This scheme and the accompanying action plans set out how the governing body will promote equality of opportunity for disabled people and will include the reviewed and revised DtN Accessibility Plan.
Duties under Part 5A of the DDA 2005 require the governing body to:
- promote equality of opportunity for disabled people: pupils, staff, parents, carers and other people who use the school or may wish to; and
- prepare and publish a disability equality scheme to show how they will meet these duties.
Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the DDA 2005 apply to different aspects of the school’s operation: to employment, to the provision of services and to education. The Disability Equality Duty brings together schools’ responsibilities under Parts 2, 3 and 4 and the DtN’s scheme shows how the college is meeting its general duty to promote disability equality across all its areas of responsibility.
Duties in Part 4 of the DDA 1995 require the governing body to plan (The Schools Accessibility Plan ) to increase access to education for disabled pupils in 3 ways:
- increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum.
- improving the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services.
- improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.
1. Starting points
The purpose and direction of DtN’s scheme
1.1 The purpose of DtN’s scheme is to meet the duty to promote equality of opportunity for disabled pupils, staff, and other users of the school.
- Establish with all staff overall vision of the duty to promote equality of opportunity for disabled pupils, staff and parents.
Six elements of the duty are:
- Promoting equality of opportunity
- Eliminating discrimination
- Eliminating harassment
- Promoting positive attitudes
- Encouraging participation
- Taking steps to meet disabled people’s needs, even if this requires more favourable treatment
Action by Senior Management Team (SMT) responsible for DES:
- •Raise awareness of 6 elements with all staff, governors, parents and pupils.
- •Refer to ‘Implementing the DDA in Schools’
- •Ensure understanding of the broad definition of Disability within the DDA.
- •Encourage disclosure of disability by pupils, parents, staff and other users of the school.
Set up working party, membership to include:
- SMT member
- Person with disabled connections
- Staff representative (with disability if possible)
- SENCO (Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator)
- Informed by associate members e.g. pupils with disability/on school council.
The Key Functions of the Working Party will be:
- To ensure the involvement of disabled pupils, staff and parents.
- To arrange for the gathering of information.
- To consider arrangements for impact assessment
1.2. Involvement of disabled pupils, staff, and other users of the college.
The DtN will consider and plan to involve disabled pupils, staff, parents, and other users of the college. The school will continue to take into account the preferred means of communication for those with whom they are consulting. We will ensure we will involve a range of people and hear a range of views. The views of the disabled pupils, staff, and other users of the college will be used to set priorities.
1.3. Information gathering
The collection of information is crucial to supporting DtN in making decisions about what actions would best improve opportunities and outcomes for disabled pupils, staff and parents. The information will also subsequently help us to review our performance. Information will be detailed enough to enable us to measure the delivery on disability equality, to assess the impact of the changes we have made and to help us identify which of our priorities have been achieved.
Identifying disabled pupils, staff, and other users of the college is key to the development of the DES.
The DDA 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.’
Definition of the terms:
- ‘physical impairment’ includes sensory impairments;
- ‘mental impairment’ includes learning difficulties and an impairment resulting from or consisting of a mental illness;
- ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’; and
- ‘long-term’ is defined as 12 months or more.
The definition includes a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). These are all likely to amount to a disability, but only if the effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is substantial and long-term, as defined above.
The effect on normal day-to-day activities is on one or more of the following:
- manual dexterity;
- physical co-ordination;
- 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.
Some people are automatically covered by the definition: those with cancer, multiple sclerosis, HIV infection or a severe disfigurement. There are special provisions for people with progressive or recurring conditions.
Information to be gathered
- Recruitment, development and retention of disabled employees
- Education opportunities available to and achievement of disabled pupils
- Disabled parents carers and other users of the school (All efforts to be made to collect information)
- Make decisions on how the information is to be held in school, and how it interlinks with other registers. Do we have just one school profile with differing levels of access? Confidentiality and need to know clauses required.
1.4. Impact assessment.
Impact assessment refers to the review of all current and proposed policies and practices in order to formally assess their impact on disabled people. Impact assessments will be an on-going process to ensure that our policies and practices develop and evolve and will be incorporated into the school’s planned review and revision of every policy. Every new policy or procedure will be drawn up with regard to our duty to promote disability equality.
The priorities for the Disability Equality Scheme action plan will be set in the light of:
- an examination of the information that the school has gathered; and
- the messages that the school has heard from the disabled pupils, staff and parents who have been involved in the development of the scheme.
Some of the priorities identified will themselves be about:
- improving information.
- improving the involvement of disabled pupils, staff and parents.
The scheme will be supported by detailed action plans and incorporated into our School Improvement Plan, with oversight of the governing body so that progress can be checked.
The Action plan will show:
- clear allocation of lead responsibility.
- clear allocation of resources.
- an indication of expected outcomes or performance criteria.
- clear timescales.
- a specified date and process for review.
Our DES will incorporate DtN’s Accessibility Plan. The evaluation of the present plan will inform the action plan within our new Disability Equality Scheme.
We will evaluate the effectiveness of our scheme with NOCN when the college is inspected
The working party will decide how best to publish the DES either as a separate document or as part of the DtN Improvement Plan. We will provide a copy for anyone asking for it in a range of formats.
We will report annually on the progress made on the action plan and its effect on policy and practice within DtN. (Via the DtN Profile and the website)
3.4. Reviewing and revising the scheme
As part of the review of the scheme, we will:
- revisit the information that was used to identify the priorities for the scheme; and
- re-examine the information to see if actions that the college has taken have affected opportunities and outcomes for disabled pupils, staff and other interested parties.
- The review of the scheme will inform its revision: how the college sets new priorities and new action plans for the next scheme. This process will continue to:
- involve disabled pupils, staff and other interested parties; and
- be based on information that the college has gathered.