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Bi-borough Vision Impairment Team

Suitable for children and young people with SEND
Suitable for an individual with vision impairment

The Bi-borough Vision Impairment Team offers specialist support to children and young people (aged 0-25) with vision impairment. 

The team consists of Qualified Teachers of children and young people with Vision Impairment (QTVI) who have first qualified as teachers and then taken extra training in providing quality teaching to mainstream learners with vision impairment.


What do QTVIs do? 

The QTVI carries out a central role in the education of children and young people with vision impairment from birth to 25 years, including: 

  • Managing referrals from health to education
  • Providing direct support to babies and young people with vision impairment and their parents
  • Assessing children's functional vision and liaising with health professionals
  • Advising in mainstream and specialist setting on curriculum access, independent learning and social inclusion
  • Guiding the work of other professionals such as teaching assistants
  • Teaching specialist skills (for example braille, the use of specialist equipment) to children and developing the visual and communication skills of those with additional or complex needs
  • Advising on modifying and adapting teaching and learning resources in print, audio or tactile formats and training setting-based staff to do this
  • Supporting students through transition into post-16/further education and independent adulthood
  • Advising on access arrangements for exams
  • Informally assessing learning environments for accessibility and health and safety and reviewing access plans

For more information on what the Vision Impairment Team offers, download the service booklet.  


Role of the Habilitation Specialist

On the advice of the QTVI, some children and young people should receive an initial assessment of their mobility and independence needs carried out by a Registered Qualified Habilitation Specialist (RQHS). 

Habilitation training has two main aims: 

  • Maximising the personal independence of a child/young person with visual needs ready for their life as a young adult
  • Preparing a young person for moving on to college, university, apprenticeships or work, as an independent young adult

Currently, habilitation support is provided by Guide Dogs. 


Eligibility criteria

The service supports all children and young people with vision impairment from birth to 25 years. The children and young people should live within the boroughs of Kensington & Chelsea (RBKC) or Westminster if pre-school age and/or attend a school or nursery within the borough. This includes mainstream schools, academies, free schools, independent schools and private schools. 

The service is free to all children and young people with vision impairment in Bi-borough maintained schools, to all children under 5 and to all Bi-borough residents who have vision impairment support written in their Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP). 

It also supports out-of-borough placements, within a reasonable distance, where the Bi-borough resident child or young person has vision impairment support in their EHCP. 

If a child or young person from another borough is a student in the Bi-borough and has an EHCP with Vision Impairment needs specifically stated in section F of the EHCP then they are usually supported by the local authority in which the reside. Sometimes, reciprocal or commissioning agreements are sought. 


Referral Process

Referrals can be made by schools, the local authority, health professionals or families. 

To make a referral please complete this referral form and email to with 'VI referral' in the subject line. 

Who to contact

Contact Name
Kathryn Gilgallon
Contact Position
Bi-borough Sensory Support Service Team Leader
 020 7641 5825
Westminster Special Schools Training and Outreach

Local Offer

Local Offer Record `
How do we ensure the quality of this service?

The Bi-borough Vision Impairment Team adheres to Quality Standards for Sensory Support Services in England. These standards provide us with a framework for self-evaluation based on some of the key areas the SEN Local Area inspection. 

Based on the standards, we identified key performance indicators which allow us to monitor the outcomes. The outcomes are reported termly to the Local Authority. This includes feedback from schools, children, young people and families, training evaluation, KPIs analysis, case studies and development plans. 

What to do if you have a complaint?

Bi-borough Vision Impairment Team are proud of their continuing professionalism, values and commitment to the children and young people in their care. Every year the team evaluates the impact of the service through questionnaires and other forms of communication. If you are pleased with our work, we are always happy to hear from you. 

However, there may be situations where the service or a member of the team has not met your expectations and you would like to make that view known to us. 

As a team we are open to receiving any feedback and to efficiently resolve any complaints. Please contact us on: 

Anna Selwyn - Head of Service

Kathryn Gilgallon - Bi-borough Sensory Support Service Team Leader

Last Updated 14/11/2019

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