Schools’ duties around accessibility for disabled pupils
Schools and LAs need to carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. These are the same duties as previously existed under the Disability Discrimination Act and have been replicated in the Equality Act 2010 Part 5A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) requires the governing body to:
- promote equality of opportunity for disabled people: pupils, staff, parents, carers and other people who use the school or may wish to; and
- prepare and publish a Disability Equality Scheme to show how they will meet these duties.
This Accessibility Plan and the accompanying action plan forms part of the Disability Equality Scheme and sets out how Green Park School will improve equality of opportunity for disabled people.
This plan sets out the proposals of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in the three areas required by the planning duties in the DDA.
- increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum;
- improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services;
- improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.
It is a requirement that the school’s Accessibility Plan is resourced, implemented and reviewed and revised as necessary. Attached is an action plan, (Appendix 1) showing how the school will address priorities identified in the plan. This plan incorporates the school’s intention to increase access to education for disabled pupils. In drawing up the Accessibility Plan the school has set the following priorities:
- To provide safe access throughout the school for all school users, irrespective of their disability.
- To ensure that the teaching and learning environment and the resources used are suitable for all staff and pupils, tailoring the requirements to suit individual needs.
- To provide training to all staff regarding the needs of disabled people and how to provide assistance to enable them to enjoy the school experience as fully as possible.
1.1.1 At Green Park School we are committed to establishing equality for all pupils, their parents, staff and other users of the school. This is reflected in our school aims, which state:
Our mission for Green Park School is:
To develop a supportive and productive learning community where everyone:
- works together to create a happy, healthy and safe environment
• is valued and given challenges and opportunities
• becomes the best they can be
• is prepared for a successful future life
• develops lively and enquiring minds, questions and then rationally voices their point of view
• applies themselves positively to tasks and physical activities
• acquires and applies knowledge, skills and motivation to their life in a rapidly changing world
• acquires a reasoned, independent set of attitudes, values and beliefs, including a respect for, and an understanding of, different religious, moral and cultural values
• understands and contributes to the world in which we live
• communicates effectively
• is numerate and economically aware
• develops confidence and self-respect whilst being aware of the needs of others and society as a whole.
1.1.2 It is the responsibility of the whole school community to implement this scheme in a manner which promotes the inclusive ethos of our school.
- According to the Act a “disabled person is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has an effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”. The effect must be substantial, long term and adverse. The DDA definition of disability covers physical disabilities, sensory impairments and learning disabilities.
- This plan considers the following three areas as identified in the introduction:
3.1 Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school’s curriculum by securing relevant staff training and ensuring appropriate classroom organisation
3.2 Improving the physical environment of the school as well as physical aids to access education such as specialist desks and ICT equipment
4.3 Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is already provided to pupils who are not disabled. This should be done within a reasonable period of time and in formats that take account of any views expressed by pupils or parents about their preferred means of communication such as large print and the provision of information orally.
- Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum
The school SEN policy ensures that staff identify, assess and arrange suitable provision for pupils with disabilities and special educational needs. Working with the LA, the SENCo manages the Statutory Assessment Process, ensuring additional resources are available where appropriate. The school provides additional support for pupils and supports teachers in implementing strategies for improving pupils’ behaviour and access to learning. The school works closely with specialist services including:
- Hearing Impaired Children’s service
- Visual Impairment Advisory and Support Service
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech and Language Therapy
- Improving access to the physical environment of the school
This element of the Planning Duty covers all areas of the physical environment such as external areas, buildings and fixtures and fittings. The aim is to continue to enhance the environment to meet the needs of all pupils and ensure that they have access to all aspects of education offered by Green Park School.
- Improving the delivery of information to disabled persons
Staff members are to be made aware of the services available through the LA for converting written information into alternative formats.
- This Access Improvement Plan is reviewed annually.
In addition it will be reviewed three yearly.
- Information on how to view this plan is included in the school prospectus.