1. ITV Report

Partially-sighted girl's fears over budget cuts

A partially-sighted teenage girl says she worries for her future - because of threats to the specialist support she desperately needs.

Phoebe Clifton fears she won't be able to realise her dream of going to university because of local authority budget cuts.

A report by The Royal National Institute of Blind People shows 23 per cent of local authorities have cut their budgets for children with visual impairments, while 21 per cent have frozen them.

Around 2,500 children in the South are affected.

  • Watch full report by Mary Stanley below...

We do not comment on individual cases but I can confirm that we welcome the support that the Royal National Institute of Blind People provides for children, young people and their families and that there are no plans for a reduction of local authority services to children with visual impairment.

Our specialist teacher advisory service provides a targeted approach so that those children with the most severe need get the highest level of support. We are also introducing web-based materials for schools to help them meet the needs of this group of children and have employed a Technician and Specialist Teaching Assistant for Visual Impairment to enable additional support.

I’d like to assure families that, despite the growing pressures on local authority resources, we will continue to provide the best support we can to ensure that visually impaired children and young people have access to high quality education in Hampshire schools.

– Councillor Roz Chadd, Executive Member, Education and Skills, Hants County Council