Welcome to the NatSIP Website

This website offers access to a wealth of SI resources, most of which are now freely available.  We encourage you to register on the site for full access to everything we have to offer.  Registration is free, and open to anyone.  A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is here.

Following a successful first presentation in September 2017, NatSIP, working with NDCS and London Borough of Tower Hamlets Sensory Service, is pleased to offer a second presentation of its new two-day interactive training course: Understanding the needs of children and young people with deafness

Delegates at the first presentation said:

  • "This course was very useful, lots of information about deafness. The ladies explained so well..."
  • "Very informative. Tina and Jen great presenters..."
  • "Amazing teachers! [...] it has taught me so much that I will take back to school and share with others..."
  • "Really well prepared and delivered. Good video and quiz activities. Hands on experience with different hearing aids."
Day 1:
Day 2:
Thursday 1 March 2018
Friday 2 March 2018
Time: 09:30 - 15:30

Hamilton House
Mabledon Place

Booking: Open now


This two‐day training course is for teaching assistants and other education professionals new to working with learners with deafness.

Most children with deafness (which includes all degrees of hearing loss) are educated within a mainstream settng, many with the support of a learning or communicatoon assistant. This course will provide a basic understanding of the causes and impact of deafness. It explores the role of providing support, and covers different support methods that can be used. It will improve knowledge of hearing technology and listening conditions, and help develop practical strategies to ensure the child you support achieves his or her potential in listening, learning and communicating.


  • Tina Wakefield, Education Consultant, National Deaf Children's Society/The Ear Foundation
  • Jen Nicholson, Head of Sensory Support Service, London Borough of Tower Hamlets

The cost for the two‐day course including refreshments and lunch each day is:

  • £100/delegate

discounted to

  • £50/delegate for NatSIP‐affiliated organisations.

Course content:

  • An understanding of the basic causes and impact of deafness
  • The latest hearing technology: cochlear implants, hearings aids, BAHA, radio aids and other hearing technologies
  • Strategies for improving learning conditions
  • Developing techniques and strategies for supporting communication and access to the curriculum in the classroom
  • Reviewing your role in providing support
  • Developing social and emotional interaction
  • Partnership working and the voice of the child
  • Literacy and working memory

Available documents:

The following documents are available:

NatSIP, working together with the RNIB, is pleased to offer another presentation of our two-day training course Understanding the needs of chilldren and young people with vision impairment.  Booking for this course will open early in 2018.

Dates: Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 February 2018
Time: 10:00 - 15:30

Royal National Institute of Blind People
105 Judd Street

Booking: Will open early in 2018


This two‐day training course is for teaching assistants and other education professionals working with learners with vision impairment.

The cost of the two day course (including lunch and refreshments) is £100/delegate reduced to £50/delegate for NatSIP‐affiliated organisations.

Available documents:

Following our presentations of the event Supporting the achievement of apprentices witn sensory impairment on 17 November and 1 December 2017, we are pleased to announce that the presentations and handouts from the event are available folder here in the NatSIP document library.


Following the successful running of the NatSIP event Education, Health & Care Plans Post-19 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 - Workshop for Parents on 25 November 2017, we are pleased to announce that all presentations from the event are availble folder here in the NatSIP document library.


Following the successful running of the NatSIP event Education, Health & Care Plans Post-19 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 - Workshop for Professionals on 24 November 2017, we are pleased to announce that all presentations from the event are available folder here in the NatSIP document library.


Sense is introducing a new way to communicate and explain who we are to the world – our brand identity in other words. It’s not about changing what we do – it’s about changing how we describe what we do, so that it is easier for people to understand and relate to.

Our brand identity has a huge impact on how people perceive and engage with us. It affects whether they refer people to our services, write positive things about us, volunteer time, donate money, shop or campaign with us.

Who we support and what we offer is so varied. Summing up Sense clearly, and in a way that connects to people outside the organisation, has been a challenge for a long time - a challenge we must tackle. If we don’t, we will struggle to be noticed in a busy, noisy world and we won’t achieve our goal to reach more people who would benefit from Sense support.

We have consulted and worked closely with many people across the organisation and beyond to create a new way of expressing Sense’s identity that is clear, distinctive and authentic.

This is an important step for us as a charity. Whilst it will take time to roll out, we are excited about the opportunities this new way of expressing Sense’s identity will create for building awareness and understanding of Sense. We are determined to connect with more people so that, together, we can work towards a world where no one is isolated, left out or unable to fulfil their potential.

