Schools and colleges must take steps to ensure disabled children and young people are not disadvantaged due to their disability. Reasonable adjustments is the term used when asking for changes to be made to help someone with a disability.
Disabilities are defined in the Equality Act 2010, many children and young people who have SEN may have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is “a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities”
All children must be included in a full curriculum of activities, for example, school trips/residentials. A child with a disability should enjoy the same opportunities as their peers, such as attending after school clubs, access to school meals, and other activities. Schools cannot use lack of staff as a reason for not including a child, whilst the role is voluntary for the staff, it is not voluntary for the school. It is also not acceptable to require a parent to attend extracurricular activities.
What This Means
Schools and colleges should be thinking in advance and reviewing what adjustments they may need to make to avoid disadvantages for disabled children and students.
All aspects should be covered, such as homework, school trips, provision of education, and exclusions. They must make “reasonable adjustments” for the provision of auxiliary aids and services. Reasonable adjustment’s may also need to be made to school policies.
An example of a reasonable adjustment would be a school printing resources in a larger font, for a child or young person with a sight impairment.
Reasonable Adjustments During Exams
Access Arrangements are pre-examination adjustments for candidates based on evidence of need and normal way of working.
Access Arrangements allow candidates/learners with special educational needs, disabilities or temporary injuries to access the assessment without changing the demands of the assessment. For example, readers, scribes and Braille question papers. In this way Awarding Bodies will comply with the duty of the Equality Act 2010 to make ‘reasonable adjustments’.
Schools should ask for reasonable exam adjustments in good time to make sure they are in place for the exams, if you want more information on if your child will receive any adjustments during their exams make sure you ask in plenty of time.
For more information on Exam access arrangements go to Access Arrangements, Reasonable Adjustments and Special Consideration – JCQ Joint Council for Qualifications
Who To Speak To
The first person to talk to about your child’s needs is the Special Education Needs Coordinator (SENCO). All schools have a SENCO. It is the SENCO’s role to work with teachers, parents and health professionals to meet a pupil’s special educational needs.