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Accessibility plan

Accessibility Plan 2017-2020

 

Rationale

At Our Lady’s we believe in equality and inclusiveness for all and understand that everyone should have equal access to facilities and services regardless of disability, age, gender or race. The school puts accessibility for all at the heart of the planning and design process.

 

As a school, we are committed to providing a fully accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their educational, physical, sensory, social, emotional and cultural needs. Further, we are committed to challenging negative attitudes about disability and accessibility, and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

 

The school recognises that many of our pupils, visitors and staff, whether disabled or otherwise, have individual needs when using school facilities. We understand that for all pupils, the nature of their disabilities may mean that they experience specific difficulties related to accessing education, and the physical environment. As part of our ongoing commitment to the delivery of an inclusive educational service, we work hard to ensure that all our pupils receive a high a standard of education and are supported in reaching their full potential. Good communication and cooperation between the school, home and other professionals are essential.

 

Aims

· To improve the delivery of information to disabled children and young people; using formats which give better access to information.

· To provide continued education as normally as the condition allows.

· To reduce the risk of lowering self-confidence and educational achievement.

· To promote equal access to education for all children.

· To establish effective liaison with al stakeholders.

· To ensure that prompt action takes place.

· To increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum.

· To ensure the physical environment of the school to provides disabled pupil’s physical access to education and extracurricular activities.

 

Statutory Responsibilities

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 disability 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.

 

The reasonable adjustments duty is triggered only where there is a need to avoid ‘substantial disadvantage’. Substantial is defined as being anything more than minor or trivial. Whether or not a disabled pupil is at a substantial disadvantage or not will depend on the individual situation.

 

These duties apply to disabled pupils, as defined in the Equality Act 2010. The Act says that a pupil has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a long term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing.

 

The definition can include a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or people diagnosed with cancer, HIV infection or multiple sclerosis. An impairment does not of itself mean that a pupil is disabled. It is the effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities that should be considered.

 

The test of whether an impairment affects normal day-to-day activity is whether it affects one or more of the following.

· Mobility.

· Manual dexterity.

· Physical co-ordination.

· Continence.

· Ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects.

· Speech, hearing or eyesight.

· Memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand.

· Perception of risk of physical danger.

 

A child’s ability to memorise, concentrate, learn, speak, move, make and maintain positive relationships, is central to their education. An impairment that has a long-term and substantial effect on a child’s ability to do these things may amount to a disability.

 

Some disabled pupils also have special educational needs (SEND) and may be receiving support via school-based SEND provision or have an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP). Just because a disabled pupil has SEND or has an EHCP does not take away the duty to make reasonable adjustments for them. In practice, of course, many disabled pupils who also have an EHCP will receive all the support they need through the SEND framework and there will be nothing extra the school has to do. However, some disabled pupils will not have SEND, and some disabled pupils with SEND will still need reasonable adjustments to be made for them in addition to any support they receive through the SEND framework.

 

Role of the Governing Board

This Accessibility Plan sets out the proposals of the Governing Board of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in the three areas required under the Equality Act 2010. The three key duties are as follows.

· Increase the extent to which disabled children and young people can engage in the school curriculum.

· Improve the physical environment of the school 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 Board and Head Teacher. It is a requirement that the school’s Accessibility Plan is resourced, implemented, and reviewed and revised as necessary. Appendix 1 contains the school’s action plans showing how the school will address the priorities identified in the plan.

 

Health and Safety

The Equality Act 2010 does not override health and safety legislation. If making a particular adjustment would increase the risks to the health and safety of any person (including the disabled pupil in question) then this is a relevant factor in deciding whether it is reasonable to make that adjustment. However, as with the approach to any question of health and safety and risk assessment, schools are not required to eliminate all risk. Suitable and sufficient risk assessments should be used to help determine where risks are likely to arise and what action can be taken to minimise those risks. Risk assessments should be specific to the individual pupil and the activities in question. Proportionate risk management relevant to the disability should be an ongoing process throughout a disabled pupil’s time at the school.

