How is Berkswich accessible to children with SEND?
The SEND 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 pupils on the Special Educational Needs register or pupils with a disability, under Part 4 of the DDA:
Making adjustments for disabled people is not about making something bland, simple or less interesting. It is about allowing a disabled person access to the same level of resources and materials, using alternative ways of ‘seeing’, ‘hearing’ or ‘reading’ these. (cited by TechDis, 2003).
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (2001), also referred to as SENDA, was an amendment to the Disability Discrimination Act (1995), and extended the content of the legislation to cover disabled people's rights in the provision of education.
This piece of legislation is designed to ensure that disabled students are not placed at a 'substantial disadvantage' in comparison to their non-disabled peers' and makes it unlawful to 'unjustifiably' treat a disabled person 'less favourably' for a reason relating to their individual disability (cited by TechDis, 2003).
In meeting the legislation schools/colleges are expected to make 'reasonable adjustments', which relates to preventing the development of unnecessary barriers for disabled people. There is a duty upon institutions under the Act to make 'anticipatory' adjustments to provision and it is important to note that this responsibility is to disabled people in general, not to a specific student. Therefore, it is expected that all adjustments should demonstrate good practice, regardless of whether or not a disabled student is in attendance.
Practitioners have a responsibility to assist the educational institution that they are employed by to meet its statutory obligations under SENDA. Therefore, they are required to make 'reasonable' adjustments to their teaching practice, materials and resources that they utilise to ensure that disabled students can fully participate in the learning environment to their fullest.
At Berkswich we uphold this important legislation and as part of our duty to ensure that every child can thrive and reach their highest potential we complete an accessibility policy and action plan.
This plan sets out the proposals of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in the three areas required by the planning duties in the DDA:
It is a requirement that the school’s accessibility plan is resourced, implemented, reviewed and revised as necessary. For a copy of the accessibility plan together with its action plan please see the SEND Policy link on the previous page.
For a paper copy of this, please see the 'SEND Policy' link or ask for a copy at the school office.