Accessibility

Introduction

Within our school ethos we clearly state the importance of valuing the individuality of all of our pupils. We are committed to giving all of our children every opportunity to achieve the highest of standards. We do this by taking account of pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum, and have high expectations for all children. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all our children are paramount. This policy helps to ensure that this school promotes the individuality of all our children, irrespective of ethnicity, religion, attainment, age, disability, gender or background.

This Access Policy pays due regard government law, including the Equality Act (2010) and the Children and Families Act (2014) Part 3 which links in to the SEND Code of Practice (2014) and to past legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995, the SEN and Disability Act 2001, it also incorporates aspects of the OLIS School Development Plan.

The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) of 1995 aims to end discrimination against people with disabilities and to improve access in all areas of life. Since 2002, it has been unlawful for schools and Local Education Authorities to discriminate against pupils with disabilities in admissions and exclusions, in education, and in associated services.

From 1st October 2004, it became unlawful to discriminate against people with disabilities by preventing them from having access to premises. Along with all other public buildings, our school is required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to enable access.
At OLIS, we recognise that the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 places the following duties upon us:

  • Not to treat disabled pupils less favourably for a reason related to their disability
  • To make reasonable adjustments for disabled pupils, so that they are not at a substantial disadvantage
  • To plan to make reasonable adjustments to the school buildings so that there is an increased access to education for disabled pupils and to make the school buildings more accessible for disabled persons.

The planning duties of the DDA makes three requirements of the Proprietors:

  • To increase the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school curriculum
  • To improve the environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services
  • Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is provided in writing for pupils who are not disabled.

Schools are required to resource, implement and review their accessibility plan as necessary. This plan will be monitored and evaluated by the Head teacher and Proprietors. The plan within this policy sets out the proposals for increasing access to education for disabled pupils.
Our Accessibility Plan details the changes required to our buildings and to other aspects of our school, so that we fulfil our legal requirements, and remove barriers to inclusion for all pupils and staff with disabilities.

Policy Aims

Our school aims to be an inclusive school. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for all our children, and this of course includes pupils with disabilities.

  • We will ensure that pupils with disabilities have the same opportunities as nondisabled pupils to benefit from the education our school provides
  • We will not treat a pupil with a disability less favourably than others because of the nature of his/her disability
  • We will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure that a pupil or member of staff with disabilities is not placed at a disadvantage
  • We will do our best to anticipate the needs of a pupil or staff member with disabilities before s/he joins the school

What is disability?

  • The Disability and Discrimination Act states that ‘a person suffers from a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out day-to-day activities’
  • Physical or mental impairments can include sensory impairments (such as those affecting sight and hearing) and learning difficulties. The definition also covers certain medical conditions when they have a long-term and substantial effect on pupils’ everyday live
  • Disability is not the same as special educational needs; not all children who are defined as having a disability have special educational needs, and vice versa.

Removing Barriers

  • The school will make reasonable adjustments to ensure that pupils and members of staff and of the public are not disadvantaged.
  • Disabilities can limit the extent to which children are able to participate in the curriculum, and can impede the delivery of information. So, for example, if a child suffers from hearing loss, the teacher will always try and face the child when addressing the class, or, in severe cases, the teacher may wear a microphone and transmitter.
  • The Accessibility Plan covers the measures we have already taken, and are still taking, to improve our school.

The Physical Environment

We will endeavour to improve provision for disabled pupils and staff by developing the physical environment of the school, within the limits of the resources available. Where necessary, we will try to improve the following:

  • Access to the school, by installing ramps and handrails when necessary.
  • Movement around the building, e.g. by adaptations, such as improved colour schemes, for people with impaired sight;
  • Accommodation within the building, by providing toilets for disabled pupils, soundproofing for pupils with impaired hearing, and medical rooms;
  • Information and communication technology, by selecting appropriate hardware and software.
  • Signage, by putting it in clear print.

The Curriculum

  • We use teaching strategies to enhance learning and participation in a broad and balanced curriculum. We find ways in which all pupils can take part in sport and music. We plan our out-of-school activities and school trips in such a way that pupils with disabilities can participate.
  • We use language that does not offend, and we make staff and pupils aware of the importance of language.
  • The school regularly reviews the way in which resources are matched to the needs of all the children. If necessary, to improve our provision, adjustments will be made to classroom organisation, the deployment of support staff, timetabling and staff training.
  • Many of the adjustments we make are dependent upon individual needs, and we are moving towards more individualised approaches through Pupil Profiles, Provision Maps and in depth Educational Health Care Plans.
  • We seek to respond to guidance from the parents and children. We also welcome the advice from external agencies such as Specialist Teachers, Physiotherapists and Educational Psychologists.

Information

Information normally provided in writing (lesson content, texts, library resources and information about school events) will be made available in alternative formats that are clear and user friendly if required. This may be in the format of Braille, large print or Widget. Alternatively it may be transmitted orally or through lip-speaking. Information will also be available on our web site.

Safeguarding

At Ocean Lodge Independent School safeguarding and child protection is paramount and we are fully committed to ensuring the welfare and safety of all our children. We believe that students have a right to learn in a supportive, caring and safe environment which includes the right to protection from all types of abuse; where staff are vigilant for signs of any student in distress and are confident about applying the processes to avert and alleviate any such problems. If any behaviour is a concern in relation to safeguarding OLIS procedures will be followed at all times in accordance with the Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy. Any concerns will be referred to the Child Protection Safeguarding Officer; Michelle Booth, Head teacher.

Ocean Lodge Independent School Accessibility Plan

Curriculum

  • Information obtained on future pupils to facilitate advanced planning
  • Established procedures for the identification and support of pupils with Special Educational Needs
  • Detailed pupil information on SEN pupils given to relevant staff
  • Termly whole school pupil progress meetings with all staff, information shared and discussed with Head teacher.
  • Liaison with and support for staff and parents from external agencies (Educational Psychologist, CAMHS, Educational Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist).
  • SEN friendly classrooms with visual timetables
  • Individual timetables for children with severe learning needs
  • Visual timetables on a whole class and individual level, individualised support programs, personalised learning and first quality differentiated teaching to ensure access to the curriculum
  • Nurture group provision
  • Specialist arrangements for assessments
  • Differentiated curriculum to enable all pupils to feel secure and make progress.
  • Learning Support Assistants and Teaching Assistants deployed to implement specific literacy, numeracy and speech & language programmes.
  • Risk assessments are carried out for all school trips
  • Individual risk assessments are put in place for pupils with a high level of need.
  • Installation of electronic white boards in teaching rooms- it is recognised that children with Learning Difficulties and children who are partially sighted find it easier to learn when an electronic whiteboard is used. Variation in colour backgrounds and visuals are used to support different needs.

Physical Environment:

  • Contained “play area” in rear of the school
  • Quiet room access
  • Open, spacious classrooms
  • Corridor lighting to support visual impairment

Other facilities / provision, including access to information

  • Can do ethos and positive approach
  • Open door policy
  • Educational Health Care Plans
  • LAC reviews
  • PEPs
  • IEBPs
  • Reward System
  • Outdoor activities
  • Teaching staff experienced to support children with ASC/D.
  • Annual training for teachers to personalise learning for each child
  • Learning Walks

Provision of information

  • Review meetings
  • Open days
  • Meetings with external agencies as required
  • Information from external agencies will be discussed and they are encouraged to attend meetings with parents
  • Parents/carers of statemented pupils and pupils identified as having a special educational need are invited to a transition meeting to discuss their child’s particular needs prior to the pupil starting at school
  • Home visits


To be read in-conjunction with:

  • Curriculum policy
  • Education, Health & Behaviour policy