Disability Equality Scheme
Latchmere School is committed to ensuring equal treatment of all its employees, pupils, parents and any others involved in the school community, with any form of disability and will ensure that disabled people are not treated less favourably in any procedures, practices and service delivery.
We strive to remove barriers to the progress of disabled pupils. We aim to give all children full access to the curriculum at school and to be able to participate fully in school life.
Our commitment to equal opportunities is driven by the National Curriculum Inclusion statement. The school:
-sets suitable learning challenges
-responds to pupils’ diverse needs
-overcomes potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.
The school’s policies on Bullying, PHSE, Equal Opportunities and Equality and Diversity promote equality and respect for all regardless of gender, race, colour, creed or impairment.
This school will not tolerate harassment of disabled people with any form of impairment and will also consider pupils who are carers of disabled parents.
What do we understand by “disability”?
“Disability is a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities” (DDA 1995 Part 1 para. 1.1.) This definition was amended and broadened in December 2005 under the 2005 Disability Amendment Act:-
- People with cancer or surviving cancer are now included, as are people with HIV and Multiple Sclerosis from the point of diagnosis.
- In regards to mental impairment, the need for it to be clinically well recognised has been removed.
- At Latchmere School, all pupils with Special Educational Needs and those with long term medical needs, are treated as disabled for the purposes of the Act and for equality. This is in addition to all pupils with long-term impairments, which have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.
Latchmere School uses the social model of disability as the basis for its work to improve equality for and address discrimination against disabled people. This model says that it is the world and society that creates barriers that limit or prevent disabled people from enjoying the same opportunities as those who are not disabled. We understand that the definition of disability under the Act is different from the eligibility criteria for special educational needs provision. This means that disabled pupils may or may not have special educational needs. The school recognises that social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are part of this definition.
We will actively seek to:
- Promote equality of opportunity between disabled persons and other persons.
- Eliminate discrimination that is unlawful under the Act.
- Eliminate harassment of disabled persons that is related to their disability.
- Promote positive attitudes towards disabled persons. This means not representing people in a demeaning way, and it also means not pretending they do not exist and not representing them anywhere at all.
- Encourage participation by disabled persons in public life. It is also important to respect the wishes of disabled children in an educational setting so that they do not feel pushed into activities they do not wish to take part in.
- Take steps to take account of disabled persons’ disabilities, even where that involves treating disabled persons more favourably than other persons.
Information from pupil data and school audit
From September 2018, Latchmere School will comprise a four – form entry primary and nursery school with a maximum of 948 pupils on roll. Currently there are 59 children on our Special Needs Register and, of these, 12 have a Statement of Special Educational Need / Education and Health Care Plan; 30 children receive SEN support. The identified needs include cognition and learning, specific learning difficulties, moderate learning difficulties, speech, language and communication needs, hearing impairment, emotional, behavioural and social needs and autistic spectrum disorder. A number of these children are on the LA register for children and young people with disabilities/special needs.
There is an ASD provision at Latchmere School for up to eight children from Key Stages 1 and 2 who have high functioning autistic spectrum disorder. Currently this is staffed by a full-time teacher, one full-time and a part – time teaching assistant.
We are mindful of the adults in our school community. We have a number of children with at least one parent who is registered as disabled and we are committed to improving access for these parents and others who may have similar needs in the future.
Involvement of Disabled People in Developing the Policy
When setting up the original Disability Equality Scheme which has been replaced by the Disability Policy, questionnaires were sent to all children, staff, parents and governors who might use school facilities and will continue to be given to new parents. The responses were used in developing this scheme.
Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum
Visual prompts and resources including visual timetables are used to facilitate access for all pupils, including disabled pupils.
Through Assemblies, PHSE and SEAL, disability awareness is promoted in the curriculum.
Staff working with pupils with disabilities receive appropriate training: recent courses include: developing awareness and understanding of children with ASD, behaviour management, developing awareness and understanding of children with speech and language needs, dyslexia – friendly classrooms, delivering occupational therapy to individual children.
Our School Development Plan 2015 – 2019 focuses on improving all learning environments, promoting and embedding Learning on Demand and increasing parental involvement in the EYFS, underlining our commitment to equal access and opportunities for all children.
Thorough risk assessments are undertaken as required and take full account of the needs of disabled children. (e.g. a named adult will provide 1 to 1 support as necessary). This includes school trips, attendance at clubs, etc.
Effective target setting and thorough monitoring of progress is in place for all children and high expectations are maintained for all, regardless of attainment or ability.
There is a climate of respect for difference; we develop positive attitudes through constructive images of disabled children in resources and through the full inclusion of disabled pupils in all aspects of school life.
Teachers have a good understanding of particular barriers to learning and use a range of teaching styles – visual, auditory and kinaesthetic – to help overcome barriers. All classes throughout the school use a visual timetable.
Multi-agency work ensures that the school is supported by advice and individual programmes from the Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Hearing Impaired and Visually Impaired Services, Pupil Support, Dysart School, ASD Teacher, Woodroffe FACT, The Moor Lane Centre and Social Workers and Family Support Workers through Kingston’s SPA, (Single Point of Access),a paediatric outreach nursing team (PONT), Education Welfare Officer and other medical professionals.
Several members of staff are Lead Professionals involved in the CAF process.
Pupil voice is collected through class observations and in discussions with teachers and pupils. Children take part in a questionnaire which is carried out twice annually.
Talkabout, social skills and communication groups, nurture groups, peer mentoring, assemblies and circle times are used to help all children develop their social relationships.
On-going discussion and analysis of children’s progress in learning and developing their social relationships lead to further personalisation and social development.
