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The Trinity Handbook

Accessibility Policy


Accesibility Plan 2015-2018

This policy is written with reference to the Trinity Catholic School Mission Statement:

"This Catholic School will seek to educate the whole person, academically, morally, socially and spiritually through the example of Jesus Christ and the witness of committed capable teachers”. (Mission Statement)

Introduction

At Trinity, we have created an inclusive community in which each person is respected and recognised as of equal value. We aim to ensure that everyone remains safe and stays healthy, whilst at the same time enjoys and achieves and makes a positive contribution to the wellbeing of the school community. We are committed to the care and well-being of all students so that they may work and learn in a safe, secure environment. In all aspects of the school, the stakeholders (governors, staff, students, parents and the wider community) are committed to working together to ensure that the school community remains true to the equal value principle underpinning its policies.

Through a series of inter-related policies and procedural guidelines we support disability equality in all aspects of school life for students, staff and visitors. All new policies and protocols are carefully examined to ensure access and equality in diversity.

The Disability Discrimination Act – DDA, as amended by the SEN and Disability Act 2001, requires all schools, academies and Local Authoritiess to plan to increase, over time, accessibility for disabled students. Academies are required to produce plans for their individual establishment and Local Authoritiess are required to prepare accessibility strategies covering the maintained schools in their areas. 

Trinity School is required to plan for: 

  •  Increasing access for disabled students to the curriculum 
  •  Improving access to the school’s physical environment (buildings and grounds) 
  •  Improving written information for disabled students 

At a legislative level there are three main strands for disabled students: 
The Disability Equality Duty (2006) requires schools to be proactive in promoting disability equality and eliminating discrimination, having regard to Part 5A of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. This has now been superseded by The Equality Act of 2010.

Information gathering 

Within the current school population of 1107 students (as was recorded February 19th 2017), there are currently 0 students with a Statement of Special Educational Need/EHCP, 29 students on SEN Support and a further 63  on School Watch.

Disabled students currently in the academy have the following needs: 

  • Moderate Learning Difficulties (MLD) 
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD - including Asperger’s Syndrome) 
  • Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) 
  • Diabetes 
  • Social, Emotional, (and Mental Health) Difficulties (SEMH) 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Hearing Impairment (HI) 
  • Visual Impairment (VI) 
  • Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD – including Dyslexia and Dyspraxia) 
  • Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN) 
  • Cerebral Palsy 
  • Co-ordination Difficulties (including Development Co-ordination Disorder) 
  • Sensory Issues 
  • Heart Conditions 

Role of Key Personnel

Governors

The Governing Body monitor and review the SEND policy and the Accessibility Plan on a regular basis, which must be at least annually. They ensure the School’s inclusion of students with disabilities meets all aspects of the law.

The School Leadership Team

The Headteacher and other members of the School Leadership Team ensure that all policies, practices, protocols and provision have regard to the Disability Equality Duty and the Equality Act of 2010, which extends protection from discrimination to people with what are termed, ‘protected characteristics’ in almost every area of life. The Headteacher and SENCO are responsible for ensuring the implementation of all policies and the full development of a strong ethos of inclusion, within all aspects of the life of the school.

All Staff

It is the duty of all staff and everyone working in the school to implement the policies and continue to develop inclusive practices.

Complaints

Parents and staff have access to the school’s Complaints Procedures. Students may go through their Tutors, or through other students, such as the Form Representative, School Council, Peer Councillors etc. 

Definition 

Students falling within the definition of disabled will have a wide range of needs and requirements including: mobility impairment, sensory impairment, learning disabilities, mental health conditions, epilepsy, asthma and progressive/degenerative conditions. 

The school must not automatically consider students with a disability to have special educational needs, as can be seen below. 

The DDA definition states that ‘a person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. 

Definition of disability 

The Equality Act duties above are owed to all students who are defined by the Equality Act as being disabled and under the planning duties schools and local authorities have a general duty to improve the accessibility of schools for disabled students. 

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

Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments and also hidden impairments. 

In the Equality Act ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’. ‘Long-term’ means has lasted or is likely to last more than 12 months. 

The definition is broad and includes children with a wide range of impairments, including learning difficulties, dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), diabetes or epilepsy, where the effect of the impairment on the student’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is adverse, substantial and long-term. All those with cancer or surviving cancer; HIV or Multiple Sclerosis are now included from the point of diagnosis. 

Normal day-to-day activity 

The test of whether the impairment affects normal day-to-day activity is whether it affects the student in everyday life in one or more of the following ways: 

  • mobility; 
  • manual dexterity; 
  • physical co-ordination; 
  • continence; 
  • ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects; 
  • speech, hearing or eyesight; 
  • memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand; 
  • perception of risk of physical danger. 

The SEN Framework is designed to meet the special educational needs of individual children, some of whom may be disabled, who need provision that is additional to, or different from, what is normally available in schools maintained by the Local Authority. In general, children with Educational Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) must be educated in a mainstream school or Academy unless the parents do not want this or it will affect the provision of efficient education for other children. The school must demonstrate that there are no reasonable steps they could take to prevent this happening. 

