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P utting Disability Rights on the Education Agenda: The DRC Code and SENDA 2001 Philippa Russell.

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Presentation on theme: "P utting Disability Rights on the Education Agenda: The DRC Code and SENDA 2001 Philippa Russell."— Presentation transcript:

1 P utting Disability Rights on the Education Agenda: The DRC Code and SENDA 2001 Philippa Russell

2 SEN arrangements Planning duties Disability Discrimination duties The SEN and Disability Act 2001

3 Putting disability on the education agenda – some key messages Wide welcome for Government’s implementation of key recommendations in Education in the DRTF report and for the commitment to access and achievement for all children and young people 1.5 million children with statements, but only 15% of primary and 7% of secondary schools are fully accessible

4 Disability on the education agenda – more challenges Only 40% of young disabled people aged 16-17 have GCSE grade A-C or equivalent, compared to 56% of non-disabled 16-17 students. Disabled people are seven times more likely than non-disabled people to be unemployed and living on benefits 81% of respondents to DRC ‘education omnibus’ survey thought disability should be core component in curriculum for all students

5 Disability on the agenda – what do parents and pupils think? ‘Schools are children’s natural communities…they are the pathways to citizenship and an ‘adult life’ [parent] ‘I want to get a life – get a girlfriend, get a job, get a home of my own – just get a life. But I’ve got to get into education first.I want my school to say, you CAN do it all!’ [pupil]

6 Part I of the SEN and Disability Act The SEN Framework Strengthens the right to mainstream education (amending Section 316 of the 1996 Education Act) Presumption of mainstream subject to parental views and effective education of other children Evidence will be expected as to what efforts have been made to include pupils and why this is not feasible

7 Part I of SENDA cont… LEAs required to make arrangements for services for advice and information to parents and for disagreement resolution (parent partnership services and mediation) Schools can request a statutory assessment and must inform parents if a child receives special educational provision

8 Definitions of Disability ‘ A child has a learning difficulty if he/she has a disability which prevents or hinders the child from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local authority.’ [Education Acts 1981/93/96] ‘A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’. [DDA 1995]

9 SEN support Planning duties Disability Discrimination duties Auxiliary aids and services Physical access

10 SEN support Planning duties Disability Discrimination duties Auxiliary aids and services Physical access Protection from discrimination

11 Protection from discrimination Who and what are covered? Disabled pupils and potential pupils Every aspect of school life: admissions, education, exclusions The ‘responsible body’ for the school

12 Protection from discrimination 2 key duties: * not to treat less favourably *to make reasonable adjustments

13 What is ‘less favourable treatment’? The test for ‘less favourable treatment’ is whether a disabled pupil is being less favourably treated ‘than another pupil without a disability ‘ The ‘less favourable treatment’ must relate to ‘a reason related to his/her disability’

14 Reasonable adjustments are made to : - To ensure no substantial disadvantage - The comparison test is to pupils who are - not disabled -There may be ‘justification’ for not making -particular adjustments

15 Auxiliary aids and services Physical access Protection from discrimination Protection from Discrimination: Auxiliary aids and services Physical adaptations/Curriculum access

16 Reasonable adjustments: Factors that may be taken into account: - Standards -Resources -Costs -Practicability -SEN provision -Health and safety -Interests of other pupils

17 Changing Physical Features Changing physical features come within the planning duties. Physical features are: ‘anything on the premises arising from a building’s design or construction or the approach to, exit from or access to such buildings; fixtures and fittings; furnishings; equipment or materials and any other physical element …whether temporary or permanent.’

18 The ‘Tom White Case’ Clitheroe Grammar School found guilty of discriminating against pupil Tom White, by excluding him from going from a school water sports trip to Germany The school was criticised for refusing Tom White permission to go on the school trip because it did not have a risk assessment policy and had not taken advice from Tom’s medical advisers.

19 Prospective duties: the three ‘strands’ of the ‘Planning Duty’ - Increasing physical accessibility - Improving access to the curriculum - Provision of information

20 Other duties and responsibilities The LEA’s ‘residual duty’ covers all policies (eg EYDCPs, transport, sport, culture, policies on delegation of budget etc.) The right to confidentiality Victimisation

21 Resolving Disputes Information and advice from Parent Partnership Services Mediation/dispute resolution at local level Disability Rights Commission – Conciliation Service SEN and Disability Tribunal

22 Partners in Change: Strategic Alliances with Health/Social Services Multi-agency working – accessible and inclusive education needs strong working relationships with health and social services Maximising impact of wider Government initiatives (the NSF – now prioritising disabled children, Quality Protects)

23 ‘Gazing into the Crystal Ball’ Maximising the impact of a more inclusive National Curriculum ‘Value added’ and school improvement - acknowledging progress in access and inclusion The citizenship agenda (partnership and participation)

24 Learning from achievements… Many inclusive schools are demonstrating high achievement for all pupils! Successful schools engage whole school community in change and development – eg Index for Inclusion Alliances important across services and sectors – and with parents and pupils!

25 SEN support Planning duties Disability Discrimination The SEN Framework Planning guidance DRC Code of Practice NEXT STEPS

26 CONTACTING THE DISABILITY RIGHTS COMMISSION The Disability Rights Commission’s Help Line and Case Work Service can be contacted on: 08457 622 633 or by e-mail on: Enquiry @ The DRC Website is:

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