Accessibility for pupils with disabilities

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.

We monitor schools and apply a school accessibility rating. You can find out your school's accessibility rating by using our schools search. 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. 

We have written to schools to clarify the reasonable adjustments and auxiliary aids duties under the Equality Act, especially how these are shared between the council and schools. We currently expect schools to pay for items under £600 unless they are very specialist.  For more information please read the Auxiliary aids duty and reasonable adjustments for children with disabilities letter.

Our Accessibility Strategy for schools sets out plans for how we are making sure this happens throughout the county.

If you would like to know more, get advice on the duties of a school or academy, or are a teacher who would like support, please contact Les Knight (Head of additional needs) or call 01432 261724.