Disability Equality Scheme (reviewed February 2017)
“Disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”
This definition was amended and broadened in December 2005 under the 2005 Disability Amendment Act:-
- People with cancer or surviving cancer are now included, as are people with HIV and Multiple Sclerosis from the point of diagnosis
- For a mental impairment the need for it to be clinically well recognised has been removed. Some disability organisations recommend that all pupils with SEN statements and those long term medical needs to be treated as disabled for the purpose of the Act and for equality. This is in addition to pupils with long-term impairments, which have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities. Colleagues do, therefore, need to consider carefully self or parent/carers definitions that seek to categorise pupils as ‘disabled’ under the Act.
Litcham School uses the “social model” of disability, as advised by the Disability Rights Commission.
The General Duty – (Disability Equality Duty)
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 places a duty on all public authorities, including schools, when carrying out their functions, to have due regard to the need to:
- Promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons
- Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act
- Eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their disabilities
- Promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons
- Encourage participation by disabled in public life: and
- Take steps to take account of disabled persons more favourably than any other persons
The Specific Duties
The Disability Discrimination (Public Authorities) (Statutory Duties) Regulations 2005 require maintained schools to produce and publish a Disability Equality Scheme demonstrating, how they are meeting requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005, to implement certain aspects of the Scheme and to report on it. In summary:
- A school should publish a Disability Equality Scheme demonstrating how it intends to fulfil its general and specific duties
- A school should involve disabled people in the development of the Scheme
- To report against the scheme every year and review the scheme at least every three years
How we will meet the General Duty
Litcham School will use information collected in relation to disabled pupil progress and inclusion and disabled people’s use of, and views about its activities to judge how well it is performing in meeting the needs of disabled people, particularly as part of wider impact assessments, and in identifying any further action required to improve disability equality.
- A questionnaire will be sent to all parents/carers, governors and staff.
- All answers will be collated from the questionnaires.
Questionnaires will be discussed and analysed by the SENDCO and Deputy SENDCO and inform the action plan.
- The scheme will be monitored annually by the Headteacher and SENDCO.
- Schemes of work within the PSHE curriculum include explicit units of work
- The broad issues of disability and pupils views will be discussed during PSHE.
Litcham School recognises the range of barriers and discrimination faced by people who have disabilities and also recognises that we need to be proactive to tackle these barriers and to include disabled pupils, parents and staff at all levels of planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
We will endeavour to:
- remove physical barriers where at all possible
- widen access to the curriculum
- improve access to information (communications)
- ensure that Litcham School is accessible for disabled people
Disability in the curriculum – learning and teaching and the wider Litcham School curriculum
Positive attitudes are developed through:
- Form tutor time
- PSHE curriculum
- Peer mediation
- Restorative Practices
- Nurture Group principles
- Delivering the anti bullying policy
Good practice examples:
- Promoting equality of opportunity between disabled people and other people
- Ensure that the talents of disabled pupils are represented accordingly through the Gifted and Talented register
- Public performances to be signed in BSL as needed
- Provide accessible resources/communications for blind and partially sighted students, parents and visitors
- Ensure that disabled students receive support for any activities that they are unable to access independently
- Ensure that disabled students are given appropriate special arrangements for examinations
- Ensure disabled students are able to take part in meaningful work experience
- Eliminating discrimination that is unlawful under the DDA and harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability.
- We will eliminate harassment and bullying through the rigorous application of our anti bullying policy
- Monitor incidents of harassment and bullying of disabled students. Encourage students to report incidents.
- Investigate and address any issues through assemblies, form tutor time and PSHCEE
- Promoting positive attitudes towards disabled people
- Use the school environment to promote positive attitudes to disability by ensuring disability is represented in posters, displays, learning materials etc.
- Involve older disabled students in the promotion of disabled issues in and out of school, including transition and transfer
- Ensure that disabled students are represented and encouraged to participate in assemblies, plays, events and on the school council
- Encourage participation in public life by disabled people
Our approach to making reasonable adjustments
- All pupils will be fully included in the curriculum and extended school activities where at all possible
- Sign language interpreter available for meetings
- Disabled parking slots available in main carpark
- Disabled toilet available in main school
Information, performance and evidence
A wide range of data is already collected related to Special Educational Needs and to pupils with other disabilities. The legal definition of a disability, however, is wider than that used for Special Educational Needs and there is therefore a need to expand the coverage of the data collected.
- Pupil achievement – all data analysed and recorded on tracking system which includes SEN and any disabilities
- We follow the admissions code and guidance and do not discriminate on grounds of disability
This policy links to:
- Equal opportunities policy
- Anti-bullying policy
- Admissions Code
Monitoring and reporting
It is important to monitor the impact of the action taken to ensure that progress is being made towards meeting the Disability Equality Duty, and to ensure that no adverse impact is occurring as a result of the actions.
The monitoring of the actions outlined in the action plan will be monitored in accordance with the specified timescales. If any adverse impacts are identified during the monitoring process, the action plan will need to be revised.
An annual report will be produced which outlines the progress of the Disability Equality Scheme and assesses the implementation of the action plan for effectiveness. The report will be circulated to the Headteacher and Governors, and the findings will be used to improve the Disability Equality Scheme and feed into future practice.