Disability Equality Scheme
The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 requires all public authorities, including secondary schools, to produce and publish a Disability Equality Scheme by 4 December 2006. Primary schools, Special schools and PRUs in England have until 3 December 2007 to publish their Disability Equality Scheme. The whole purpose of the Disability Equality Duty is to improve equality of opportunity for disabled people. The Disability Equality Scheme you produce will demonstrate how you as a school will do that.
Disability Equality Scheme
- 1 School Ethos, Vision and Values
- 1.1 What do we understand by “disability”?
- 1.2 Schools Strategic Priorities
- 1.3 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 The General Duty
- 3 Specific Duty – How we will meet the General Duty
- 3.1 Involvement of Disabled People in Developing the Scheme
- 3.2 Developing a voice for disabled pupils, staff and parents/carers
- 3.3 The Governing Body
- 3.4 Removing barriers
- 3.5 Disability in the Curriculum, including teaching and learning
- 3.6 Eliminating harassment and bullying
- 3.7 Reasonable Adjustments
- 3.8 School Facility Lettings
- 3.9 Contractor and Procurement
- 3.10 Information, Performance and Evidence
- a. Pupil Achievement
- b. Learning Opportunities
- c. Admissions, Transitions, Exclusions (including SEBD)
- d. Social Relationships
- e. Employing, promoting and training disabled staff
- 3.11 Impact Assessing
- 3.12 Reviewing/Monitoring
- Review Date: Review Feb 2011
- Senior Member of Staff Responsible: Mr Dexter
- Designated Member of Staff: Mrs Wilkinson (or is this SENCO)
- Governor Responsible: Mrs S Morris
- Appendix 1 DES Action Plan:
1 School Ethos, Vision and Values
The school is committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all its employees, pupils and any others involved in the school community, with any form of disability and will ensure that disabled people are not treated less favourably in any procedures, practices and service delivery.
The school will not tolerate harassment of or discrimination against disabled people with any form of impairment and will also consider the needs of pupils who are carers of disabled parents.
This policy links to the school’s mission statement and other school policies such as anti-bullying, equal opportunities and admissions. This policy will also influence the SIP (School Improvement Plan) and the SEF (School Evaluation Form).
At Trinity we want to do our best to apply Gospel values in creating a Catholic ethos which means giving everyone the same opportunities. Although we see everyone as unique, we aim for all to fulfil their potential especially those who are vulnerable. We seek to promote an inclusive policy.
1.1 What do we understand by “disability”?
“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” (DDA 1995 Part 1 para 1.1) 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 now been removed.
This school uses the “social model” of disability, as adopted by Nottingham City:
Trinity school “recognises that disability is not caused by the individuals, but by the physical, environmental and attitudinal barriers which exist in the education system and in society as a whole” (SEN in Nottingham – A Guide for Parents & Carers p.14).
1.2 Schools Strategic Priorities
How does the Duty meet the strategic priorities of the school? We will use the policy to endeavour to ensure that pupils with disabilities are not compromised when accessing school services around the school and within the constraints of old buildings and a split site.
This Duty will be met by the strategic priorities for the school as outlined by the School Improvement plan in its broadest sense. It will reinforce the school’s mission statement. The policy will need regular annual reviews to show it meets the present and potential needs of pupils, teachers and visitors.
1.3 Strengths & Weaknesses
The key strengths will be the pastoral work of a Catholic school, which embodies the principles of equality and justice, and Gospel Values. The curriculum also offers opportunity to reinforce Disability equality. The school has a commitment and a willingness to work with the appropriate outside agencies, and accepts that many pupils may have disabilities but not special educational needs. The main physical disadvantages are the present buildings (as at 2008) and the problem of the road which divides the sites and presents a major physical problem. Further identified weakness is promoting disability awareness in the training of staff, we will intend to complete this in 2010.
