Disability Equality Scheme & Accessibility Plan - Sept 2015

City of Stoke-on-Trent Children & Young People’s Services Directorate
Social Inclusion and Disabilities Division
Disability Equality Scheme & Accessibility Plan
First written 2006
Reviewed annually.
Last reviewed: September 2015
Mission Statement                                               
Checklist for schools and governors                  
The Disability Equality Duty (DED)                     
Involvement and consultation                            
Making things happen                                         
Monitoring and reporting                                   
Mission Statement
At St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy, we are committed to ensuring equality of opportunity for:
  • pupils with disabilities in relation to education and associated services;
  • staff with disabilities in relation to employment rights, conditions and opportunities
  • all parents and members of the local community with disabilities in relation to additional services offered by or at our school.
We aim to develop a culture of inclusion and diversity in which people feel confident about disclosing their disabilities in the certain knowledge that they will receive a positive and supportive response which facilitates their full participation in the full range of activities offered by our school.
In particular, the achievement and participation of pupils and students with disabilities will be monitored and we will use this data to raise standards and ensure inclusive teaching.
We will make reasonable adjustments in relation to teaching and learning and wider aspects of school life to make sure that the educational environment is as accessible as possible.
We will use our accessibility planning duty to ensure that there is a rolling programme of improvements over the next three years in relation to access to the curriculum, access to information for both pupils and their parents and access to the school buildings, its facilities and amenities for all.
We will seek to foster a positive response to disability among all members of our school community and to eliminate bullying, harassment or the less favourable treatment of people with disabilities wherever and whenever it is likely to occur.
At St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy, we believe that diversity is a strength, which should be respected and celebrated by all those who learn in, work in, and visit our community.
Check list for school staff and governors
  Is information collected on disability with regards to both pupils and staff? Is this information used to improve the provision of services?
  Is pupil achievement monitored by disability? Are there are trends or patterns in the data that may require additional action?
  Are disabled pupils encouraged to participate in school life? How is this shown through representation in school events such as class assemblies and the school council?
  Is bullying and harassment of disabled pupils and staff monitored and is this information used to make a difference?
  Is disability portrayed positively in school books, displays and discussions such as circle time and class assemblies?
 Does the school take part in annual events such as Deaf Awareness week to raise awareness of disability?
  Is the school environment as accessible as possible to pupils, staff and visitors to the school? Are open evenings and other events which parents or carers attend held in an accessible part of the school?
  Is information available to parents, visitors, pupils and staff in formats which are accessible if required? Is everyone aware of this?
  Are procedures for the election of parent governors open to candidates and voters who are disabled?

The Disability Equality Duty (DED)

Definition of disability

The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 (DDA) defines a disabled person as someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial or long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

The Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 has extended the definition of disability as follows:
  • People with HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer (although not all cancers) are deemed disabled because they experience the long-term and substantial adverse effect on their activities.
  • Section 18 has been amended so that individuals with a mental illness no longer have to demonstrate that it is “clinically well-recognised”, although the person must still demonstrate a long-term and substantial adverse affect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.
The Duty
The Disability Discrimination Act of 2005 places a general duty on schools, requiring them to have due regard to the following when carrying out their functions as employers, as providers of education and associated services and as providers of services to the wider community:
  • Promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people;
  • Eliminating discrimination that is unlawful under the DDA;
  • Eliminating harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability;
  • Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people;
  • Encouraging participation in public life by disabled people;
  • Taking steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment.
      This general duty is also known as the Disability Equality Duty (DED).
A specific duty under the 2005 legislation requires all schools to produce a Disability Equality Scheme and an associated action plan covering a three year cycle. This is the substance of the rest of this document.
The Disability Equality Duty (DED)
To meet the Disability Equality Duty, it is essential that aspects of school life are monitored to identify whether there is an adverse impact on children and young people with disabilities. The following should be monitored:
  • Achievement of pupils by disability
  • Disabled staff (including numbers, type of disability and satisfaction rates in staff surveys etc.)
Additional implications for schools
The role of a school as a service provider
Schools have additional implications as a service provider to make their buildings accessible when they hire out rooms or parts of the building.
Contact with parents and carers
When providing newsletters and information for parents and carers, schools should make this information available in an accessible format so that parents or carers who may be, for example, visually impaired, can access the information.
Additionally, events for parents and carers such as open evenings, meetings with teachers, should be held in accessible parts of the building.
Hiring transport
School staff will need to be aware of Section 6 of the Act when hiring transport as it puts new duties on transport providers, including the bus and coach companies, and the taxi and private hire car trade. The requirement to provide accessible vehicles is extended to include these transport providers. Bus companies will not be able to refuse a job because, for example, it may take longer to pick up disabled students.
Involvement and consultation
It is a requirement that disabled pupils, staff and those using school services should be involved in the production of the Disability Equality Scheme.
St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy has consulted with disabled pupils, staff and service users in the development of our Disability Equality Scheme.
Making things happen
In order to ensure that action is taken to meet the Disability Equality Duty, St Margaret Ward Catholic Academy has drawn up an action plan to make things happen, which outlines how the requirements of the DDA 2005 will be met. This action plan has been shaped in consultation with disabled people as outlined in the previous section, and may include some of the good practice examples below.
  • Promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people.
    • Increase awareness of the ways in which parents of disabled children and young people can help to support their learning, for example through workshops;
    • Ensuring that the talents of disabled pupils are represented accordingly through the Gifted and Talented Registers.
  • Eliminating discrimination that is unlawful under the DDA and harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability.
    • Monitor incidents of harassment and bullying of disabled pupils. Encourage pupils to report and take action against offenders.
    • If a number of incidents have been prevalent within a particular year group, use mentoring, learning support or assembly to investigate and address the issue with all pupils.
  • Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people.
    • Use the school environment to promote positive attitudes to disability. Ensure that disability is represented in posters, collages, displays and learning materials.
Making things happen
  • Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people (continued)
  • Celebrate and highlight key events such as the Paralympics, Deaf Awareness Week and Learning Disability Week.
  • At schools with specialist units, staff have successfully raised awareness about disability by going to talk to pupils from the mainstream school.
  • Encouraging participation in public life by disabled people.
    • Ensure that disabled pupils are represented and encouraged to participate in class assemblies, plays, events and on the school council.
    • Recognise achievement of disabled people in outside of school activities.
Aspect of the General Duty
Key Objective
Key Actions & Start Date
Named responsible person
Success Criteria
Evaluation Process & Timeline
To ensure that school visits can be accessed by all
School visits paper work
Time allocated to role of EV co-ordinator
  • Check school visits providers to ensure that disabled people can access the activities on the trip
  • Complete risk assessments taking into account needs of disabled
Staff organising the trip
Disabled people can attend school visits
Advice circulated regarding making reasonable adjustments for trips.
Specific risk assessments take place to include pupils with disabilities in educational visits.
Adjustments to trips are  made to take individual needs into account.
SENCO available to jointly plan regarding trips.
To ensure that disabled parents/carers are able to attend functions in school i.e. parent consultation evenings
