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Disability and Equality

 

Disability Equality Scheme

At Severn View Primary Academy we are committed to establishing equality for all pupils, their parents, staff and members of the community.   The Disability Equality Act   2005 requires all schools to publish a Disability Equality Scheme. The purpose of the Scheme is to improve opportunity for disabled people involved with the school.  The Disability Equality Scheme will demonstrate how we as a school will ensure that the requirement s of the Disability Equality Act are met.

At Severn View Primary Academy these are our aims:

·         To create an environment in which children are happy, feel valued, develop aspirations and high self esteem and want to achieve their best.

·         To provide equal opportunities for all children regardless of their ability, race, religion or background.

·         To help children develop a love of learning that will continue into their adult life.

·         To deliver a stimulating and challenging curriculum which provides opportunities for children to experience a wide range of activities including music, art, sport, cookery and ICT.

·         To give children the opportunity to explore the beliefs and cultures of different communities.

·         To help children understand that respect, good manners and consideration for others are important values.

·         To help children understand how they can help to care for our planet and to raise their awareness of ‘green issues’.

·         To work with parents in the education of their children.

·         To establish and maintain strong links with the community.   

Requirements

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) requires us to:

·         promote equality of opportunity

·         eliminate unlawful discrimination

·         eliminate disability - related harassment

·         promote positive attitudes towards disabled people

·         encourage participation by disabled people in public life

·         take steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even when that involves

·         more favourable treatment

 

Our scheme will apply to the school building and everything that happens in and around the school. It will build on existing policies, such as Special Educational Needs, Race Equality, Equal Opportunities, Inclusion Policy and our Access Plan. It takes into account the local authority’s provision for students with specific disabilities.

Definition of Disability

The DDA defines a disabled person as someone who has:

“a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect or his or her ability to carry out day-to-day activities.”                        

Definition of the terms:

·         “physical impairment” includes sensory impairments;

·         “mental impairments” include learning difficulties and an impairment resulting from or consisting of a mental illness;

·         “substantial” means “more than minor or trivial”;

·         “long term” is defined as 12 months or more.

 

Involvement of Stakeholders

In developing our disability equality scheme we consulted a range of people, pupils, parents and members of the community. We have asked about barriers for disabled people and what “reasonable adjustments” we could make. The outcomes of our consultations underlay the priorities for our actions and future planning.

 

Gathering Information

We have adapted our admissions form to gain information about disabilities and how we can support both the child and the parents. Data protection legislation will be observed in sharing this information.

Disabled staff and governors are identified through self declaration. Data protection legislation will be observed in sharing this information.

We explain to parents, staff, governors, community users and pupils why the information about disability is needed.

The information about disabled staff and pupils will be used to assess:

·         the effect of our policies and practices on the recruitment, development and retention of disabled employees

·         the effect of our policies and practices on the educational

opportunities available to and achievements of, disabled pupils.

The information about disabled parents and community users will be used to assess:

·                     the effect of our policies and practices on the involvement of parents in their child’s education

·                     the effect of our policies and practices on the involvement of disabled users in community activities.

Information on staff will be analysed in respect of the representation of

disabled people:

·                     in all aspects of the work of the school, for example: teaching, teaching support, administrative support;

The analysis of information about disabled staff will be used to contribute towards the understanding of how policies and procedures impact on their recruitment and retention. It is our aim to:

·                     retain the experience and skills of employees who become disabled during their working life and avoid the costs of recruiting and training

new people;

·       develop in-house expertise about what disabled staff and/or pupils may require;

·         provide role models for children;

·         bring different life experiences and new skills to the school;

·                     help foster good relations with all employees by showing that everyone is valued and treated fairly.

Information collected about disabled children will contribute towards the understanding of how policies and procedures impact on their opportunities and achievement. It is our aim to ensure

·         that all children achieve their academic potential

·         opportunities for enjoyment across a range of school activities

·         aspirations and ambitions for the future

·         successful transition into secondary school

·         access to school trips

·         involvement in after school clubs and activities

Information collected about disabled parents will contribute towards the understanding of how policies and procedures impact on their ability to support their child’s education and the ease in which they can carry out day to day communication with school.

It is our aim to:

·         use disabled people’s preferred means of communication when contacting parents, meeting with them or sharing information with them;

·         Ensure disabled parents are encouraged to meet with teachers to discuss their child’s progress and that every reasonable step is taken to remove barriers to attending parents evening. Where attendance is not possible because of a disability, make alternative arrangements;

·         Give disabled parents priority when arranging events and meetings e.g. by considering seating arrangements for a school drama production;

·         give disabled parents preferential parking rights;

Information collected about disabled governors will contribute towards the understanding of how school policies and procedures impact on recruitment and retention and their ability to take a full and active part in governors’ activities.

It is our aim to improve:

 

Information collected about disabled users of the school will contribute towards the understanding of how school policies and procedures impact on their ability to take a full and active part in community activities.

It is our aim to:

·                     encourage community groups to ensure their activities are accessible;

·         give due regard to disabled community users when revising school policies and procedures.

 

Impact Assessment

In line with the DRC guidance, impact assessments will involve disabled people at an appropriate point. Over the next three years, all practices will be assessed.

Practices assessed will include:

·         Recruitment Practices

·         Teaching approaches

·         Classroom routines

·         Homework

·         Office Routines

·         Communication with staff

·         Communication with parents

Planning for Action

Arrangements for the First Action Plan

In line with the DRC guidance, our initial Action Plan includes  information on:

·         improving information gathering mechanisms,

·         the mapping of policies and practices

·                     how the involvement of disabled pupils and disabled adults can be facilitated.

We have also identified good practice from examples given in training and as result of this, have included certain actions to meet the Disability Equality Duty.

The priorities for the school’s scheme will in future be set in the light of:

·         an examination of the information that the school has gathered;

·                     the messages that the school has heard (or will hear) from the disabled pupils, staff and parents who have been involved in the development of the scheme;

·         an assessment of the impact of current policies on disability equality.

 

Urgent action necessary following an examination of the information will be added to the action plan before the review date.

In writing our action plan, we have addressed the general duties to:

·         Promote equality of opportunity

·         Eliminate discrimination

·         Eliminate harassment

·         Promote positive attitudes

·         Encourage participation in public life

·                     Take steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment.

 

Annual Reporting

Schools must report annually on the progress being made to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people. Annual reporting will bring

 together details of:

·         information gathered during the year.

·         how that information was used.

·         action points completed during the year and those that are ongoing.

The person responsible for producing the Annual Report is the Head Teacher

 

Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Action Plan

  • The implementation of the Action Plan will be overseen by the governing body. A report will be made to the governors each year by the Head Teacher. A checklist to aid governors is included as an appendix .
  • The Action plan will be appended to the School Development Plan and the Accessibility Plan in order to increase the effectiveness of these.
  • The evaluation of the effectiveness of our scheme will be reflected in our discussions with our SIP and with Ofsted when the school is inspected.
  • As part of the New Relationship with Schools, the School Improvement Partners will include in their discussions with schools the attainment of and outcomes for all pupils including disabled pupils. 
  • Measures of achievement of pupils with disabilities will form part of our evaluation of the effectiveness of our scheme.

 

Publication of the Scheme

Our scheme was first published on 1st January 2008.It is available with all other policy documents in the office and is on the school website.

The action plan will be contained in the scheme and appended to the school development plan, also available in the office.

Reviewing and Revision of the Scheme

As part of the review of the scheme, we will revisit the information used to identify the priorities for the scheme and re-examine the information to see if actions that the school has taken have affected opportunities and outcomes for disabled pupils, staff and parents.

The review of the scheme will inform its revision: how the school sets new priorities and new action plans for the next scheme. This process will again:

  • involve disabled pupils, staff and parents; and
  • be based on information that the school has gathered.

The Scheme will be reviewed within the next 2 years The head teacher/SENCO will be responsible for initiating the review of this scheme.