Kent County Council

                       Children, Families and Education Directorate

 

ACCESSIBILITY PLAN     

OF

DOWNS VIEW INFANT SCHOOL 2015

Responsible People named in this Policy

Head Teacher                                                           Tracy Kent
Inclusion Leader  Lisa Somerville
Date:  October 2015To be updated:         October 2018

CONTENTS PAGE

Accessibility Plan ……………………………..Pages 3-8:

Our vision and overview of plan ……………..  Page 3

Long term goals and legalities ……………..  Page 4

Definitions ………………………………………Page 5

Access to the building…………………………….Page 6-8

 

Appendices 

Action plan………………………………………….Pages 9-13

Disability learning walk………………………..Pages 14-15

Personal Evacuation Plan…………………….Pages 16-17

 

ACCESSIBILITY PLAN 2015

Downs View Infant school is committed to ensuring that all pupils have the right and equality of opportunity to access an outstanding education.

  • This Accessibility Plan has been drawn up in consultation with the staff and governors of the School and covers the period from October 2015-2018.

  • This statement sets out the ways in which Downs View Infant School provides ‘access’ to education for pupils with a disability.

  • We are committed to working towards providing a fully accessible environment which values and includes all students, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their education, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional and cultural needs. We are further committed to challenging attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

  • We plan, over time, to increase the accessibility of provision for all students, staff and visitors to the School.

  • The following areas will form the basis of the Accessibility Plan with relevant actions to:

    • Increase access to the curriculum, incorporating after-school and out of school activities and including educational visits;

    • Improve access to the physical environment of the School;

    • Improve the delivery of written information to students, staff, parents and visitors with disabilities.

  • Attached is an Action Plan, relating to these three key aspects of accessibility. These plans will be reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. New plans will be drawn up for the following three-year period, 2015-2018.

  • It is acknowledged that there will be the need for on-going awareness raising and training for all staff and governors in the matter of disability discrimination and the potential need to inform attitudes on this matter.

  • This Accessibility Plan should be read in conjunction with the following policies, strategies and documents:

    • Single Equality Scheme

    • Health & Safety

    • SEND/Additional Needs Policy

    • Behaviour Policy

    • School Prospectus

  • As curriculum policies are reviewed, a section relating to access will be added where appropriate. The School Prospectus will make reference to this Accessibility Plan.

  • The School will work in partnership with Kent local education authority in developing and implementing this plan and will adopt in principle the “LEA Strategy for Accessibility”.

  • The School plan will be monitored by the SEND Governor and reported back to the Full Governing Body.

This plan is written in relation with the KCC’s long term goals:

 (a)            All children and young people with physical disabilities will have access to an appropriate Kent maintained school for primary education and a Kent maintained school or Academy for secondary education. Travel time to primary provision will be no longer than 45 minutes and to secondary provision no longer than one hour.

(b)            The number of primary age children and young people attending fully accessible schools, including the provision of appropriate toileting, changing facilities and adaptations for children with visual and hearing difficulties, will be increased by 20%

1. Legal background

The Disability and Equality Act 2010 requires all schools and LEAs to plan to increase the accessibility of schools for disabled students. LEAs must produce an accessibility strategy covering all maintained schools in their area, and each school must produce its own accessibility plan. 

This plan outlines how we plan to:

  • Improving access to the physical environment of schools

This includes improvements to the environment of the School, which can include visual, acoustic and physical environments.  All new school buildings have to comply with the Building Regulations and the Education (School Premises) Regulations 2010 in conjunction with the Equality Act (2010) and should be physically accessible to disabled students. Much of the work in the area of improving the physical environment will therefore involve improving access to existing buildings.

  • Increasing access for disabled students to the curriculum

Access to the curriculum covers not only teaching and learning, but also the wider curriculum such as after-school activities, leisure, sporting and cultural activities or school visits.

Therefore additional resources, including human resources and equipment will be purchased if it felt necessary and appropriate for an individual’s needs.  (Please see AEN policy).

The LEA will support us by offering staff training, encouraging schools to work together and share good practice, and by offering schools a range of support services such as advice on teaching techniques, classroom management and curriculum material.

  • Improving the delivery of written information to disabled students

We will ensure that written information normally provided by the school will take account of students’ disabilities and parents’ preferred formats and will be made available within a reasonable timescale.  This will be decided with the adult /carer’s permission and adjustments will only be made if this meet the needs of the individual and improves the accessibility to the curriculum.

 

KCC will help us by:

  • Organising central support services to provide information in alternative formats.

  • sharing information and expertise

  • Consulting with schools and dioceses when preparing its accessibility strategy.

KCC and Downs View Infant School have a duty to implement their strategies and plans, revise and review them if necessary.  We should prioritise resources for implementing their strategies and plans.

This plan is publicly available on our website and is reviewed and agreed by all staff and Governors.  KCC are required to make their strategies available for inspection to interested parties at reasonable times.

2. Definitions

The Disability Discrimination Act (2010) describes a person has a disability if:

  • they have a physical or mental impairment

  • the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to perform normal day-to-day activities

Progressive conditions considered to be a disability:

There are additional provisions relating to people with progressive conditions. People with HIV, cancer or multiple sclerosis are protected by the Act from the point of diagnosis. People with some visual impairment are automatically deemed to be disabled

Conditions that are specifically excluded – Some conditions are specifically excluded from being covered by the disability definition, such as a tendency to set fires or addictions to non–prescribed substances.