The SEN and Disability Act (2001) amended Part 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act (1995) by introducing new duties on Local Authorites, schools and academies relating to disabled students and prospective students. From September 2002, it has been unlawful for schools, academies or Local Authorities to discriminate against disabled students in their admissions and exclusions policies, education and associated services. 

There are three main duties: 

  •  Not to treat disabled students less favourably 
  •  To make reasonable adjustments to avoid putting disabled students at a substantial disadvantage 
  •  To prepare accessibility strategies (LAs) and accessibility plans (schools) for increasing, over time, the accessibility of schools for disabled students (the ‘planning duty’). 

Impact Assessment 

For the purpose of the DDA 1995 schools, academies and Local Authorities are required to consider the needs of students in relation to physical adaptations, curriculum access and auxiliary aids and services. These areas also fall within the scope of the SEN framework. 
Please note that these duties are all ‘anticipatory’; Trinity needs to consider the requirements of current and future disabled students. This means that schools are expected to make reasonable enquiries to find out whether children currently on roll, as well as those seeking admission, have a disability. 

The duty not to discriminate covers all aspects of school life, including extra-curricular activities, educational visits and school trips. The duty to make reasonable adjustments refers to the full range of policies, procedures and practices of the school. 

In deciding whether a step is reasonable, the school may take into account the need to maintain: 

  • Academic standards 
  • Available resources 
  • The practicalities of making a particular adjustment 
  • The health and safety of the disabled students and others and the interests of others 

However, it is the view of both the Department for Education and the Disability Rights Commission that, where schools have already developed inclusive cultures and practices, these legal duties should mean little extra work. 
The school embraces the requirements of the Disability and Discrimination Act and the requirement to implement a Disability Equality Scheme. The school does all that is reasonably practicable to meet the needs of the disabled students, staff or visitors. The Senior Leadership Team and Inclusion Manager / SENCO works closely with the relevant advisory bodies in order to provide the most appropriate support to students with disabilities. This process invariably involves working closely with the student and the student’s family. Every effort is made to integrate disabled persons into the mainstream activities of the school. The SENCO continually monitors the effectiveness of strategies put in place to accommodate persons with disabilities and instigates appropriate action to ensure appropriate physical accommodations are made and that, where necessary procedural and timetabling changes are made. 

Identifying the main priorities for the deciding actions 

The accessibility plan is required for: 

  •  Increasing access for disabled students to the curriculum 
  •  Improving access to the school’s physical environment 
  •  Improving written information for disabled students 

The following plan outlines the school’s policies in relation to Access and Disability. 

Making it Happen 

  •  Clear allocation of lead responsibility 
  •  Clear allocation of recourses 
  •  An indication of expected outcomes for performance criteria 
  •  Clear timescales 
  •  A specified date to process for review 

Short Term Targets

Targets Strategies Outcomes Time Frame Goals Achieved
Availability of written material in alternative formats  The school is aware of the service available, through the LA Inclusion Service, for converting written information into alternative formats.  If needed, the school can provide written information in alternative formats.  With immediate effect.  Delivery of information to disabled students improved. 
Ensure reference to this disability plan is made in the school prospectus/handbook.  Reference to accessibility has been included since 2003 and this will be amplified to include the broader issue of disability from 2008.  Inclusion of appropriate text in school prospectus/ handbook.  With immediate effect.  Improvement in information provided to prospective parents in relation to the school’s disability and access policies. 

Medium Term Targets

Targets Strategies Outcomes Time Frame Goals Achieved
Continual monitoring of the needs of students to ensure future refurbishment work benefits students with physical disabilities.  If needs are identified, seek advice from agencies on appropriate design features.  Identified needs are identified and addressed whenever they might arise.  On-going.  Commitment to providing reasonable adjustment to the school environment to meet the needs of any disabled person. 
Review all school policies to ensure that they do not discriminate the needs of disabled students, staff or visitors. Provide relevant information to all staff with responsibility for reviewing Academy policies. All policies will be reviewed regularly by the relevant person or committee as part of the Academy’s on-going validation process. On-going.  Improved awareness of the desirability of considering the needs of persons with disability.
Ensure installation of window blinds or curtains in all classrooms with data projection facilities to benefit all students and particularly those with impaired vision. Incorporate the provision of blinds or curtains in the standard fit-out of all classrooms and laboratories. Students will experience improved visibility when viewing whiteboards and projection screens. On-going.  

Long Term Targets

Targets Strategies Outcomes Time Frame Goals Achieved
The school will continue to incorporate current accessibility levels in all new buildings and refurbishment works. Our policy exceeds minimum standards where this will better suit the needs of our students, staff and visitors to the school All stakeholders will benefit from the fully inclusive nature of the school buildings and grounds. In line with infrastructure and building developments.  Improved access for all.

Commitment to Review

This Policy will be monitored and reviewed every three years by the relevant Policy Owner named below and evaluated and approved by the Governing Body on a three year cycle, and/or in the light of changes in National Curriculum requirements and DfE guidance/regulations.


Named Responsibility of Policy: Mr A Brennan
Date of Policy: February 2017
Date of next Review: February 2020
Governor Accountability: Mrs S Spieglehalter
Frequency of Review: Every 3 years