Welcome to the NatSIP Website

New to working with a pupil with sensory impairment?

Or need a quick refresher?

Be sure to check out the   pdf A place to start - Top 10 Tips document, one of the many resources for front-line staff in the NatSIP Sensory Learning Hub.


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The NatSIP website offers access to a wealth of SI resources, most of which are freely available.  We encourage you to register on the site for full access to eveything we have to offer. 

Registration is free and open to anyone. 

A walkthrough/howto on the registration process is pdf here .

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Are you a front-line staff member looking for resources to use with children and young people with sensory impairment in your class or setting?

Check out what's available in the Sensory Learning Hub - over 300 resources for SI.




Are you looking for the NatSIP Eligibility Framework Documents?

Find them folder here in the NatSIP Document Library.



We are pleased to announce the publication of NatSIP's new Mainstream Training Pack, aimed at teachers, SENCos and TAs in mainstream or special schools and settings who may be new to working with pupils with sensory impairment.

The purpose of the Mainstream Training Pack is to improve the confidence and basic skills of mainstream or special school staff who are working with children and young people with a sensory impairment.  The pack does not replace the advice and support your local sensory support team will provide, but aims to provide a clear place to start.

In addition to your local specialist sensory support team being your first port of call, it is vital you speak to the young people involved in order to find out what they find most useful and supportive. The pack aims to provide a useful quick reference checklist and guide ito help you check some of the basics.

The pack contains the following suite of documents:

The documents in the pack are available now, and can be downloaded from the folder Mainstream Training Pack section of the Document Library.

National Deaf Children's Society have updated their FAQ for parents of deaf children on SEN reforms.

The FAQ now includes some advice for families where a statement has not yet been transferred to an Education, Health and Care plan . It also includes some background on the national pilot for Tribunals and health/social care cases. NDCS are grateful for any help in disseminating this to parents.

The FAQ is available on NDCS website at www.ndcs.org.uk/family_support/education_for_deaf_children/special_educational_needs_sen_reforms_in_england/#contentblock3

Seashsell Trust are running an MSI conference entitled 'Listen to me'.


Thursday 10 May 2017


Manchester Conference Centre
Sackville Street
M1 3BB

Details: See http://www.seashelltrust.org.uk/listentome


Seashell Trust are organising a multi-sensory impairment conference 'Listen to me' outlining practical strategies for supporting children and young people with sensory impairment.

When young people are given a way to express themselves, a whole world of exciting opportunities opens up to them. Learn from internationally renowned experts in MSI, David Brown and Dr Paul Hart the practical steps you can take to support children and young people with sensory impairment to communicate more effectively.  The conference will bring together leading specialists to share and discuss the latest developments in MSI communication, ensuring young people receive the vital support they need now and for their future.

You’ll join like-minded MSI professionals to hear all of the latest insights and there will be opportunities to discuss the presentations in more detail at our workshops.

Please circulate details of this event to your networks.

We were delighted to welcome so many delegates to the 27th NatSIP Working Day on 6 February 2018.

Presentations from the day are now available:

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:
Monday 17 September 2018
Tuesday 18 September 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:

We are pleased to announce that the NatSIP-CRIDE Longitudinal Study for children and young people with hearing impairment has now been launched.

The purpose of the Longitudinal Study is to investigate the relationships between the following variables:

  • pupils
  • provision
  • outcomes and participation

with the overall aim of improving provision and outcomes for children and young people with hearing impairment.

It has been developed through collaborative working between NatSIP, University College London, City, University of London, and CRIDE (the Consortium for Research in Deaf Education). The Study will operate over a seven year period. The first three years of the project are being grant funded by the Ovingdean Hall Foundation.

For full details of the Study and the link to the online, web based Survey Questionnaire, see the NatSIP-CRIDE Study page.

All LA Hearing Impairment Support Teams are invited to participate.

The target date for completed returns in the first year of the Study is the end of April 2018However, with the launch of the Study being later than anticipated, there will be some flexibility over the deadline. 

If you have any queries on the Longitudinal Study please contact Bob Denman, NatSIP-CRIDE Project Team Lead, Bob Denman (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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

NatSIP, working together with East Riding Physical and Sensory Teaching Service, is pleased to offer our Multi-Sensory Impairment - Regional Centre of Expertise Training Course


5 days over the period Wednesday 24 January 2018 to Monday 9 April 2018


The Children's Specilaist Services Hub
Springhead Lane
Anlaby Common
East Riding of Yorkshire

Booking: Open now


Jointly supported by NatSIP and the East Rising Physical and Sensory Teaching Service, this training course, offered as five days over eleven weeks, provides a practical approach to supporting access to learning for children and young people with deafblindness or multisensory impairment.

The course is for hands-on practitioners who work on a regular basis with learners who are deafblind or multi-sensory impaired.

The purpose of the course is to provide the participants with an opportunity to explore the needs of the individual children and young people, reflecting on, sharing and developing their practice. A local mentor will work with participants to develop an outcomes-focused case study.

Participants will work with a locally identified mentor agreed with course organisers, or mentoring will be provided (at additional cost).

 Dates and sessions:

Wednesday 24 January 2018 The Implications of MSI
Wednesday 28 February 2018 The role of the senses
Monday 5 March 2018 Developing communication skills - Session I
Monday 12 March 2018 The role of the senses
Monday 9 April 2018 Developing communication skills - Session II



£550/delegate, if a local mentor is agreed within your workplace
£660/delegate if mentoring is provided by the course team

To book:

Please contact Lesley-Ann Gallagher, Manager, SaPTS, East Riding of Yorkshire. 
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T: 01482 392436

Available document:

There are many different training options available for roles supporting children and young people with sensory impairment. It is less clear just what training certain roles should have, how courses relate to each other and whether they follow on from each other?

NatSIP has published a revised document containing three sets of training pathways (HI, VI and MSI) to help answer just these sorts of questions and illustrate the types of training available for specific roles working in the field of sensory impairment.

The document has been updated for 2018 to include changes to providers and courses. We would like to thank all colleagues who have contributed to the content.

The document is available:

Training and courses change over time and we aim to keep this document up to date. If you become aware of a course which should be included or have any other questions about the pathway please contact us or leave feedback.

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.


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).