Ellesmere Port and Neston MP, Justin Madders has pledged to support children and young people with sight difficulties.

The MP has backed Guide Dogs' 'All Things Equal' visual impairment campaign and attended a parliamentary event during which the former Shadow Minister for Health and Social Care met with young people and their families to discuss the challenges they face in the education system.

Recent research conducted for Guide Dogs found nearly seven out of 10 teachers (69 per cent) lack confidence that they have the right skills to support disabled children, including those with a vision impairment, to reach their full potential.

This is reflected in outcomes for children with sight loss who are significantly behind their peers in terms of academic attainment.

The ‘All Things Equal” campaign is calling for greater recognition of vision impairment throughout the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) system.

The critical role of specialist professionals needs to be prioritised and Mr Madders is calling for more support to be given at an earlier stage to help prevent young people with sight loss from falling behind.

Mr Madders said: "It is important we do all within our powers to ensure that children who have SEND requirements get all the support they need to enable them to reach their full potential."

Blanche Shackleton, Head of Policy, Public Affairs and Campaigns at Guide Dogs, said: "Children and young people with vision impairment tell us they want to grow up enjoying the same opportunities as their classmates. But all too often they are being let down by the education system that fails to give them the support they need.

"We know that the lack of support in childhood can have a far-reaching impact. Just one in four working age adults with a vision impairment are in employment.

"That is why we are calling on the Government to make all things equal for children and young people with vision impairment, so that they have access to the support they need."

Founded in 1934, Guide Dogs seeks to help the two million people living with sight loss live the life they choose. You can find out more at www.guidedogs.org.uk .