2 The General Duty
We will: actively seek 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 , which means not representing people in a demeaning way, and it also means not pretending they don’t exist and not representing them anywhere at all; Encourage participation by disabled persons in public life – it is also important to respect the wishes of disabled children in an educational setting so that they do not feel pushed into activities they do not wish to take part in; Take steps to take account of disabled persons’ disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled persons more favourably than other persons. (DDA 2005 S.49A)
3 How we will meet the General Duty & Specific Duty
The production of this Disability Equality Scheme provides us with a framework for integrating disability equality into all aspects of school life and demonstrates how we are seeking to meet the specific duty i.e. Produce a Disability Equality Scheme for our school.
At the end of (2008-2009) we produced and analysed feedback from a questionnaire as a first point of researching information from pupils and parents. The DES will be an evolving duty as information is disseminated and consultations made, the feedback will be used to inform and promote the DES. By the end of academic year 2008/9 we have:
- Established a DES working group (now called DEG the Disability and Equality Group comprising two parent Governors, the SENCO, and two members of SLT.
- Informed and highlighted the DED (duty), by the DEG (group) to the SLT
- Informed Subject Leaders and Mangers and asked them to highlight areas of their curriculum which might be opportune to teach “Disability and Equality” related matters.
- Informed Pastoral staff and asked them to highlight Disability and equality related issues through the pastoral programme and ensure at least one assembly per year covers disability and equality issues.
- Advised the Full Governing Body that the DES is being finalised.
- The SLT member responsible for buildings will consider the needs of
- Children with disability
- Adult users of the school with disability and
- Staff with disability
- When any new areas of the school environment are revamped, renewed or new building is carried out we will ensure the needs of those with disabilities are fully considered. In the present year we have attended to:
Other aspects will be dealt with as feedback from our consultation and as funding allows.
- Signs around school for the visually impaired
- Consideration to loop systems in the sports hall and
- Ramping to access parts of lower school
- Ramped entrance to upper school
- The impact of BSF on our site
- Car parking priority nearest to the entrance
- Staff running trips and lunchtime or after school activities will be encouraged to consider if all children can access the opportunity and individual concerns will be discussed with the SENCO.
- We have sought to include the issue of Disability and equality in our fund raising and in our celebrations. (Sports award afternoon – with Paralympics guest).
- Physical improvements will be considered as long as they are of reasonably adjustment. In particular the new build and refurbishment under BSF.
- Raise disability issues with the school council for promoting them via pastoral work.
We will take steps to ensure that children with disabilities can participate in lunchtime activities, school plays or school trips. We will assess factors such as whether children are able to participate in all aspects of school life and how well children are achieving socially and academically. (See “Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in Schools and Early Years Settings” which can be ordered online at: www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications Ref:-DfES 0160 2006 or by calling 0845 6009506).
3.1 Involvement of Disabled People in Developing the Scheme
- We want all our pupils to be encouraged to take an active part in public life, and will actively promote the involvement of young people with disabilities in the life of the school.
- We have discussed matters with Parent Governors, and our questionnaire has given the necessary information from our school community. In the first instance identifying those members of the community who might be able to help us. We have already discussed matters in detail with the visual impairment team for a student who has joined the Sixth Form; and with a youngster in Y7/Y8. We will ensure that issues of access are encouraged and raised during the school council meetings.
- We will have a disability area on our website with policies and a provision for parents to inform the school of any disability concerns
- The action plan will be drafted and consulted by those interested, particularly any disabled children/adults on site. Overall responsibility will be with the Governing Body and members of SLT, operational matters will be dealt with by the DEG. The questionnaire will be made available on the website for downloading.
- The school aims to fully consult with disabled people where possible, to ensure their voices are heard and that we take account of the perspective. The DES will be monitored by the DEG who will consult with the appropriate groups and report back to the Headteacher and Governing Body.
School records will be used to show all students with SEN and/or a disability and any actions taken to involve those pupils and the outcomes that have been achieved e.g. Results of questionnaires, feedback from individual pupils and parents/carers etc.
This responsibility for this will rest with the SENCO, pastoral staff and the school nurse. SENCO is responsible for SEN.
