Accessibility Policy

Introduction

This Accessibility Policy statement is based on a belief in equality and inclusiveness for all and confirms that everyone should have equal access to facilities and services regardless of disability, age, gender or race. With this in mind, Queens Park Academy puts accessibility for all at the heart of the planning and design process.

The school is committed to providing a fully accessible environment which values and includes all pupils, staff, parents and visitors regardless of their educational, physical, sensory, social, spiritual, emotional or cultural needs. We are committed to challenging negative attitudes about disability and accessibility and to developing a culture of awareness, tolerance and inclusion.

Definition of Disability

Disability is defined by the Equality Act 2010: The Act defines disability as when a person has a “physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities”. Some specified medical conditions such as HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer are all considered as disabilities, regardless of their effect.

The Act sets out details of matters that may be relevant when determining whether a person meets the definition of disability. Long term is defined as lasting, or likely to last, for at least 12 months.

Queens Park Academy also considers other legislation in all decision making processes e.g. the SEND Act 2001 and the Education Act 2011 and this Policy will be updated when new legislation is passed to account for any further duties / requirements of the School.

Under the Equalities Act 2010 schools should have an Accessibility Policy. The Equality Act 2010 replaced all existing equality legislation, including the Disability Discrimination Act. 2005.

Obligations

The accessibility policy is listed as a statutory document, it must be reviewed every three years and be approved by the school’s Governing Body. The Accessibility Plan, appended at the end of this policy, will detail the actions required to meet the needs of the building users. The Plan shall be reviewed annually with any changes added to this document as a revision.

The review process can be delegated to a committee of the Governing Body, an individual or the Head. At Queens Park Academy, the review process is undertaken by the Senior Leadership Team with the revisions document being brought to the relevant Governors' committee for agreement. The Accessibility Plan has been developed and drawn up based upon information from staff, parents, guardians, pupils, governors and outside agencies. The document will be used to advise other school planning documents and policies and will be reported upon annually in respect of the progress and outcomes. The intention is to provide a projected plan for a three year period ahead of the next review date.

At Queens Park Academy our intention is to create an environment in which pupils thrive and want to do their best. We want all pupils to enjoy school, to be challenged to achieve their very best and to consider their time at school as their own ‘learning adventure’. We aim to work in partnership with parents, guardians and outside agencies to create a high quality provision with equal opportunities for all. We do this by taking account of our pupils’ varied life experiences and needs. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum and have high expectations for all. The achievements, attitudes and well-being of all our children matter.

The Accessibility Plan shows how access is to be improved for disabled pupils, staff and visitors to the school within a given timeframe and anticipating the need to make reasonable adjustments to accommodate their needs where practicable. The Accessibility Plan contains relevant and timely actions:

  • To improve access to the physical environment (this includes improvements to the physical environment of the school and physical aids to access education)
  • To improve access to the curriculum for disabled pupils (this includes teaching and learning and the wider curriculum of the school such as participation in after-school clubs, leisure and cultural activities or school visits)
  • To improve the communication of information to parents / carer and pupils with difficulties (this includes planning to make written information that is normally provided by the school to its pupils available to disabled pupils. The information should take account of pupils’ disability and pupils’ and parents’ preferred formats and be made available within a reasonable timeframe).

The Accessibility Plan relates to the key aspects of physical environment, curriculum and written information.

Whole school training will recognise the need to continue raising awareness for staff and governors on equality issues with reference to the Equality Act 2010.

The Accessibility Plan should be read in conjunction with other school policies:

  • Asset Management Plan
  • Promoting Positive Behaviour Policy
  • Curriculum Policy
  • Critical Incident Support Plan
  • Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Health and Safety Policy
  • Fire Management, Safety, Procedures & Risk Assessment Policy
  • School Prospectus
  • School Improvement Plan
  • Special Educational Needs Policy
  • Staff Development Policy

Equality Impact Assessments will be undertaken as and when school policies are reviewed. The terms of reference for all Governors committees will include the need to consider Equality and Diversity issues as required by the Equality Act 2010. The Accessibility Policy will be published on the school website, monitored by the Governing body and may be monitored by Ofsted during its inspection processes.