Accessibility in schools
The Equality Act 2010 says that all council-maintained schools and academies must make themselves increasingly accessible so pupils with a disability can benefit as fully as possible from the facilities and learning opportunities available. They cannot discriminate against pupils because of their physical or mental disability, or some medical conditions, like HIV, MS and cancer. This means that they must continually aim to improve the physical environment for disabled pupils, increase the time they can participate in the curriculum and ensure they have appropriate learning materials.
The school admissions code of practice requires children and young people with SEN to be treated fairly. Admissions authorities:
- Must consider applications from parents of children who have SEN but do not have an EHC plan on the basis of the school’s published admissions criteria as part of normal admissions procedures
- Must not refuse to admit a child who has SEN but does not have an EHC plan because they do not feel able to cater for those needs
- Must not refuse to admit a child on the grounds that they do not have an EHC plan
Herefordshire Council monitors schools and applies a school accessibility rating. You can find out a school's accessibility rating by checking the schools directory. Each school also publishes details in its own prospectus and accessibility plan. This sets out how it is making reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled pupils aren't disadvantaged in comparison with others, perhaps by providing additional support or equipment that enables a student to participate more fully in the school day.