There aren’t enough MSI teachers, so my son misses out on the support he needs

Eight-year-old Euan from Leicestershire has multi-sensory impairment (MSI) which means he has problems with his vision and hearing. Euan’s mum tells us how the shortage of MSI teachers in her area has led to Euan not getting the support he needs.

A boy in a stripey blue and white top sits on a woman's lap. He's beaming with a smile. The woman, his mum, is hugging him and smiling too.

Euan is currently in Year 3, at a mainstream primary school, but is really struggling because he isn’t getting the one-to-one support that he needs from a specially trained MSI teacher.

MSI teachers are trained to look at both hearing and sight impairments of a child, and support them to learn and engage with the world in the best way.

Without the right support, Euan gets frustrated at school, and this sometimes leads to him acting out. It’s not that he’s a naughty child, but without having support from professionals that understand his needs, he can’t keep up with lessons or games in the classroom.

I’ve been on the phone every week trying to get him help

It’s been such a challenge to try and get him support from an MSI teacher. I’ve been on the phone every week trying to get him help. We’ve only just managed to arrange a deafblind assessment for him to review his needs and outline the support he should have in place.

His school has recognised that Euan needs more specialist support from a teacher who is trained to work with children who have both hearing and sight impairment. And the Local Authority have also previously said he should be receiving one-to-one support in school.

However, Euan still isn’t getting this. There’s a shortage of MSI teachers in the area, so Euan’s just been left without the care he needs at school. I’m really concerned that it’s affecting his development and progress.

The right support could have a huge impact on Euan

When Euan’s had extra support at school in the past it’s had a really positive impact. We noticed this during lockdown. My husband and I are both key workers, so Euan continued to go to school. His class was much smaller because a lot of the children stayed at home. This meant Euan teachers had more time to give him the one-to-one support that he needs.

When everything opened back up and his class went back to the usual, bigger size, Euan started to struggle again. It’s really clear that the right support could have a huge impact on Euan’s education and development.

That’s why I’m supporting Sense’s campaign calling for funding to train more MSI teachers. Just like any other child, children with MSI should have access to the support they need to learn and grow.

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