Education support

Finding the right support for your child at school, college or nursery can be difficult, but we’re here to help – every step of the way.

Our Specialist Education Support Team is made up of Qualified Teachers of children with a Vision Impairment (QTVIs) and can offer information and advice tailored to your child. From starting nursery to supporting them at university, we’ve got the tools to help them to learn, grow and live the life they want.

How we helped Sophie, Beth and Namit

What can we do?

It’s our mission to make sure children and young people with a vision impairment are supported on their educational journey.

From the day they’re born to the age of 25, we can provide education information and advice.

Guide Dogs helped me to understand the legal stance, but also backed me up in my dialogue with the school to make things happen.

We can help you:

  • Choose the right nursery, school, college or uni
  • Understand your child’s rights and entitlements
  • Identify extra support for your child from a local authority or other organisations
  • Understand how to fill in complex forms, and figure out tricky terms and processes 
  • Plan, prepare and put your child’s choices into action

We can also help children and young people choose the best assistive technology for them, or access our mobility and life skills courses.

Abbreviations you may hear:

  • EHCP – Education, Health and Care Plan
  • SENDCo – Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Coordinator
  • CYP – Child or Young Person
  • QTVI – Qualified Teacher of children with a Vision Impairment
  • APDR - Assess, Plan, Do Review

Specialist Education Support – Helping your child through each stage of education

The Guide Dogs' Specialist Education Support Service is here to offer independent and tailored advice to help your child receive all the education support they are entitled to. 

From pre-school to college and beyond, our Specialist Education Support Officers can guide your family as your child progresses through each stage of education.

Whenever you need any advice, please get in touch with us on 0800 781 1444 or

We offer independent specialist education support to children in England and Wales, and we refer families to other sources of support where appropriate. If you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland, here are some relevant links for access to support:



- RNIB - Children, young people and families in Scotland

Northern Ireland:

RNIB - Children, young people and families service in Northern Ireland

Mobility and independent living skills training

Guide Dogs is the largest employer of specialists dedicated to helping children and young people with sight loss. We work with local authorities to provide mobility and independent living skills training that could help your child at school and home. This includes learning how to navigate safely around school, such as through doorways and up and down steps, and important daily skills, such as techniques to locate specific objects, preparing food and managing their appearance.

It’s important to consider these skills and training when your child starts at a new school and to prepare well in advance.

In this section...

Use resources and materials put together by our Specialist Education Support Team to help your child to learn at home.
Various professionals work with your child during different stages of their education. Here’s our quick guide to help you identify them.
Confused by all the acronyms and code names? You need our jargon buster to decipher the most common phrases used in special educational needs and disabilities (SEND – there’s your first one!).
Guidance on how to get an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for your child, and everything you need to know about the EHCP process.
We’ve put together this handy checklist of questions to ask teachers, support staff and yourself during your first visit to a nursery, school or place of higher education.
Our guidance to finding the right early years setting for your child with a vision impairment. 
Here's our guide on how to apply for a primary school place for your child.
Making the transition from primary to secondary school is an exciting time. Find out how to apply and prepare your child for their first day.
Need extra support and advice? Our helpful guide offers guidance on choosing the right course, locations and much more.
Let the fun begin with our handy guide on choosing the right course, accommodation and financial support.
A guide on how to self-advocate (speak up or yourself) for young people and for parents to share with a younger child.
Find out about the four-step process to help your child fulfil their educational needs.

Guide Dogs launch a guide for Higher Education providers to support students with vision impairment

Do you need help?

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more tailored help and support. 

0800 781 1444