Willingdon School welcomes its responsibilities to promote disability equality according to the Disability Equality Duty, and views this extension of its duties alongside Parts 2, 3 and 4 of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) as a further positive step towards achieving equality for disabled pupils and staff across all areas of school life.
We see this commitment as a key component of our planning for achieving the five outcomes within Every Child Matters and view the links with other equalities policies and practices as positive and informing. The school’s current Accessibility Strategy will be cross-referenced to the DES to ensure that both plans are mutually supportive.
This initial Disability Equality Scheme contains an Action Plan that sets out the steps the school is planning to take over the next three years (2006 – 2009) to meet the General Duty. The Scheme, including the Action Plan, will be reviewed annually and a report on the progress will be made to the Governing Body. An annual report will also be published for staff and to the School Council.
1.1 Willingdon School is committed to promoting positive participation in the life of the school. We believe that disabled children and adults are uniquely placed to support the school in identifying and removing the barriers they face and in taking proactive steps to promote disability equality across the school – their participation in the development and implementation of this Scheme is our priority.
1.2 In the first year of this scheme, the school will prioritise the identification of disabled adults and children (see ‘Gathering Information’) and the subsequent establishment of a group to develop the Action Plan. This group will also regularly review the effectiveness of the scheme in delivering equality across the school and will prepare the annual report to the Governing Body.
1.3 As the scheme develops we will aim to extend membership of this group to parents/carers and community members.
2.1 The school currently holds limited information on the disability of children and adults in school. We are committed to improving mechanisms for gathering and utilising information on disability in the school community in order to review the effect of our policies and practices on disabled adults and children. There will be a specific focus in our scheme on gathering information to inform our actions around the recruitment, development and retention of staff and on the educational achievements of disabled young people.
3.1 The school believes that the process of gathering information must be linked to rigorous analysis and review. The information the school develops on disability within its population will be used to show progress against the DES and to inform revisions to the existing Action Plan.
4.1 The school is committed to establishing a programme of equalities Impact Assessments to establish what the likely impact of new, or existing, policies and procedures is or will be on a range of groups, including disabled children and adults. Priority in this first phase will be given to new policies, but we will also schedule an annual cycle of policy revision to ensure that new and existing policies meet the requirements of the Duty. We envisage that the process of information gathering will highlight policies that urgently require review or revision.
The Action Plan
Our disability Equality Action Plan is a ‘live’ document, setting out the core actions the school is planning over the next three years to enable it to meet the Duty in the following eight ‘functions’ of school life. These ‘functions’ are also common to Race Equality action planning.
It is not our intention to cover each of the eight ‘functions’ annually Rather, we will prioritise our areas of action according to school context, monitoring and analysis of the information we hold, and the results of our Impact Assessments. We will aim to identify no more than five actions for development in any one school year.
- Policy, Leadership and Management
- Curriculum, Teaching and Assessment
- Admissions, Attendance, Discipline and Exclusion
- Pupils – Personal Development, Attainment and Progress
- Attitudes and Environment
- Parents, Governors and Community Partnership, including Extended Services
- Staffing – Recruitment, Training and Professional Development
- Pupil Voice and Participation
Actions that support or link to the school’s existing Accessibility Strategy are referenced by ‘strand’ in the Action Plan.
Increasing access to the curriculum for disabled children and young people.
Improving the physical environment of the school.
Improving the provision of information for disabled children and young people.
The Accessibility Strategy will be monitored alongside the DES and reported in the same cycle to the Governing Body.
Appendix, to be attached by end of Term 2, Disability Equality Scheme Action Plan 2006 - 09.
Appendix, to be attached by end of Term 2, School Accessibility Strategy
Signed and dated according to school protocol