Individual pupils will be supported depending upon their specific needs and circumstances, in particular fulfilling any statutory duties. Definite timescales will be set for review dependent upon the individual needs.
Schools need to recognise the range of barriers and discrimination faced by pupils with a disability and sometimes they will have to do that bit extra to tackle these. They will also need to keep including pupils, by asking them what they want on an ongoing basis. The duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to take steps to take account of disabled persons’ disabilities, even when that involves treating disabled people more favourably than other people.
Trinity recognises the range of barriers and discrimination faced by pupils with a disability and will take steps wherever possible to meet their individual needs. We will also keep including pupils, by asking them what they want on an ongoing basis. Trinity will ensure we take due regard to take account of disabled persons’ needs, even when that results in treating disabled people more favourably than others.
3.2 Developing the voice for disabled pupils, staff and parents/carers
There should be a statement which clearly demonstrates how you are encouraging disabled pupils, staff and parents/carers to participate in public life. Involvement in the development and monitoring of both the scheme and the action plan is a good example of this.
Trinity will take care to note the opinions and views of individual pupils and parents/carers as brought to the attention of SLT and SENCO who will meet to consider any steps necessary to encourage any disabled members of the school community to participate in public life. The DEG will develop and monitoring our own disability action plan. Initially this will be termly and then maybe twice a year.
3.3 The Governing Body
The Governing Body at Trinity is very visible and accessible with representation at all the school events. Governors are elected in accordance with the LA and diocesan GB guidelines and can be reached via the school office. Minutes of meetings are on public record and an annual online report to parents is published. Trinity has Governors from all areas of the community, including those with disability.
3.4 Removing barriers
The issue will be underlined in our school routines – INSET, Week Ahead etc so that opportunity to remove any barriers will be taken. We can include the use of resources of the teaching assistants and EAL co-ordinator. After consultation with the pupils and the wider school community we will endeavour to make all reasonable adjustments to remove barriers that impede our students, teachers and visitors from gaining full access to our buildings and curriculum. We will try to ensure that communications are adapted to suit the needs of the individual as required. This will be reviewed in the yearly action plan or more often if the needs of pupils/teachers change. We will use the usual school communications to highlight areas needing attention, like:
- Reserved parking at concerts
- Adjustment to classroom provision
- Provision of medicines
- Movement around school
- Access to extra curricular activities
- Transport issues
- Exam arrangements/special circumstances
3.5 Disability in the Curriculum, including teaching and learning
Subject Leaders and Managers and Pastoral staff have been asked to audit their curriculum for opportunity to highlight Disability and to develop positive ideas. We already have links with the Oakfield School (formerly Shepherd school), such as hosting their dance show, inviting them to the primary schools music festival and our staff and pupils helping out. We also take groups of pupils to help out at their site, including sixth formers, some of whom have gone on to pursue careers linked to this area.
3.6 Eliminating harassment and bullying
The school’s anti bullying policy is clear and any harassment will be dealt with in accordance to that policy.
3.7 Reasonable Adjustments
We will monitor the effectiveness both short and long term of any reasonable adjustments made to ensure they improve the individual’s access. For example, access to after school activities, trips, lunch activities. Effectiveness will be monitored by consultation with the individual pupils, parents/carers and teachers. The school should be especially alert to those children, staff or adult visitors who find themselves temporarily disabled through an accident (broken limbs) or illness. In the case of children, pastoral leaders will meet and discuss access arrangements with pupils and parents as appropriate. The school will do this as part of any health and safety risk assessment.
3.8 School Facility Lettings
We will make sure that letters which go home to invite parents (or the wider community) into school will explain provision of necessary disabled parking/ramps/disabled facilities as necessary and we will address these as they arise, for example by coning off areas or by rearranging venues for meeting to suit the disability within the resources allowed. The caretaking staff will be kept informed and we are looking to provide appropriate noticeboard/sandwich board signage.