  • People who have had a disability in the past that meets this definition are also protected by the Act.

  • Impairments include sensory impairments – such as those affecting sight or hearing, and people who have had a disability are protected from discrimination even if they no longer have a disability.

  • Mental illnesses that are clinically well-recognized are included. So, for example, medically diagnosed ADHD is considered a disability under the Disability Discrimination Act. While many disabled students will have, or may be eligible for an Education and Health Care Plan, not all disabled students have SEN. Equally, not all students with SEN will necessarily have a disability under this legislation.

 For the purposes of the Act, these words have the following meanings:

  • ‘substantial’ means more than minor or trivial

  • ‘long-term’ means that the effect of the impairment has lasted or is likely to last for at least twelve months (there are special rules covering recurring or fluctuating conditions)

  • ‘normal day-to-day activities’ include everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping

Access in respect of children and young people and people with Physical Disabilities and/or Sensory Impairments

The Disability Discrimination Act requires that where a physical feature makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled people to make use of the service, reasonable steps must be taken to remove it, alter it, or provide a reasonable means of avoiding the feature.

Physical features include: steps, stairways, kerbs, exterior surfaces and paving, parking areas, building entrances and exits (including emergency escape routes), internal and external doors, gates, toilet and washing facilities, public facilities (such as reception areas), lighting and ventilation, lifts and escalators.   This is not an exhaustive list of features, which are not confined to buildings or the indoor environment. They could include seating in a garden, climbing apparatus or when on school trips.

Access Audits will be used when necessary to identify the main areas that will impact on access such as:

Car parks and footpaths

Ramps and ramp ststems
Doors and door controls

Lifts and lifting devices

Sanitary conveniences

Handrails and hardware
Signage and way finding

Lighting and acoustics

Finishes and decorations

Furniture and equipment

Stairs/stairways

Emergency access routes

Medical areas

Toileting and changing facilities

Communications, alarms & security systems

 

 

Access audit and review of accessibility of all maintained schools for anyone with Physical Disabilities and/or Sensory Impairments

The following has been taken into account in determining the LA strategy: –

Audit data

Cluster, District and area strategies have been developed based on available data.  These strategies will be expanded and developed using more detailed survey analysis.

Having 100% access to teaching areas does not necessarily mean that a school is fully accessible.  At Downs View we have wheelchair accessible toilets and washroom facilities.  Most parts of the building are wheelchair accessible, with sloped access. Although a ramp is available for rooms where there is a step.  These are in the older parts of the buildings. Most classrooms are wheelchair accessible.

According to the 2006 data 21% of secondary and 24% of primary schools could be classed as being fully accessible providing children and young people with physical disability full access to all teaching areas.  However, improvements may still be needed in many of these schools to ensure easy movement around the school, and to provide improvements for children and young people with sensory impairments.

Access in Respect of Children and young people with Significant Learning, Behavioural or Communication and Interaction Needs

The LA Accessibility Strategy recognises and addresses the crucially important issues related to improving access for children and young people with these particular difficulties.  The LA supports schools in developing school accessibility plans to enhance inclusion opportunities for children and young people with significant Learning, behavioural or communication and interaction needs.

This may, for example, include children and young people with profound and complex Learning difficulties or specific Learning difficulties, such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, complex emotional or behavioural difficulties, or those presenting challenging behaviours arising from other complex needs such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder.

While the expectation is that the majority of these needs will be met through school accessibility plans and the development of whole school approaches, enhanced curriculum access for some of these children and young people will be achieved through the development of resourced mainstream provision.  In addition to the potential need for physical changes and adaptations, this type of provision may also require specialist teacher, therapy and/or teaching support or peripatetic support and advice, materials, and/or training in specific teaching and Learning approaches.

Strategies and Targets

Building Access

All building projects that adapt, replace or add to existing building stock must also improve accessibility.

All building projects where additional school places are provided must:

  • be fully accessible

  • provide appropriate washroom facilities

  • have included, at the feasibility stage, an analysis of the present and future access needs of children and young people.  Following that analysis the building should be designed to meet those needs.

Resources

Some of this work will be undertaken by schools using their Delegated Capital Fund and Devolved Capital Fund for building maintenance and improvement informed by an accessibility audit of the school. This funding should be considered to resource school accessibility plans, with access for children and young people with any and all disabilities considered whenever planning for maintenance work (e.g. internal redecoration, replacing floor coverings, replacing broken door furniture) is undertaken.

Use of Resources and Prioritising

The LA will work in partnership with Clusters and schools to enhance the curriculum access of all children and young people whose difficulties and/or impairments amount to a disability as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 2010. Support for funding for the capital costs of this type of provision will come from School Access Initiative funding to be made available to individual schools or groups of schools as appropriate to address any particular curriculum access needs of individual children and young people or groups of children and young people with these types of disability.

Monitoring arrangements

The overall accessibility strategy is subject to LA Ofsted inspection.  Success criteria within the strategy will be monitored by the Children Families and Education senior management team.

This plan will be reviewed formally in 2018 by all staff and governors.  Although accessibility will be reviewed and altered as necessary, with action plans and adjustments made before within this timescale if necessary.

Download Accessibility Plan