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Disability Equality Scheme

3-year period covered by the plan:

Dec 2018-Dec 2021

Introduction 

The SEN and Disability Act 2001 extended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to cover education.  Since September 2002, the Governing Body has had three key duties towards disabled pupils, under Part 4 of the DDA:

  • not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for a reason related to their disability;
  • to make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, so that they are not at a substantial disadvantage;
  • to plan to increase access to education for disabled pupils.

This plan sets out the proposals of the Governing Body of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils (and members of the school community and school visitors) 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 a set of action plans showing how the school will address the priorities identified in the plan.

1. Starting points

1A:  The purpose and direction of the school’s plan: vision and values

Philips High School has high ambitions for its disabled pupils and expects them to participate and achieve in every aspect of school life.

The school is committed to inclusion and equal opportunities for all including those with disabilities.

The school wants to ensure that it:

  • Sets suitable learning challenges.
  • Responds to pupils’ diverse needs
  • Overcomes potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.
  • Aims to identify and remove barriers to the disabled in every area of school life.

The school intends to increase access for those with disabilities over time in terms of:

  • Increased access to the curriculum.
  • Improvements to the physical environment of the school to increase access to education and associated services at the school.
  • Improving the provision of information for disabled pupils and disabled parents where it is provided in writing for pupils and parents who are not disabled.

1B:  Information from pupil data and school audit

A survey was carried out in the autumn term 2018 see information in the Action Plan.

1C:  Views of those consulted during the development of the plan

The views of parents and pupils were sought and used in developing the Action Plan. Discussions have taken place place with teaching and support staff, and their feedback gained from staff training. Governors have been involved with planning to support the needs of all pupils and advice from relevant LEA advisory staff and health professionals have informed the plan. Discussions have been held with the SENCO, the Headteacher and the Senior Leadership Team.

2. The main priorities in the school’s plan2A: Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum

“For pupils whose attainments fall significantly below expected levels at a particular key stage a much greater degree of differentiation will be necessary.” (QCA 1999)

Over time, reasonable adjustments will be made to improve access to the curriculum, over time, for disabled pupils. The plan will start with a consideration of access for individual pupils and built on by:

  • Adding individual adjustments into future planning.
  • Building accessibility considerations into curriculum development work.
  • Developing a planned approach to increasing access to different areas of the curriculum during the life of the plan.

In its action plan the school will, identify potential barriers to the curriculum and will seek advice and support when addressing these issues. Improving disabled pupils’ access to the curriculum is one of the key elements of ensuring high quality teaching and learning for all.

To provide a coherent overall programme for disabled pupils, curriculum development and timetabling will need to take into account: pupils working at different levels in different strands of the curriculum and carefully monitored interventions.

The plan will show how, over time, access to learning for disabled pupils will be improved and that all staff have high expectations of pupils with disabilities. Target setting and monitoring are vital along with developing schemes of work and plans, thus ensuring accessibility for all pupils.

On-going professional development for all staff on inclusive classroom practice in general and on specific disability issues is important.

Activities such as school clubs and school trips will be undertaken with disability access in mind. Barriers will be identified and addressed by making reasonable adjustments.

2B: Improving the physical environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services:

Improvements are planned to the physical environment to increase access for disabled pupils within the classroom or around the school; within and beyond the school day; on or off the school site. E.g.

  • Specialist curriculum areas.
  • Whole school site.
  • Facilities used beyond the school day.
  • Any off-site provision used by the school.
  • Diversity of equipment, materials, consumables.

An external LA consultant has previously undertaken an audit of the school environment. Also pupils and parents have been consulted and their views taken into account when drawing up the action plan. 

2C: Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information that is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled:

Planned improvements are needed, within a reasonable time, in the delivery of information to disabled pupils which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled. These improvements need to take into account their disability and any preferences expressed by them or their parents or following advice received from support services.

Standard information to pupils might include; homework, timetables, worksheets, teacher feedback and marking of work, notices and tests and examinations. Different formats for different impairments may include; audio, enlarging print, simplifying language and using picture/symbol language.

3: Making it happen

The access plan will be kept under review and, if necessary revised. The school will report annually on their accessibility plans, and on other aspects of their DDA and SEN duties in the school prospectus. The Disability Equality Scheme will be reviewed and a revised scheme published within three years of the first one and every three years thereafter. 

3A: Management, coordination and implementation

Overall responsibility for the plan lies with the governing body, but improving access for disabled pupils requires everyone at the school to understand the duties in the DDA and apply this knowledge in their own area of responsibility.

It is important to:

  • Ensure that all staff are aware of the disability discrimination duties as they apply to schools.
  • Secure the commitment of all staff to removing barriers and increasing access.
  • Draw on support from within and beyond the school.
  • Target training for particular groups of pupils/staff/aspects of school life.
  • Share good practice between staff ad with other schools.

The governing body will consider:

  • The school’s vision and values for the disabled.
  • How they will oversee the accessibility plan and set a clear direction for it.
  • How they can ensure that the plan is being implemented.
  • How and when the plan should be reviewed and revised, including how anyone might contribute to the process.
  • Evidence that can be used to evaluate the plan.
  • How they can report to parents on the success of the plan.

Priorities in the plan need to be coordinated with plans across the school with reference to the School Improvement Partner.

Implementation of the plan should be accompanied by an action plan with:

  • Clear allocation of responsibility.
  • Clear allocation of resources.
  • An indication of expected outcomes or performance criteria.
  • Clear timescales.
  • Specified dates and processes for review.

The evaluation of the school plan will be undertaken following consultation with pupils, parents, staff and other relevant agencies.

3B: Accessing the school’s plan

Making the school’s accessibility plan widely available is a good way of provoking feedback, which is an important element in the review and development of the plan. The DDA requires schools to report to parents on their accessibility plan along with other aspects of the school’s provision for disabled pupils.

The school’s accessibility plan and information on its implementation will be made readily available on request through the school office. The plan will also be placed on the school’s website.

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