Under the Equality Act 2010 schools are required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that all children can access their facilities and services. The school has a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’, where typical provision might put a disabled pupil at a ‘substantial disadvantage’
Reasonable adjustments aren’t just for children with an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan. Children and young people with SEND who are getting SEN support should have reasonable adjustments made for them too.
From 1 September 2012 the reasonable adjustments duty for schools and education authorities includes a duty to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils.
Schools must provide detailed information about their arrangements for the admission of disabled pupils to the school and publish an accessibility plan explaining adjustments they can make and ongoing plans to improve access.
They must also publish a SEN information report explaining how they identify and support children with SEND. This can be found on the school’s website.
Nurseries, Schools and Colleges should be thinking in advance, and reviewing what adjustments they may need to make to avoid substantial disadvantage for disabled children.
These adjustments may already be provided for in a child’s Education, Health & Care plan (EHCP) but, in the case that they are not, or the pupil does not have an EHCP, the school or Local Authority still has a duty to provide them.
The term ‘reasonable’ is also not explicitly defined in the Act, which leaves it up to the discretion of the school or LA to determine this. Some (but not all) of the factors that may influence a decision are:
Reasonable adjustments come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, depending on a child’s needs. Examples of reasonable adjustments include;
For reasonable adjustments to work well, they should be child-led. That means, whenever possible, your child or young person should be involved in helping to decide what support and changes are needed