Admin time
  • Include statement in correspondence home to assess needs
  • Plan events in rooms where there is access
Rooms are accessible to all
Audit of disability updated each year.
Statement appears on all documents.
Requests made for parents/carers to inform the school of special arrangements required by their child or themselves when using the school’s facilities.
(List does not exist of parents; little response to previous questionnaires)
Consideration given and adjustments made to rooming if disabled access is required.
Aspect of the General Duty
Key Objective
Key Actions & Start Date
Named responsible person
Success Criteria
Evaluation Process & Timeline
To raise awareness of the barriers facing disabled people.
Time allocated to Learning Support/Student Council meetings.
Ensure that disabled pupils’ views are represented in student council meetings where appropriate.
Ensure that elections to the student council allow opportunity for all.
Promote the inclusion of pupils in extra curricular activities and as ambassadors for the school.
Share the success of disabled pupils (and others with disability) through assemblies.
Display positive images of disabled people/Hold whole school awareness days where opportunities arise.
Views of pupils (and others incl. staff) with disabilities are actively sought.
A positive image of disabled people is apparent in displays.
Non-disabled pupils speak positively about disabled people.
No incidents of harassment of people with disabilities.
Pupils with disabilities feel able to share their experiences with their peers.
Pupils with disability attend school council meetings. They represent the school and take part in pupil panels for staff appointments.
Some images used in school reflect disability.
Stereotyping is challenged through the creative curriculum/SEAL activities.
Circle of friends has been used for pupils with Emotional Social & mental health to share their experiences.
Peer deaf awareness training has occurred to promote the inclusion of a child with HI
Aspect of the General Duty
Key Objective
Key Actions & Start Date
Named responsible person
Success Criteria
Evaluation Process & Timeline
To ensure that disabled people are actively involved in the life of the school.
Staff time to implement
Encourage pupils with disability to be members of the School Council or take other positions of responsibility i.e. peer mentors, prefects.
Support/encourage staff with disability to take the lead in initiatives or positions of responsibility.
LAPMs/SMT/Governing Body
Pupils with disability are chosen to represent the school.
Pupils with disabilities are given equal access to opportunities offered.
Adjustments are made to take into account staff who may have disabilities.
Pupils have taken part in a range of extra curricular activities such as public speaking, dance and drama performances, educational visits including residential visits.
Adjustments are made for staff with disabilities such as room changes.
Pupils with disabilities have taken on prefect roles.
Aspect of the General Duty
Key Objective
Key Actions & Start Date
Named responsible person
Success Criteria
Evaluation Process & Timeline
To make ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ for people with disabilities.
Time/proforma to carry out audit.
Identify the disabled population within the school.
Audit the ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ already in place.
Assess whether there is a need for more favourable treatment i.e. pupils with ASD being allowed to go into lunch without queuing to reduce anxiety.
Pupils/Adults (incl.staff) requiring ‘Reasonable Adjustments’ are known about.
‘Reasonable Adjustments’ are made for those requiring them.
List of pupils with disabilities is updated each year.
Adjustments are made to arrangements in school or for trips to include pupils with disabilities.
Aspect of the General Duty
Key Objective
Key Actions & Start Date
Named responsible person
Success Criteria
Evaluation Process & Timeline
To positively promote disabled people in the school community.
Learning Support time/Assembly time
Hold assemblies to make sure that bullying related to disability is unacceptable.
Display information relating to disabilities around the school.
Log incidents related to bullying of disabled people.
Share success of disabled people.
Hold awareness days.
Learning Support Co-ordinator
No incidents of bullying/
harassment of disabled people logged.
Assemblies related to disability are held.
Incidents of bullying or harassment are dealt with promptly.
Celebration of success in presentation evenings includes / recognises disabled pupils.
Aspect of the General Duty
Key Objective
Key Actions & Start Date
Named responsible person
Success Criteria
Evaluation Process & Timeline
To ensure that ‘reasonable adjustments’ are made for those people with a disability
Admin. Staff
Ensure that anyone using the school has an opportunity to declare a disability.
Make information available in different formats incl. reports.
Admin. Staff
The school asks visitors prior to meetings if special arrangements are required.
Correspondence contains a statement saying that information is available in different formats
Information is presented in different formats for those who request it
See Access Plan for ‘Information’
Staff are encouraged to make their disabilities known about should they require reasonable adjustments to be made.
Monitoring and reporting
It is important to monitor the impact of the action taken to ensure that progress is being made towards meeting the Disability Equality Duty, and to ensure that no adverse impact is occurring as a result of the actions.
The monitoring of the actions outlined in the action plan will be monitored in accordance with the specified timescales. If any adverse impacts are identified during the monitoring process, the action plan will need to be revised.
An annual report will be produced which outlines the progress of the Disability Equality Scheme and assesses the implementation of the action plan for effectiveness. This report will be circulated to the Head-teacher and Governors, and the findings will be used to improve the Disability Equality Scheme and feed into future practice.
For further information, please contact: Deputy Principal for Inclusion at the school.