Some children (particularly those on the Autistic Spectrum or with Behavioural and Emotional Needs) may have a level of one-to-one support including in the playground. A member of staff is in charge of organising activities in the Key Stage 2 playground.
Playground staff and those working in clubs are aware of children with physical disabilities and those with autistic spectrum disorder.
Staff consult an Occupational Therapist for assessment of classrooms as necessary to ensure that the needs of pupils with sensory difficulties and dyspraxia are met (e.g. desk height, posture on chair, lights).
Reasonable adjustments are made to the school environment as necessary, e.g. installation of a lift, marking lines to warn of a change in height of the floor, step, etc.
Laptops and Kindles are available for individuals to use.
- Incorporate disability equality issues into the planning and learning in Citizenship, PHSE and RE curriculum.
- Raise all pupils’ awareness of disability through ‘Disability Awareness’ days.
- Continue to promote positive images of artists/sports personalities or those with sporting talents who have disabilities so disability is seen as no barrier to achievement.
- Subject co-ordinators and the Inclusion Team to review resources in their curriculum areas to ensure they meet the needs of all pupils within school. When schemes of work and policies are reviewed, check for accessibility.
- Continue to consult external partners and local cluster schools as necessary to gain specialist advice on how to adapt resources.
- Develop policies to take account of developments which may improve access to the curriculum for children with specific literacy and / or numeracy difficulties.
- Assess and prioritise the impact, or likely impact, of all existing and new policies and practices on disabled people. Ensure all policies reflect the ethos of disability awareness as they are reviewed.
- Provide training as necessary for all staff on disability equality issues.
- Seek external advice as necessary to ensure that modifications and risk assessments are made which enable all children with disabilities to take a full and active part in extra curricular activities and school trips.
- Relate School Development Plans more specifically to disabled children and emphasise that the objectives connect to all children regardless of ability or disability.
Improving the physical environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services:
At present the school is fully accessible to children and adults with disabilities, with the exception of Discovery House, (see future developments below), Infinity and Beyond and the swimming pool where consideration would be given to installing a hoist should the necessity arise.
Children with a disability will be provided with one-to-one support in the swimming pool, when necessary.
A quiet area for all pupils, including those with disabilities, is accessible at lunchtimes in the Key Stage 2 playground.
Mobility assessments will be carried out for individual pupils with sight impairments as advised by the Teacher for Visually Impaired Children.
Risk assessments of the school site are carried out regularly and also for individual children going on school outings or residential trips.
Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information that is provided for pupils who are not disabled:
There is the facility to enlarge school documents as necessary. Teaching Assistants adapt texts for pupils with sight impairments.
A lift is planned to be installed in Discovery House so that disabled children and adults will be able to access the offices and small group rooms sited there.
Increasing the extent to which disabled parents and parents of disabled children can fully participate in all aspects of school life
- Home school diaries may be used as an aid for communicating with parents of disabled pupils
- Communications are sent via ParentPay.
- All parents access ParentPay to make payments to school.
- Parents’ views are gathered through parent/teacher meetings, questionnaires and through Special Educational Needs review meetings and the Annual Review process for parents of children with statements of Special Educational Needs / Education, Health Care Plans.
- Large print formats are available for all information sent home to parents
- Continue to encourage parents to register their child as disabled if applicable. This will give them access to more services.
Eliminating discrimination and harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability
There is no evidence of discrimination and harassment of disabled people that is related to their disability.
The school monitors and records incidents of harassment and bullying.
Anti-bullying initiatives have been very successful.
Any incidents of bullying or harassment of any child, including those with a disability are recorded, investigated, dealt with and monitored.
Continue to promote positive attitudes towards people with disability.
Increasing the extent to which disabled members of the community can fully participate in all activities taking place on school site
The Disability Policy is updated as necessary and is published on the Latchmere website.
Any suggestions of improvements to the policy will be considered carefully.
Promoting Positive attitudes towards disabled people
- The school environment promotes positive attitudes to disability.
- Disability is represented in resources such as story books.
- Disabled pupils are fully involved in class assemblies, plays and events.
In addition to learning about disabilities in general, teachers also explain to their classes about specific difficulties that individual children may have to help the children to understand these difficulties so that they do not become a barrier to building good peer relationships.
- Pupils with a disability are encouraged to share information with their peers in class discussion or through assemblies, e.g. an explanation of why a child undergoing treatment for cancer is losing their hair.
- Celebrate Disability Awareness days
- The school will evaluate the effectiveness of this policy
- Staff and governors consult on issues relating to disability
Staff use resources to promote disability and undertake risk assessments with full regard to the requirements of the DDA and DES, with reasonable adjustments being taken to facilitate access for disabled pupils.
- All school policies should be checked for their impact on disabled pupils.
- The School Development Plan responds to the needs of those with disabilities.
- The school has a clear measurable picture of the disability profile in our school community.
In addition, the school will evaluate the effectiveness of this policy by careful monitoring of its action plan, set out below.
Management, coordination and implementation
Equal Opportunities Co-ordinator
The governors will report on the school’s Disability Policy within the school prospectus and or within the school profile on line. This will be linked to other reporting requirements in respect of disabled pupils:
- The arrangements for the admission of disabled pupils (in the school prospectus).
- The requirement for the governors of the school to report annually on the school’s Special Educational Needs policy (within the school profile on line). Children will receive verbal details of the policy in age – appropriate format.
We will monitor the impact of the Disability Policy to ensure that progress is being made towards meeting the school’s statutory duty. The action plan will be revised if necessary.