The DDA has introduced new duties on responsible bodies of Schools from September 2002 to protect current and prospective disabled pupils from discrimination in every aspect of School life: admissions, education and associated services, and exclusions. At Hawkhurst Primary School the responsible body is the Governing Body in conjunction with the Local Education Authority.
Responsible bodies have two key Duties
The Less favourable Treatment Duty
This duty requires the responsible body to address 3 questions when determining whether unlawful discrimination has taken place:
Less favourable treatment may be justified if it is the result of a permitted form of selection in relation to admissions, or if it is for a reason that is material and substantial i.e. there has to be a clear connection between the reason given and the circumstances of that particular case. Less favourable treatment may not be justified if a reasonable adjustment could have been made but wasn’t.
The Reasonable Adjustment Duty
This is an anticipatory duty and requires the responsible body to consider:
There is also a requirement to keep policies, practices and procedures under continuous review, and a formal review is undertaken by the Governors annually. The Governors may take into account:
There are two exemptions from the reasonable adjustments duty which are the provision of auxiliary aids and services, as this is met through the SEN framework and the physical adaptations to buildings, which are developed in a strategic way over time and covered by the planning duty.
The Planning Duties:
The planning duty requires Schools to produce written accessibility strategies and plans. Schools are required to plan for:
Following an accessibility audit undertaken by the Headteacher and supported by the AEN Governor and the buildings advisory service (KCC approved), we have developed an Accessibility Plan with short term, medium term and long term targets covering a period of 5 years.