Do read the blog: ‘A new way of making Sense to the world’, for a more detailed explanation of what is changing and why, and for the link to our new website.

NDCS have published a new booklet this week: My Baby Has a Hearing Loss: Support for parents of children aged 0–2.

This booklet is for parents who have just found out their baby has a hearing loss. It:

  • explains who NDCS are and how they can help families with a deaf child
  • gives brief introductory information on common topics, such as communication and hearing technology
  • signposts to further information and support.

Why did NDCS produce this booklet?

"We know that most deaf children are born to hearing parents, who have no previous experience of deafness, so for some families when they’re told their baby has a hearing loss, the news can come as a great shock. We asked parents what their top questions or concerns were when they first found out their baby had a hearing loss, and we’ve captured those in this booklet.

Please do contact the Helpline to order copies or it can also be downloaded from www.ndcs.org.uk/baby.

Please do share this with your contacts/networks/forums and let me know what you, families and professionals think of it. All feedback will be used to improve it when it’s reviewed and updated in the future."

As part of the 2017-18 Contract with the DfE, NatSIP and OnLineTraining Limited (OLT) are working in partnership to make funded training places on OLT blended learning courses available to frontline teaching staff, with the support of cohort tutors who are themselves SI professionals.  For more on the courses available, and on OLT itself, please see here.

In the first year of partnership under the DfE funded contract (2016-17) for workforce development, there were 40 tutors trained who delivered the training to 228 participants. We are now the second year of funding and word has been spreading about the quality and effectiveness of the courses, resulting in an increase of participation across the UK.  Some sensory services have just started, and others are now offering an additional course after the success and interest generated through their engagement last year.

The second year of delivery started in April 2017. Since then, 74 SI professionals (who hold the Mandatory Qualification or MQ) have become involved as cohort tutors.  Each tutor has to familiarise themselves with the course content and plan how they will deliver the course, and then invites frontline teachers to participate in their cohort.  35 tutors have passed their course, received tutor training and are running or preparing to run a cohort this year.  Some 297 participants have started courses and 19 participants have passed so far (November 2017).

All teachers are teachers of SEND, but one in seven (15 per cent) respondents to the May 2017 teacher voice survey said they disagreed/strongly disagreed with the statement “I feel able to meet the needs of pupils on SEN support". 

To help teachers to identify their strengths and weakness, and build confidence and confidence, Whole School SEND have launched the free SEND Reflection Framework, part-funded by the Department for Education.

The Framework was developed in collaboration with children, families and professionals from early years, primary, secondary, mainstream and specialist providers, placing those who would use and benefit from SEND Reflection at the heart of the development process.

It is available for free download from www.SENDreflection.com 

and supported by the Whole School SEND community of practice.

Between September and November 2017, NatSIP and NDCS offered three presentations of the event  Early years language and development in deaf children - what the research shows in Exeter, London and Manchester.

During the event, the presenter, Dr Sarah Collinson, NDCS Regional Director for the South West,  shared the main findings from a literature review by the National Deaf Children’s Society of research on key factors affecting deaf children’s language and communication in the early years.

We are pleased to announce that videos of the two sessions of the event, as well the presentation slides, are now available via the NatSIP website.

You must be a registered user, and be logged in to the site in order to access the videosRegistration is free, and open to anyone.  A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is here.

Between September and November 2017, NatSIP offered three presentations of a regional working day event Equipping the SI sector for the future  in London, York and Birmingham.

Feedback from delegates was very positive.  They said:

  • "I loved the step by step guide to commissioning. The whole day flowed really well and I felt that the presenters clearly put a lot of time in to co-producing this..."
  • "Information presented was really informative and useful. Great to hear from other professionals in other LA’s.."
  • "Lots of ideas which I will definitely take back and implement..."

The NatSIP Future of the Sector report (compiled by Brian Lamb) outlined a number of key changes to policy, funding and commissioning practice which are going to dramatically impact on how services are commissioned and operate in the coming years.  Understanding what commissioners are looking for, how best to position and market SI  services and what schools need are going to become ever more important.

The day provided an overall framework for thinking about how to approach commissioners, what is needed in respect of service developments and offers and how this might fit with new commissioning models

The following documents are available from the event:

The NatSIP Reference Group's report to the DfE on work carried out in the second quarter (July-September 2017) for the contract for 2017-18 has now been published and can be downloaded pdf here .

Follow the link below for a new publication issued today, 24th October, by the UK Government


The new guidance is intended to ensure that sight tests are carried out consistently across schools in England.

The following presentations from the NatSIP working day and HoSS event on 4 October 2017 are available: