Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools
DISABILITY EQUALITY SCHEME
November 2015 – November 2018
Valuing diversity is central to achieving the overall aim of Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools.
The governing bodies of Lowick and Holy Island C. of E. First Schools (to be known as the school) are therefore pleased to publish its Disability Equality Scheme. In developing the scheme, we have been able to identify and record the progress we have made towards achieving disability equality and tackling discrimination and come to a better understanding of the challenges still to be tackled. We will ensure that this Disability Equality Scheme is effectively implemented and scrutinised so that we meet the obligations placed upon us by the Disability Discrimination Act. We intend to use it to make real and tangible changes to how we conduct our business that will make a positive difference to the lives of disabled people. Promoting disability equality in the school will be a continuous process. It will be undertaken in partnership with the wider community and of course with disabled people themselves. We would like to thank those who have been involved in developing the scheme and we hope that we can continue to work together with disabled people to achieve disability equality in our school
1.1 The duty to promote disability equality
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 was a landmark in equality legislation, making it unlawful to discriminate against someone because of his or her disability. It also required organisations to make 'reasonable adjustments' so that a disabled person could take a job, continue to work for an organisation or access services.
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 amended the 1995 legislation. It introduced the duty to promote disability equality, which partly parallels the duty to promote race equality introduced under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000. The duty to promote disability equality contains two elements – a general duty for all public bodies and a specific duty, which applies to a more limited number of specified public authorities, including maintained schools. The Code of Practice produced by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC) states that the “overarching goal of the duty is to promote equality of opportunity”. In many cases the disadvantage and discrimination that disabled people experience arise from attitudinal and environmental barriers. The duty to promote disability equality aims to overcome these barriers.
This Scheme sets out the steps the governing body will take that will result in improved outcomes for disabled pupils, parents/carers and staff in all aspects of school life in the wider community and in the non-educational services they might provide.
This Scheme builds on our accessibility plan and develops our work further to include:
- A definition of both disability and inclusion that is wider than special educational needs* and applies to all vulnerable groups
- Taking a proactive approach in making reasonable adjustments
- Work with pupils, staff and parents/carers
- Involving the views of disabled pupils, their carers and staff where appropriate in identifying priority actions within the school improvement plan.
1.2 The general duty
The general duty to promote disability equality places a duty on all public authorities, 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 Disability Discrimination Act
- Eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their disabilities
- Promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons
- Encourage participation by disabled persons in public life
- Take steps to take account of disabled persons' disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled persons more favourably than other persons.
1.3 The Specific Duty
The specific duty requires a designated public authority (which includes schools) to produce and publish a Disability Equality Scheme (DES), setting out how it will fulfil its general and specific duties to promote disability equality. Disabled people must be involved in the development of the Scheme. The first Disability Equality Schemes was published in primary schools in 2007 and lasted for three years with an annual review of progress.
2. Vision and Values
2.1 Our vision and values
To foster a safe yet stimulating and challenging culture in which all individuals are valued, respected, nurtured, enthused and appropriately prepared for the ever changing world in which we live.
In order to realise our vision we aim:
- To maintain a healthy, physically and emotionally safe and secure environment.
- To promote respect and trust in self and others.
- To promote collaborative teaching and learning thus valuing the opinions and perspective of all.
- To value, nurture and celebrate the diversity of talent within our community and the wider world.
- To promote a culture of creative thinking in an atmosphere where risk taking, experimentation and innovation is encouraged thus embedding it in our practice.
- To help all learners develop the strength of character and resilience to deal with life’s changes and challenges.
- To celebrate success for its own sake to affirm and enable further achievement.
- To promote high expectations of behaviour and learning through personalised target setting and pupil ownership.
- To value the contributions of all stakeholders within the wider school community.
- To nurture an enquiring mind and inspire a life long passion for and enjoyment of learning.
- To provide opportunities for the children to reflect on issues which lie beyond the visible and material.
- To encourage pupils to recognise and adapt to a society which is served by an increasing use of technology related to processes. To enable pupils to prepare for this we believe that all pupils must have equal and appropriate access to Computing resources.
The spiritual, moral, cultural, social and physical development in our schools will be based on Christian values such as love of neighbour, the pursuit of truth and justice, challenge of service and duty and the experience of forgiveness.
2.2 Who do we mean by "disabled people"?
The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 definition of a disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This includes ‘hidden’ impairments, such as mental illness, dyslexia, autism, speech & language, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), diabetes, or epilepsy. Substantial means “more than minor or trivial” and long-term means lasting or expected to last 12 months or more.
Disability is said to an adverse effect if it affects one or more of the following:
- Manual dexterity
- Physical coordination
- Ability to lift, carry or otherwise move everyday objects
- Eyesight (unless brought to functionally useful level by spectacles or lenses)
- Memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand
- Perception of risk or physical danger.
In considering what might constitute a substantial disadvantage, the school has taken account of a number of factors, eg:
- The time and effort that might need to be expended by a disabled child
- The inconvenience, indignity or discomfort a disabled child might suffer
- The loss of opportunity or the diminished progress that a disabled child may make in comparison with his or her peers who are not disabled.
