The purpose of this strategy is to:
(a) increase the extent to which disabled students can participate in the school’s curriculum;
(b) improve the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to which disabled students are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or services provided or offered by the school;
(c) improve the delivery to disabled students of information which is readily accessible to students who are not disabled.
Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. You are disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.
The school has a policy of inclusivity and does not discriminate on the grounds of disability. Places are offered according to our admissions criteria or via formal consultation to establish our capacity to meet any special needs for those with Education, Care and Health Plans. The Horizon group (Specialist unit for those with ASC needs and holding an Education, Care and Health Plan) are an important and valued part of the school, sited within its own area.
The school has toilets, dining and hall facilities and many classrooms on the ground floor, with access to all necessary buildings through ramped entrances. There are a number of disabled toilet facilities in various parts of the school including a disabled toilet for visitors. Access to the first floor and second floors are available through the use of lifts. All staircases have handrails. Students in wheelchairs or mobility disabilities are able to access the subject specialist provision.
The school is painted with due care to the visually impaired, with contrasting colours between floors, walls and entrances. Stair treads have clear colour changes to show the rise and fall and are generally textured.
Individual arrangements for children with particular medical needs are made, taking the advice of health professionals.
The special needs department also provides additional support for individuals as appropriate; this may include adaptation of visual materials, additional support to access lessons, small group tuition or to deliver programmes as advised by specialists (eg speech and language).
The school also supports students with social, emotional and behavioural needs through a range of strategies including: ELSA (Emotional Learning Support); small group specialist programmes or mentoring; 1-1 mentoring and coaching; outreach.
The school works closely with external providers to support students’ progress within the school.
How views and information from those with disabilities have been involved in developing the plan
The school has existing systems which collect a range of information from students, staff and visitors both formally and informally. Outcomes of these consultations and information gathering processes are used to inform the plan. Particular aspects include the following:
- Risk assessments around the site against needs of students/staff/carers
- Education and Health Care Plan annual reviews (annual, interim as required
- SEN support Reviews
- Medical information for new and existing staff, linked to discussion of needs
- Consultations with the SEN Team regarding needs of individual students
- Input from our staff teams that focus on pastoral, social, emotional and health needs
- Meetings with parents/carers or students to identify and implement strategies
- Discussions with students
- Performance management processes – eg barriers to job (annually)
- Return to work interviews where there are areas of concern – eg support needed to do job properly (as need identified)
- Referral to occupational health (as need arises)
- Input from specialists eg Visual Impairment, Hearing, ASC, EP, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist, School Nurse (usually related to particular students but can also be making general comments)
- Feedback from visitors, parents or other community users on provision.
Outcomes of this information inform planning each year. This includes: special educational needs; staff development and support; pastoral support; premises planning; teaching and learning developments.
Current Equality Objectives (2020-2024) include access strategy objectives and are:
Closing gaps for different groups of students including PP students, with a focus on improving attendance, supporting aspirations; building relationships .
Continuing to develop the access to the site and site events for students, parents/carers, staff and visitors through discussion with individuals as to how to meet their needs.
Ensure the LIFE programme continues to look at protected characteristics and other issues as part of its content, developing contexts and discussion opportunities to support student understanding and positive approaches to different groups. Supplement these with topical events or significant incidents to make links with everyday life and changes in society.
Useful Policies for reference include:
- Medical Needs
- Equality (staff)
- Behaviour Policy