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Accessibility in schools

The Equality Act 2010 says that all council-maintained schools and academies must make themselves increasingly accessible so children and young people 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 SEND to be treated fairly. Admissions authorities:

  • Must consider applications from parents of children who have SEND but do not have an EHCP, 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 SEND but does not have an EHCP, 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 EHCP

Herefordshire Council monitors schools and applies a school accessibility rating. You can find accessible local schools using Herefordshire Council's schools directory. Each school also publishes details in its accessibility plan which should be published on their website. This sets out how the school is making reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled pupils aren't disadvantaged, perhaps by providing additional support or equipment that enables them to participate more fully in the school day.

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