Another way of considering whether particular special educational needs are disabling is illustrated in the table below:
|Physical, hearing, vision||Speech, comprehension||Learning||Perception of risk or danger|
|Other learning needs||Some||ü||Some|
The number of disabled children and young people across England has been estimated as between 7% and 12%. Although disability and special educational needs are not the same thing, the ROL return for our school (2014), showed 5 children as having special needs met at School Intervention (with outside agency involvement) or with a statement of special educational needs. The school governing body and senior managers collect information regarding staff and pupil headcount by gender, disability, age and ethnicity, including data and other information on staff recruitment and progression. The school seeks to collect this information sensitively and confidentially, while encouraging disclosure.
2.3 Discrimination Disabled People Face
Disabled people are discriminated against in a number of different ways. These include
- Discriminatory attitudes
- A lack of accessible information
- Inaccessible environments
- Services that have not been designed to take account of the needs of disabled people.
2.4 Action To Date
Our Disability Equality Scheme will take a fundamental step in removing these discriminatory barriers for disabled people in our school. The Scheme builds on what we have done already to promote equality for disabled people.
For example we have adopted:
- An Accessibility Plan which aims to
- Increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum
- Improve the physical environment in our schoolto increase opportunities for disabled pupils
- Ensure that disabled children are provided with information in formats that are accessible for them
- An Equal Opportunities Policy
3.1 Involvement of Disabled People in Developing the Scheme
We have worked closely with pupils through the Pupil Council and Whole School meetings. Governors have carried visits to input into the scheme. Local OAP’s and disabled members of the community have been into school to help develop. The Action Plan will be monitored very year.
3.2 Developing a voice for disabled pupils, staff and parents/carers
Pupils and parents/carers participate in review meetings, transition planning, etc. Disabled pupils, staff and parents/carers are actively involved in the life of the school, including visits out, after school clubs etc. Involvement in the development and monitoring of both the scheme and the action plan is a good example of this.
3.3 The Governing Body
All minutes of meetings are available to parents/carers or local community on request. Parents are represented on the governing bodies through parent governs. Governors hold parent meetings and publish a school profile. Parents are consulted through regular questionnaires.
3.6 Eliminating harassment and bullying
The governing bodies have developed a School Harassment and Bullying policy. See policy.
3.7 Reasonable Adjustments
We make every effort to make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning breaks, lunchtime, after school clubs and trips (out of school activities). These adjustments will be tailor made to the need of the individual.
3.8 School Facility Lettings
The schools are used by the community and PTA etc. We ensure that there is ample car parking for disabled parking, with a ramp for access to school.
3.9 Information, Performance and Evidence
a. Pupil Achievement
As a small school we track pupil progress on an individual basis. Results are moderated and submitted to the LA and DfE. These results are collated to produce a School Profile (LA) and ROL (DfE).
b. Learning Opportunities
All of the pupils regardless of ability/disability experience the same Learning Opportunities as we follow a whole school cross curriculum.
c. Admissions, Transitions, Exclusions (including Behaviour cases)
We have a nil return on exclusions from school
d. Employing, promoting and training disabled staff
All posts are subject to equal opportunities, we would not discriminate against a candidate.
4. Impact Assessment
Our school recognises the importance of assessing the impact of its current policies and practices on disability equality, in order to ensure that they do not have an adverse impact on its disabled stakeholders and to inform future planning.
Our school therefore regularly monitors the impact of the school’s policies. This is captured by means of the school’s equalities monitoring process which involves
- Consultation with disabled stakeholders, in order that areas for change can be identified
- Analysis of information from data collection relating to disability.
This Disability Equality Scheme is a working document and therefore one which will be subject to review and alteration in response to the school’s impact assessments, and views expressed by its disabled members, and will be used to drive forward the promotion of disability equality. It will therefore be key to the review and development of all school policies and practices in order to achieve the school’s vision of a welcoming and diverse community.
5. Our Priority Areas Identified in the Action Plan
6. Making it happen
6. 1 Implementation
This Disability Equality Scheme represents the school’s vision backed up by key actions which will be carried out within the next three years. There will be:
- Clear allocation of lead responsibility
- Clear allocation of resources
- Indication of expected outcomes
- Clear timescales
- Specified time-scale for process and review:
The governing body, Pupils and members from the local community will monitor and review this scheme termly. The school governing body will present findings annually, to all members of the school community, and available in alternative forms of communication which are appropriate to the needs of its disabled members.
There will be internal evaluation of this scheme as above, and also with the School Improvement Partner and OFSTED. Evaluation of this scheme will therefore be incorporated into the OFSTED SEF, as will the data giving information on the number of disabled pupils in the school, and their achievements.
6. 3 Publication
This document is published in conjunction with the school’s Access Plan and forms part of the school’s improvement plan and equal opportunities policy.
6. 4 Reporting
There will be an annual report on this scheme demonstrating:
- Progress made
- Outcomes achieved
- Work in progress
- Amendments to the scheme.
This report will be published as follows:
- In the school prospectus
- On the school’s website
- Be available to all school members in hard copy, and in the form of alternative communication where necessary.
6. 5 Links with other school plans and policies:
This Scheme is to be read in conjunction with the School Access Plan. Together, they are intrinsic to:
- The School Improvement Plan
- The Equal Opportunities Policy
- Equalities Monitoring procedure
- Anti-Bullying/behaviour Policies
- Protection of Employees and associated documents (including Bullying and Harassment)
If you need further copies of this document, or would like the document in another format, such as enlarged print, Braille, audio tape or another language, please contact:
Lowick C. of E. First School
Telephone: 01289 388268
* the legislation includes in the definition of SEND any pupil who has significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of peers or a disability preventing or hindering access to educational facilities