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More than half of local authorities have cut or frozen the number of specialist teachers they employ to support children with visual impairments, according to new research.

The results of a Freedom of Information request sent to all councils in England by sight loss charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) finds that 57% of local authorities reported a decrease or freeze in the number of specialist teachers they employ.

This comes despite a year-on-year increase in caseloads across local authorities in England, the charity says, adding: “Caseloads are getting higher, putting the workforce under increasing pressure and reducing the support available for children.”

Meanwhile, 24% of councils said they had seen their service budgets for visual impairment support frozen or cut, impacting one in four children and young people.

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