.

2 Includes maintained and non-maintained special schools. Excludes general hospital schools.

3 Excludes dually registered pupils.

4 Pupils at School Action Plus and those with a statement of SEN provided information on their type of need. Figures for those pupils whose primary need was reported as being visual impairment are given here.

5 Provisional.

6 Number of pupils with visual impairment expressed as a percentage of all pupils at School Action Plus or with statements of SEN.

7 Includes Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and Darlington Local Authorities.

Note:

Pupil numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10. There may be discrepancies between the sum of constituent items and totals as shown.

Source:

Schools' Census

Since 2004, the Department for Education and Skills has collected data on pupils by type of SEN as part of the annual school census. The above table shows pupils with SEN supported at School Action Plus or with a statement of SEN where visual impairment is recorded as their primary need.

There are a range of factors which may affect the data recorded, including:

Local interpretation of definitions

Classification of children with multiple needs

Differences in diagnoses between education and health professionals

Availability of special school provisions in authorities [deleted or clarified]