 

There might be instances when, although an adjustment could be made, it would not be reasonable to do so because it would endanger the health and safety either of the disabled pupil or of other people. There might be other instances where schools could make anticipatory reasonable adjustments in line with health and safety legislation, ensuring compliance with, and not infringing, that legislation.

 

Charging Arrangements for Making Reasonable Adjustments

It is unlawful for a setting or school to charge a child for making reasonable adjustments in any circumstances, whatever the financial cost to the school and however the setting or school is funded.

 

Existing Good Practice in School

Access and participation to the curriculum

· Visual prompts and resources including visual timetables are used to facilitate access for all pupils where these are seen to be helpful.

· Disability awareness is promoted in the curriculum, through assemblies and specific events.

· Staff working with pupils with disabilities receive specialist training.

· Thorough risk assessments are undertaken as required and take full account of the needs of disabled children, for example a named adult will provide 1:1 support if appropriate.

· Disabled pupils are able to access a range of activities and clubs beyond the school day; they participate in residential visits.

· Disabled access to school through school hall and school office.

· Disabled toilet situated by school office.

 

Access to the physical environment

The lower floor of the school is accessible for wheelchairs and frames. Corridors and routes are kept clear of obstacles.

 

The delivery of information

Pupils on roll receive support from specialist services e.g. Occupational Therapists, dyslexia, Educational Psychologist.

The Inclusion Manager signposts support groups for parents of children with autism.

The school is able to provide translators if needed.

 

 

Appendix 1

 

Increasing access and participation to the curriculum for pupils with a disability

 

Aim

Existing good practice

Actions

Outcomes

Time frame

Ensure all pupils have full access to the school’s curriculum

Use of class inclusion lists

Use of visual timetables

Additional aids available, e.g. pencil grips, writing slopes

Use of personalised plans and class provision maps

Attendance at LIFT meetings to gain specialist support

Liaise with pre-school providers to review potential intake to EYFS

Continue to distribute class inclusion lists to all adults in classes so they are aware of educational and health needs

SEND and medical lists are up to date

Start of each academic year

Ensure EHCP and risk assessments enable children with disabilities to have full access to the curriculum

Advice sought from specialist teaches

EHCPs are used to create individual programmes of study

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) completed for disabled pupils

Consult with pupil, parents and specialist teaching services at EHCP review meetings

 

Complete risk assessments to ensure access to all school activities and educational visits

 

PEEP to be shared with adults

Pupils with disabilities are able to access all areas of school life

 

 

All staff are aware of risks and evacuation procedures for disabled pupils

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

Ongoing

Staff aware of accessibility plan

Personalised support for individuals is identified in personalised plans and class provision map

 

Curriculum and school policies reviewed regularly to ensure they define their role in promoting equality for all members of the school

EHCPs reviewed annually

 

Personalised plans reviewed termly

 

Policies reviewed according to review schedule

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maintain access to physical environment so that disabled pupils can take advantage of the education, facilities and activities on offer

 

Aim

Existing good practice

Actions

Outcomes

Time frame

Ensure access for disabled members of the school community

Lower floor of school is accessible to wheelchairs and frames

Corridors kept clear of obstacles

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP) completed for disabled pupils

Advice of specialists sought if necessary

 

PEEP to be shared with adults

Clear and safe access on lower floor of school

 

All staff are aware of risks and evacuation procedures for disabled pupils

Ongoing

Ensure that the medical needs of all pupils are met fully with in the capability of the school

Medical care plans reviewed annually and meetings held with parents as necessary

Continue to distribute class inclusion lists to all adults in classes so they are aware of educational and health needs

Medical needs of all pupils are met

Ongoing

 

 

Improve the availability and accessible information to disabled pupils

 

Aim

Existing good practice

Actions

Outcomes

Time frame

School to be aware of services available for disabled pupils

Pupils on role receive support from specialist services

 

LIFT meetings attended to liaise with STLS and gain additional support

Where appropriate, access training to meet the needs of pupils

 

Continue attendance at LIFT meetings

All staff in school are aware of special provision required to meet the needs of individual disabled pupils and who to contact for guidance, support or training

Ongoing

 

 

 

 

 

 

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