This is our accessibility policy. Click here to download the policy as a PDF.
1. Mission Statement
St. Mary's Cockerton Church of England Primary School: Founded in faith – learning, caring, and growing together.
Cockerton School is distinguished by its Christian foundation and the principles that flow from this. Christian values are built into our ethos and teaching, along with respect for other beliefs and faiths. We strive to forge strong links between school, home and the local community. Spiritual development forms an integral part of school life and collective worship is an essential part of the school day. We aim to distinguish ourselves by the quality of care and understanding extended to the school community. Cockerton School is committed to developing the full potential of its pupils as individuals – spiritually, emotionally and academically.
From 1 October 2010, the Equality Act 2010 replaced all existing equality legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA). The effect of the law is the same as in the past, meaning that “schools cannot unlawfully discriminate against pupils because of their sex, race, disability, religion or belief and sexual orientation”. Schools must provide an Accessibility Plan to comply with the Act.
3. Definition of Disability
Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability if he or she has ‘a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities’.
The definition includes people with a Hearing or Visual Impairment, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, mental health issues and incontinence. People with ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Downs Syndrome and Hydrocephalus are included. Medical conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis, severe Asthma, Diabetes, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Epilepsy, Sickle Cell Anaemia and HIV are deemed disabilities. Facial disfigurement, severe Dyslexia, gross obesity and diagnosed eating disorders are all included.
If a person has been disabled in the past (for example, cancer recoverers and people with a history of mental illness) they are still covered by the legislation for the rest of their life.
4. Aims of the Accessibility Plan
Within our Single Equality Scheme we set out our commitment to working for the equality of people with and without disabilities. We recognise that people with disabilities experience discrimination across all areas of life. Our aims are to:
- Increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum
- Improve the physical environment of schools to enable disabled pupils to take better advantage of education, benefits, facilities and services provided (the whole life of the school)
- Improve the availability of accessible information to disabled pupils
We recognise the need to provide adequate resources for implementing plans and will regularly review them.
5. Access to the curriculum
All areas of the curriculum should be available to pupils regardless of their disability. Where an activity cannot be made accessible or would be inappropriate then an alternative activity should be made available e.g. handwriting practice might be inappropriate for a disabled pupil but practising keyboard skills would be a suitable and valuable alternative. Planning to improve access to the curriculum will include identifying reasonable adjustments to offer an equality of opportunity.
Depending on the impairments of disabled pupils, specific staff training will be provided to improve access to the curriculum. Purchasing specialist equipment will increase access to the curriculum for disabled pupils. This might include items such as books with large print, writing slopes and pencil grips, or adjustable desks and chairs. Specialist equipment will be identified by the Inclusion Officer. By reviewing the participation of disabled pupils during lesson observations this will inform future developments in inclusion.
When planning school visits, consideration should be given to meeting the needs of disabled pupils by attending accessible venues and using appropriate transport providers.
Access plans will be provided for individual disabled pupils as part of their Individual Education Plan (IEP), where necessary and shared with all staff.
6. Physical Environment
The school is very fortunate to be located in a building which was constructed in 2008, and as such many adaptations for disabled people are available. These include disabled parking bays, an accessible entrance, disabled toilets, wheelchair accessible paths and an induction loop system. However facilities are regularly reviewed to ensure they meet the needs of all pupils. Any improvements which are identified will be included in the school’s Facilities Development Plan.
To ensure that disabled pupils can be safely evacuated in an emergency, a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan will be created for identified pupils, where necessary. This could be on a temporary basis e.g. if a pupil has broken their leg and attends school on crutches for a period of time.
7. Accessible Information
The Inclusion Officer will be responsible for ensuring the needs of individual disabled pupils are met. This may include symbol software to support learners with reading difficulties, raising awareness of font size and page layouts to support pupils with visual impairments and auditing the school library to ensure the availability of large font and easy read texts to improve access.
8. Roles and Responsibilities
The Governing Body accepts their responsibility to promote equality and eliminate discrimination, as outlined in the aims of the Plan. Through the implementation of this policy the governors and staff meet the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 in respect of accessibility.
The governing body will ensure that all members of staff understand the importance of our duty and their role in delivering it. Training will be provided, where necessary. The monitoring and delivery of the Accessibility Plan will be assessed via meetings of staff, the Senior Leadership Team, School Council and the Governing Body.
The Inclusion Officer will be responsible, in conjunction with other staff, for identifying barriers to access to the curriculum or information, for individual disabled pupils and suggesting suitable adjustments or equipment to help overcome these barriers. They will incorporate access plans into IEPs.
The School Business Manager is responsible for reviewing the physical environment of the school, including both the buildings and grounds, to ensure they meet the needs of disabled pupils. In addition they are responsible for ensuring that buildings and equipment are appropriately serviced and maintained. The School Business Manager will update the Facilities Development Plan to include any identified adjustments.
The School Business Manager/ Head Teacher will be responsible for creating a Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan, where appropriate.
9. Related Policies
The Accessibility Plan should be considered alongside the following policies and plans: