Disability & Access Policy
Rydal Penrhos School
The School has a legal duty (currently under the Equality Act 2010) to be non-discriminatory towards disabled pupils and to provide equal access and opportunity to the curriculum.
• To support the ethos of the School as a Christian community which respects the rights of disabled pupils, to have equal access to the curriculum, extra-curricular and other services
• Equally to value and encourage all children
• To foster positive attitudes towards disability within our community
To achieve our aims, the School has produced this Disability Policy.
• The School’s Disability Policy and Accessibility Plan will be reviewed by the Health & Safety Committee at least every three years.
• The Health & Safety Committee will make recommendations with a view to improving the accessibility of its education to pupils or prospective pupils with disabilities by means of reasonable adjustments.
• In accordance with the Admissions policy, the School will do everything possible to ensure that the full range of the School’s educational curriculum, activities and facilities are made accessible to pupils with disabilities.
Admission to the School
• In accordance with the Admissions policy, the School will do everything possible to ensure that the full range of its educational curriculum, activities and facilities are made accessible to pupils with disabilities. In addition to meeting the standard educational admission criteria:
• Parents must make known the full scope of their child’s disabilities at the time of application for admission.
• In assessing any pupil or prospective pupil, the School may take such advice and require such assessments and recommendations as it regards appropriate.
• The School must feel reasonably confident that, throughout a pupil’s time at the School, it will be possible to educate and develop him or her to the best of their potential and in line with the general standards achieved by their peers. This policy applies to every potential pupil regardless of any disability.
• When a disability or a special educational need is made known to the School, full consultation will take place with the prospective parents and any reasonable adjustments made to the admissions procedure to enable a pupil, if she or he is able, to satisfy the admissions requirement.
• In assessing any pupil or prospective pupil, the School may take such advice and require such assessments e.g., Educational Psychologist’s report, and recommendations as it regards as appropriate.
• With prior notification of disability, supported by the recommendation of an educational psychologist’s report, the School may allow some extra time in the entrance exam for prospective pupils with a disability.
• The School policy is to apply these criteria to all pupils and potential pupils, regardless of any disability of which it is made aware by parents. The School has a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustments so as not to put any disabled pupil or potential pupil at a substantial disadvantage compared with other pupils who are not disadvantaged because of disability
Under current legislation we are not required to remove or alter physical features, but to make “reasonable adjustments” to the premises and/or curriculum.
• Parents should be aware that the School site covers a wide area with many old buildings of more than one storey and without lifts. Like many secondary Schools, the School ‘policy’ of subject areas with designated classrooms, requires pupils to move around the site, necessitating the use of steps or stairs in buildings to access classrooms. Pupils with impaired mobility will therefore be somewhat disadvantaged by these problems.
• The School is addressing these issues within its buildings development and refurbishment programme but some substantial improvements cannot be achieved by reasonable adjustments short of major alterations at prohibitive cost to the School.
• The Accessibility Plan, to meet legal planning duties, will seek to improve physical access within the constraints of local planning permission and the budgetary impact outlined above.
• Staff will continue to be made aware of pupils with disability or special educational needs, by the Head of Learning Support, the Health Centre, Heads of School or the Head of Boarding & Pastoral Care, as appropriate.
• Staff will continue to be made aware of strategies to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ within the classroom so as not to place disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage in accessing the curriculum. Such strategies will be included in Departmental Handbooks.
• Staff are expected to adapt their teaching to the learning patterns of all pupils according to their abilities and needs. Such differentiation should be reflected in departmental Schemes of Work.
• The implementation of reasonable adjustments to classroom management, teaching and expectations, should not prejudice the progress of other pupils, nor their Health and Safety (e.g. labs, workshops, sports equipment).
• Staff will continue to support disabled pupils through their IEPs as drawn up by Learning Support, when appropriate.
• The School, as an independent School, is not required under legislation to provide auxiliary support such as a classroom assistant, or auxiliary aids e.g. laptops or hearing loops. The plan will be agreed for each pupil in consultation with parents, the pupil and an appropriate specialist.
• The School will continue to provide equal access to all School activities for disabled pupils within the constraints of the site, the financial costs, the Health & Safety implications and difficulties of supervision.
Sporting & Recreational Activities
• The School will continue to provide equal access to all School activities for disabled pupils, within the constraints of the physical nature of the site, the budgetary costs, the Health and Safety implications and difficulties of supervision.
• Individual Risk Assessments and management strategies must be provided for disabled pupils engaged in School trips or visits.
• Staff and pupils are made aware of disability and understand its effects and accept and support disabled pupils as part of School life through forums such as PSHE, assemblies and enrichment activities.
• Up-to-date information on pupils will be maintained through the Special Circumstances folder, which is updated annually.
• Appropriate staff Inset will be provided on a regular basis to enhance understanding of disability, the need for making reasonable adjustments in compliance with our legal duties and to improve our educational provision.
• The School’s Equal Opportunities Policy, Anti-Bullying Policy, Codes of Behaviour, pupil and staff handbooks reflect inclusiveness and the difficulties faced by disabled pupils, thereby improving understanding and integration.
• The School will agree with parents appropriate regular means of communication with regard to the pupil’s progress, behavioural issues and the effects of any medication
The Rydal Penrhos School Accessibility Plan covers:
• Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils (including those with learning difficulties) can participate in the School’s curriculum;
• Improving the provision to disabled pupils of information which is already in writing for pupils who are not disabled;
• Improving the physical environment of the School in order to increase the extent to which disabled pupils are able to take advantage of education and associated services offered by the School.
Other related School policies and procedures: Safeguarding policy, Anti-bullying policy, Health & Safety policy, Complaints Policy, Disability Policy in the Context of Public Examinations.