The Role of the QTMSI

The role of the Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Multi-Sensory Impairment

Reviewed: April 2016

To teach a class of pupils with multi-sensory impairment (MSI), a teacher must hold a mandatory qualification.  The Mandatory Qualification is part of the statutory requirements for qualified teacher status set out in The Education (School Teachers' Qualifications) (England) Regulations 2003.  Qualified teachers carry out a central role in the education of children and young people with sensory impairments from birth, working in homes, early years settings, schools and post 16 settings.

The role of specialist teachers

Children with MSI face unique challenges to learning which can only be addressed by specialist knowledge and understanding. Sense considers that all children and young people with MSI must receive specialist educational support from a qualified teacher of children and young people with MSI (QTMSI). Professionals working in advisory or peripatetic roles should also hold the appropriate mandatory qualification.

In order to protect the rights of children with MSI to high quality education, Sense maintains that schools and local authorities should apply the following principles and practices:

  • All children with MSI receive support from teachers who hold the mandatory qualification in MSI, and from QTVI and ToD, where appropriate
  • The caseloads of these teachers are managed in order that they are able to support these children appropriately
  • QTMSIs work closely with schools or settings to ensure that children's needs are met through joint planning which encourages inclusive teaching and learning approaches
  • QTMSIs advise on and oversee the implementation of strategies to promote children's social inclusion
  • QTMSIs are involved in a planned approach over time to reducing adult support in favour of strategies which promote independent learning
  • QTMSIs maintain close contact with families as a source of ongoing advice and to make sure that expectations and approaches are consistent between home and school
  • Specialist Assessment to be carried out by a qualified QTMSI
  • In-depth holistic, multi-disciplinary assessments that focus on the development and skills of the individual child
  • Functional (working) sensory assessments that assess vision, hearing, and tactile sense, and suggest implications for classroom practice and educational approaches
  • Specialist communications assessments focusing on the development of communication skills and / or identifying changing methods of communication
  • Development assessments and educational advice to support the preparation of a Statement of Special Educational Needs
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