Maidstone and Malling Alternative Provision

Accessibility Policy

Policy reviewed October 2014

Policy to be reviewed every three years

Policy adopted by the Management Committee:

Introduction

This plan is drawn up in accordance with the planning duty in The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, as amended by the SEN and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA). It draws on the guidance set out in ‘Accessible Schools:’ planning to increase access to schools for disabled students issued by the DCFS in July 2002.

Definition of Disability

Disability is defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA). “A person has a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long tern adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.

Key Objectives

To reduce and, where possible, eliminate barriers to accessing the curriculum and to have full participation in MMAP community for pupils and prospective pupils with a disability.

Principles

Compliance with the DDA is consistent with our Disability Equality Scheme and SEN policy.

MMAP recognises its duty under the DDA (as amended by SENDA):

  • Not to discriminate against disabled pupils in their admissions, exclusions and provisions of education or associated services.
  • Not to treat disabled students less favourably.
  • To take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled students at a substantial disadvantage.
  • To publish an accessibility plan.

MMAP recognises and values parents’ knowledge of their child’s disability and its effect on his/her ability to carry out normal activities and respects the parents and child’s right to confidentiality.

MMAP provides all pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum, differentiated and adjusted to meet the needs of individual pupils and their preferred learning styles, and endorses the key principles in the National Curriculum 2000 framework, which underpins the development of a more inclusive curriculum.

·         Setting suitable learning challenges.

·         Responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs.

·         Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.

Improve Access

It is our intention to remove, as far as possible, these barriers which make it difficult for any individuals who has difficulties within the following broad categories of need, if it gets in the way of school life:

  • Physical access to the learning environment.
  • Access to published information/ lessons/learning/school.
  • Access to the curriculum.

Difficulties

The range of difficulties which may need addressing are various and are likely to change according to the cohort of pupils and their identified difficulties, but they could be broadly grasped as:

  • Sensory impairment, speech, hearing or eyesight
  • Physical difficulties, co-ordination, manual dexterity, ability to lift or move everyday objects.
  • Medical needs, continence, managing medication.
  • Cognitive and learning needs, memory or ability to learn, concentrate or understand.
  • Communication difficulties, including Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
  • Social and emotional needs.
  • Perceived risk or physical danger.

Strategy

This leads us to develop the accessibility plan which is a strategy for:

  • Increasing the extent to which disabled students can participate in the school’s curriculum.
  • Improving the physical environment of MMAP to increase to increase the extent that disabled pupils can take advantage of education and associated services offered by MMAP.
  • Improving the delivery of information which is already provided in writing to pupils who are not disabled. This should be done within a reasonable period of time and in formats which take account of the preferred means of communications by the pupils or their parents/carers.

Action

Continually review the environment of the school, the way we plan, prepare and teach the curriculum and try to make sure that the information that we provide for the pupils is understandable for them.

  • Try to provide an atmosphere where all pupils feel safe and valued.
  • Achieve this by promoting understanding of disability and work to show positive models of people with a disability. We will avoid stereotypes and use language which emphasises the person rather than the disability.
  • Examine those parts of our active and extra curricular activities which may have limited access for pupils with a disability and seen it as it is possible to provide learning experiences which promote similar development of knowledge and understanding.

Activity

A)     Education and related activities

MMAP will continue to seek and follow the advice of LA Services, such as specialist teacher advisers.

B)      Physical Environment

MMAP will take account of the needs of pupils and visitors with physical difficulties and sensory impairments when planning and undertaking future improvements and refurbishment of the site and premises. (See action plan for full details.)

C)       Provision of Information

MMAP will make itself aware of local services, including those provided through the LA, for providing information in alternative formats when required or suggested.

Accessibility Plan 2014 – 2017

In order to draw up this plan, the following were undertaken:

1)      An audit of the accessibility of the building. This identified and prioritised access issues around the physical environment. It also suggests strategies for achieving these targets that can be reflected in this plan.

2)      Development of staff awareness and understanding of disability discrimination, access issues and the promotion of disability equality. This policy and the disability equality scheme policy will be shared with all staff and discussed at staff meetings to develop staff awareness.

3)      MMAP is aware of the access needs of disabled children, staff and parents/ carers. We begun by ensuring the information needs of any existing disabled pupils are being met. We must consider what it would need to respond to the needs of future disabled pupils. We must also consider the access needs of staff and parents/carers.

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

  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Health & Safety Policy
  • Single Equality Statement
  • School Prospectus
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Special Educational Needs Policy