A Wandsworth student visited the House of Commons to lobby Parliament this week on behalf of Young Vision Alliance (YVA), according to an article in Your Local Guardian.
Katie, who is in Year 13 at Putney High School, represented YVA as part of their “Our Futures Matter” campaign. The alliance are campaigning for children with vision impairment to get the support they need in educations.
Katie has congenital nystagmus. She was originally turned down for a statement of special educational needs at primary school, but after a 2 year legal battle, was awarded a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN).
Now at Putney High School, Katie receives the support she needs as part of her statement.
Katie spoke to MPs at the Parliamentary drop-in session on Wednesday, November 5 about how she has gone from a position of very little support at primary level to now excelling at Putney High School GDST where she obtained a clean sweep of A*s and As in her GCSEs.
Katie’s mother is Frances Lilley, Volunteer Education Advocate with the Nystagmus Network. Frances said: “she has been incredibly well supported at Putney. Justyna Sokolowska is one of the best SENCOS I have ever met – she has really done us proud. We can’t thank the Headmistress Mrs Longstaff and the teachers enough.”
The Nystagmus Network is a member of the YVA which campaigns for visually impaired children. A survey of 288 parents of children with vision impairment found that 47 percent of the parents had been forced to challenge poor educational provision because their child wasn’t getting the support they needed at school. The campaign is supported by RNIB, Guide Dogs, and Royal National College for the Blind.
Katie is currently applying to university to study languages. Mrs Lilley said, “When the support is there, there is absolutely no reason why a visually impaired young person shouldn’t achieve just as well as anyone else. Katie is a shining example of that.”