3.9 Contractors and Procurement
We will do our best to ensure contractors apply our equal opportunity policy in their recruitment and training. In particular we will ensure our catering team are aware of any food allergy needs in order to promote disability awareness.
3.10 Information, Performance and Evidence
This falls into four broad areas:
- What information are you going to collect?
- How are you going to collect it?
- How are you going to analyse it?
- What are you going to do once you’ve analysed it?
The school will use the most appropriate means to collect information by choosing specifically 2/3 parents, 2/3 students and 2/3 other adult visitors to help review the policy every two years. We will meet and minute the meetings and draw up an action plan.
a. Pupil Achievement
Information collected on pupils based on special education needs categories will not necessarily capture all those pupils who are disabled. SENCO information and progress co-ordinations will be asked to gather information on pupil achievement and ensure that disabled children progress to fulfil their potential – in particular those who might be temporarily disabled for example by a broken limb or post hospital treatments.
b. Learning Opportunities
Learning opportunities will be ensured alongside those of all our learners, for example with placements work experiences and post 16 opportunities. (We will ensure information is passed to Connexions). Trinity IAG in Y11 will ensure disabled students have their options clearly outlined.
c. Admissions, Transitions, Exclusions (including SEBD)
An annual analysis of data on admissions/transitions/exclusions the positions of disabled students admitted and excluded will be considered by the DEG and if necessary referred to the headteacher.
d. Social Relationships
We pride ourselves on Trinity having an inclusive policy which permeates our ethos. Social opportunities will extend with continued links with the new Oak Field (Shepherd) school, and if possible other special schools.
e. Employing, promoting and training disabled staff
Trinity has not received applications from, and does not currently employ any staff who considers themselves to have a disability. We will review job advertisements to ensure they encourage disabled applicants. The Governing Body “Pupils and Personnel Committee” will ensure any future applications are fairly interviewed and if employed, that their promotion and professional development opportunities are equal to those of their non disabled colleagues, making any reasonable adjustment in order to achieve this aim.
3.11 Impact Assessment
The main impact assessment will be the responsibility of the Governing Body, Lead teacher delegated to the school’s DEG. This group will: Assess the impact of policies, procedures, functions and practices of the school on disability equality and improving these when necessary. It will assess the impact of new and existing policies on disabled people – considering tokenism and omission.
Methods will include feedback from pupils with a disability and also their parents and/or carers. It will consider the increase in participation of pupils with a disability in out of school activities. Develop methods for assessing this type of impact.
The school scheme will consider the impact, or likely impact, of all existing and new policies and practices on disabled people and will develop a timetable for this process in the DES action plans.
The Disability Equality Duty Code of Practice provides information on how to make decisions about impact assessment. See (www.dotheduty.org) and “Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act in Schools and Early Years Settings”. (This can be ordered free of charge online at www.teachernet.gov.uk/publications Ref:- DfES 0160 2006 or by calling 0845 600 9506)
Questions the school will consider are:
- What are the training needs of the school regarding the DES?
- Who will be involved in assessing impact and how will the school DEG involve disabled people?
- How will the school determine priorities?
- Will the school need external expertise?
- Who will the school report the results to?
- Has contact been made with trade unions at the school? Discussion with Reps?
As part of our DEG ongoing action plan.
Details of how the school is going to use the information gathered, in particular reviewing the effectiveness of its 3 year action plan and preparing the subsequent scheme. Self evaluate effectiveness of the scheme. How disabled people are being consulted in the production, setting targets and monitoring of the scheme. What action is being taken and by when, how will the school know when it has achieved its objectives?
The scheme must be reviewed and publicly commented upon each year and revised at least every three years.
Last Review Date: May 2010
Senior Member of Staff Responsible: Mr J Dexter chairs the DEG, reports to Head and Chair of Governors
The scheme and action plan needs to be committed to by the highest level of authority you have – the Head Teacher and Chair of Governors (or equivalent). You may also want a member of staff with disability expertise to take responsibility for the day-to-day implementation.
Designated Member of Staff: SENCO
Governor Responsible: Mrs S Morris