Schools: Disabled

Children, Schools and Families written question – answered on 16th July 2008.

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Photo of Tim Loughton Tim Loughton Shadow Minister (Children)

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families

(1) how many (a) secondary schools, (b) special schools and (c) primary schools have put a disability equality scheme in place;

(2) what steps his Department is taking to assist schools to develop a disability equality scheme where such schemes do not already exist; and if he will make a statement;

(3) what steps his Department is taking to monitor the implementation of schools' disability equality schemes; and if he will make a statement;

(4) what arrangements his Department has put in place to monitor the extent to which schools achieve compliance with the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

Photo of Kevin Brennan Kevin Brennan Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Children, Young People and Families)

Local authorities and schools are required by the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended) to develop accessibility strategies and plans to improve access to school education for disabled pupils, and to have disability equality schemes. We would expect all schools and local authorities to meet their statutory duties under the Act, including schools informing parents of the accessibility plan and disability equality scheme and providing annual progress reports. To aid schools and local authorities in developing their accessibility and equality plans, the Government have issued a training resource entitled 'Implementing the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) in schools and early years settings'. This provides schools and local authorities with practical tools to improve their effectiveness in (a) making reasonable adjustments to include disabled pupils and (b) in reviewing and revising their accessibility plans. In 2006, the Government facilitated a number of national roadshows to aid schools and local authorities in developing reasonable adjustments and accessibility plans. In 2007, the Government facilitated a further series of roadshows to support schools and local authorities in developing their disability equality schemes.

Schools are also expected to complete Ofsted's self-evaluation form to outline the extent to which they have complied with the general requirements of the Act and other equalities legislation, as part of the inspection arrangements. The National Strategies SEN regional advisers' visits to local authorities also consider whether systems are in place for assessing whether schools have disability equality schemes.

The Secretary of State has the power to direct a school or local authority not fulfilling their duties in relation to accessibility strategies and plans. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission is responsible for taking action against a school that has not met its duties under the disability equality duty (part 5 of the DDA). We would expect all schools and local authorities to have disability equality schemes and do not collect data centrally on those which have them in place.

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Andrew Walker
Posted on 17 Jul 2008 4:42 pm (Report this annotation)

If "Every Child Matters" then why is there a need to discriminate against some children who are disabled?

Either EVERY CHILD Matters or SOME CHILDREN Do Not Matter!

Please Make Up Your Mind which you think is best