Westward School

Disability Access Policy

 This Policy applies to the EYFS, Main School and Out of School Care.

Aim

It is the overall aim of Westward School to do all that is reasonably possible to ensure that the school’s facilities, services, culture, policies and procedures are made accessible to pupils, staff members and visitors who have disabilities, and to comply with our moral and legal responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010).

NB:A person is defined as having a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment, which has a “substantial and long-term adverse effect” on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activity (Equality Act 2010).

Access to School

The school was founded in 1927 and is located in a converted Edwardian house; as such our physical facilities for persons with disabilities are limited. We will however make every reasonable adjustment in order to accommodate the needs of applicants, pupils, parents/guardians, visitors and members of staff who have disabilities.

There is a designated disabled parking bay in the front car park, with access to the ground floor levels available through the front double-doors (with a portable ramp) for the old building, or through the middle double-doors (flat access) for the new building, hall and playground.

Access between each floor is by stairwell only. The school has previously investigated the feasibility of installing a lift and/or stair lift, and was advised that neither was possible within the building’s present structure.

Admissions

Parents/guardians of prospective pupils must notify the school of any disabilities in advance of registration and must discuss with the school what adjustments could reasonably be made to accommodate their child. The school may request a full report from a doctor or educational psychologist to help determine whether it can properly fulfil its legal and moral responsibilities to the child and its contractual duties to the parents/guardians.

In particular, the school will do all it reasonably can to ensure that the child can, with reasonable adjustments, access the curriculum, whether in the classroom or through other means. The school also expects all of its pupils to participate in sports, music, drama, trips and expeditions as part of it ethos of inclusiveness, but must ensure that no pupil’s education or safety is put at risk by the needs of another individual.

Existing Pupils

The school recognises that medical and psychological conditions can develop in existing pupils which may require adjustments to be made to the way in which the curriculum is delivered.

Parents/guardians must, as soon as possible, disclose to the school in confidence any known medical condition, health problem or allergy affecting an existing pupil. Where appropriate, the Headteacher shall set up a consultation process so that interim measures can be put in place to support the pupil, and that longer term requirements may be determined. The school will, to the best of its ability, make such adjustments as are reasonably practicable to allow a pupil to continue at the school.

Learning Difficulties

The school shall do all that is reasonably possible to detect and deal appropriately with a learning difficulty, which amounts to a “special educational need”. The school staff are not, however, qualified to make a diagnosis of specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, or other learning difficulties. The screening tests available to schools are indicative only; they are not infallible. Parents/guardians will be notified if a screening test indicates that a pupil may have a learning difficulty. It will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to arrange any formal assessments; the school can help with this process by recommending specialist help.

Withdrawal of a Pupil

If, following the process of consultation and the making of all reasonable adjustments, it is the professional judgement of the Headteacher that the school cannot provide adequately for the pupil’s disability or special educational needs, parents/guardians will be asked to withdraw the pupil. In such cases, every reasonable effort shall be made by the school to assist in finding a suitable placement in another school.

Prospective Staff Members

Prospective staff members must notify the school of any disabilities as part of their application and must discuss with the school what adjustments could reasonably be made to accommodate them should they be employed. The school may request a full report from a doctor to help determine whether it can properly fulfil its legal, moral and contractual responsibilities to the prospective staff member, its pupils and their parents/guardians.

Existing Staff Members

The school recognises that medical and psychological conditions can develop in existing staff members which may require adjustments to be made to the way in which they are employed.

Existing staff members must, as soon as possible, disclose to the school in confidence any known medical condition or health problem. Where appropriate, the Headteacher shall set up a consultation process so that interim measures can be put in place to support the staff member, and that longer term requirements may be determined. The school will, to the best of its ability, make such adjustments as are reasonably practicable to allow a staff member to continue at the school.

Reasonable Adjustments

The school shall endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to aid a prospective or existing pupil/staff member. Such adjustments may include (but not limited to):

  • Installing low gradient ramps for easy access on the ground floor;
  • Allocating a classroom on the ground floor;
  • Specialist seating or any other relevant classroom resources or equipment.

In defining what is reasonable, the school shall take into account:

  • The cost and feasibility of making specific alterations to the school premises;
  • Implications on financial resources and the likelihood of any external funding being available to offset this;
  • Staffing requirements;
  • Health and safety considerations;
  • The interests of pupils, staff and visitors.

Personal Information

All personal information provided to the school regarding a pupil or staff member’s disabilities shall be treated in strictest confidence and only used in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998).

Application

Last Updated: April 2019

 

Appendix 1 – Disability Access Plan

Three Year Plan - 1/4/18 - 31/3/21

TARGETS

STRATEGIES

TIMESCALE

RESPONSIBLE

Ensure school policies reflect inclusive practice and procedure

Review policies at least annually, ensuring they comply with the Equality Act 2010.

Ongoing

Shelley Stevenson

(Headteacher)

 

Senior Management Team

Access to curriculum

 

To ensure provision set in place ready for when child/ren start school

 

 

 

  • All pupils to have appropriate access to all areas of the curriculum.
  • To identify pupils who may need adapted or additional provision and liaise with pre-school providers or educational establishments if transferring during a school year.

 

Ongoing as need arises

Shelley Stevenson (Headteacher)

 

Senior Management Team

 

SENCO

Ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for pupils with disability, medical conditions or other access needs

  • To ensure all pupils have access to the wider curriculum including trips and residential visits as well as extra curricular provision.
  • Ensure all staff are trained to the correct level in order to provide appropriate care.
  • Identify training needs and implement training where necessary.
  • Liaise with external agencies.
  • Create personalised risk assessments and access plans for individual pupils.

 Ongoing

Senior Management Team

 

SENCO

 

All Staff

Ensure the Evacuation Procedures reflects and accommodates the needs of all staff and pupils

  • Clear emergency evacuation procedures to be put in place and that staff are capable of carrying them out.
  • Safe evacuation in an emergency.

Ongoing

Senior Management Team

 

All staff

 

Office Manager

(Mr Rick Pettipher)

Improve the physical school environment

 

 

  • To take into account the needs of pupils with physical difficulties and sensory impairments when planning and undertaking improvements and refurbishments of the site and premises, such as improved access, lighting and colour schemes, clear signage and more accessible facilities and fittings.
Ongoing

Johnnie Parkhurst

(Head of Operations)

 

Senior Management Team

 

Classrooms

  • Some rooms are small but investigate how rooms could be modified for a child or member of staff with a disability.
  • Some lessons could be relocated to other rooms which may be more appropriate.
  • Use of ramps for ground floor access.

On-going

Mrs Townley

(Proprietor)

  

Johnnie Parkhurst

(Head of Operations)

 

Senior Management Team

 

 

Playground

  • Acquire playground equipment relevant to child's disability.

Ongoing as need arises

Child’s Teacher in consultation with the Headteacher Shelley Stevenson

 

To establish and maintain close liaison with parents

  • To ensure collaboration and information sharing between school and families.
  • Regular meetings, risk assessment reviews, provision reviews and action planning.

Ongoing

 

Senior Management Team

 

All teaching staff 

Ensure that reasonable adjustments are made for parents with a disability, medical condition or other access needs so they can fully support their child's education.

  • Adopt a proactive approach to identifying the access requirements of parents and make reasonable adjustments where possible.

Ongoing

Whole school team