School Accessibility Plans
The Equality Act 2010 and Equality Duty 2011 placed responsibilities upon schools to remove discrimination against pupils with disability. It requires schools to make “reasonable adjustments” to their policies, procedures and practices to accommodate pupils with disabilities more fully in school life. There is a duty on schools to state what action they have taken to improve access and to have an Accessibility Plan. A school’s duty to make reasonable adjustments is an anticipatory one and therefore schools need to think in advance about what disabled pupils might require and what adjustments might need to be made for them.
An Accessibility Plan should aim to:
- increase the extent to which disabled children and young people can engage in the school curriculum
- improve the physical environment of schools to increase disabled pupils’ physical access to education and extra curricular activities
- improve the delivery of information to disabled children and young people, using formats which give better access to information.
The responsibility for the Accessibility Plan lies with the governing body and headteacher. Planning should start with the information that is already held by the school regarding the nature of the pupil population and the school’s strengths and weaknesses in ensuring access for disabled pupils. Further advice and guidance on drawing up an Accessibility Plan is also available on the Teachernet website.
c.) Access to Information
Families will have access to good quality information about the range of services offered. The duty placed on local authorities in the Children and Families Act 2014 to develop a Local Offer is a strategy to simplify and make more accessible information about processes, systems and services that support children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities. In South Gloucestershire the ’Local offer’ continually develops to provide clear and accessible information in one place.
When the public or professionals need to make a referral or raise a concern about a child, the Access and Response Team (ART), will make the first assessment of what needs to be done to keep or make the child safe.
The use of IT is significantly transforming the lives of everybody but especially those children and young people who have difficulty in communicating using traditional methods.
Schools have made good progress in providing information in alternative forms and publishing details electronically, which enhances communication with all parent carers, young people and children
How will we review the effectiveness of this strategy?
We will review the effectiveness of this strategy using a variety of means including:
- reviewing the number of schools that meet the minimum standards for accessibility
- monitoring the effectiveness of the council’s strategic plans
- ensuring that at phase transfers children with physical and sensory disabilities are able to transfer to appropriately adapted local schools
- taking account of feedback from parents/carers, and voluntary organisations, children and young.