Accessibility Audit & Plan 21/10/2020

Accessibility Audit & Plan 

21/10/2020 

St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School Pilch Lane 

Huyton, Knowsley, Liverpool, L14 0JG  

www.smmj.org.uk 

0151 477 8490 

School Type Local Authority Maintained 

Pupil Age Range Junior 

Most recent Ofsted rating Good 

Head Teacher Rebecca Wilkinson – Rebecca.wilkinson@smmj.org.uk SENCO Clare Medway - Medway@smmj.org.uk 

Lead Officer re Site & Facilities Lee Pimblett / Greg Braithwaite 

Next Audit & Plan due by 21/10/2023 

Equality Act Audits  

Hopfields, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 1PH 

01483 363025 

www.schoolaccessaudits.com 

This report can be provided in large print or Braille on  request, 

or read with a “text to speech” reader pen.

Thank you for choosing us. 

We are an established business who focus exclusively on providing Access Auditsfor Schools in UK; from  Nursery Schools, to Primary and Secondary Schools in all educationalsectors. 

We advise you on how to make ‘reasonable’ adjustments to your school. This does not always need to  be costly. We identify obstacles to access, look at the options for removing these, and make clear  recommendations to you. 

Since setting up Equality Act Audits in 2010, we have undertaken Access Audits in the UK on over 1000  schools, helping them with their accessibility plans and SEN policies, advising Headteachers and SENCOs  on 'reasonable adjustments' to be made to comply with the Equality Act 2010. 

SEN Policy 

We can also provide a detailed and bespoke SEN policy for your school, should you need one. We will  liaise with your SENCO to establish the present needs of your pupils and the resources you have  available. Please contact us for a quotation. 

Equality Act Audits  

Hopfields, Farnham, Surrey, GU10 1PH 

01483 363025 

www.schoolaccessaudits.com 

enquiry@ea-audits.com 

Equality Act Audits is Incensu registered. Incensu is a register of trusted suppliers to the education  sector.

Table of Contents 

1. Executive Summary ............................................................................................................................... 5 1.1 Table of Audit Findings..................................................................................................................... 8 1.2. Overview of The Equality Act 2010 .......................................................................................... 10 1.3. Schools: who and what the Act applies to ............................................................................... 10 1.4. Protected characteristics.......................................................................................................... 11 

2. Special provisions for disability ........................................................................................................... 12 2.1. Provisions relating to disability ................................................................................................ 12 2.2. Definition of disability .............................................................................................................. 12 2.3. Unlawful behaviour regarding disabled pupils............................................................................ 13 2.4. Public Sector Equality Duty.......................................................................................................... 14 2.5 Disability Equality Duty................................................................................................................. 14 

3. Purpose of Audit.................................................................................................................................. 17 4. Commissioning of Audit ...................................................................................................................... 18 5. Credentials of Access Auditor ............................................................................................................. 18 6. Contextual Background to the School................................................................................................. 19 8. Constraints and limitations to the audit ............................................................................................. 21 9. Key to the Accessibility Audit.............................................................................................................. 23 Accessibility Audit..................................................................................................................................... 25 

10.1. Access to Information............................................................................................................... 25 10.2. Access to Site and Facilities...................................................................................................... 31 10.3. Access to Education.................................................................................................................. 59 

12. Key to Action Plan ............................................................................................................................... 80 12.1. Priority Ratings .......................................................................................................................... 80 12.2. Budget Implications.................................................................................................................. 81 

13. Action Plan .......................................................................................................................................... 82 13.1. Access to Information............................................................................................................... 82 13.2. Access to Site and Facilities...................................................................................................... 82 13.3. Access to Education.................................................................................................................. 87 13.4. Signatures................................................................................................................................. 87 Summary .............................................................................................................................................. 88

14.Guidance and Support......................................................................................................................... 88 14.1. Sources of general advice and information.............................................................................. 88 14.2. Links to Legislation & Codes of Practice................................................................................... 88 14.3. Links to DfE Advice ................................................................................................................... 88 14.4. Links to Support organisations................................................................................................. 89 14.5. Links to Medical information.................................................................................................... 89

1. Executive Summary 

An Accessibility Audit of St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School was commissioned by Lee Pimblett.  The audit visit took place on 21/10/2020. Further information was obtained from the school website  and by pre-visit questionnaire. 

Accessibility and Equality legislation as it applies in schools is summarised in Sections 2 and 3 below. 

Contextual background information is summarised in Section 7. The school context is considered when  suggesting recommendations for improvements to accessibility. 

The constraints and limitations to the audit are considered in Section 8. 

The detailed Access Audit follows in Section 10 and is summarised in Section 1.1 below. The Audit  section describes accepted best practice where appropriate. 

Based upon the audit findings, the suggested School Accessibility Plan together with a suggested  Action Plan, is provided at Sections 11 and 13 respectively. 

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School they are proud to provide a safe, stimulating and  inclusive learning environment where every member of their community is valued and respected. 

At the heart of all they do are their children. Their school is a safe environment where everyone is  valued equally and encouraged to achieve their full potential as part of a community, loving, learning  and growing together with Jesus. 

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School is committed to valuing diversity by providing equality of  opportunity and anti-discriminatory practice for all children and families. They also value their staff  and are committed to good employment practice. They seek to ensure that no member of the school  community, or any person through their contact with the school, will receive less favourable treatment  on the grounds of a protected characteristic. These include: race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national  origin, religion or belief, gender, marital status, responsibility for children or other dependents,  disability, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, age, trade union or political activities, socio economic background, living situation, or spent convictions. In this they include all members of the  extended school community – pupils, staff, Governors, Parents / Carers and others from their local  community. Partners, contractors and other visitors to the school are also expected to adhere to their  policy. 

Access to the Building 

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School is a single site, four form entry Junior School, with Years 3, 4  and 5 being joined by the school hall, canteen, gymnasium, community gym and a series of corridors.  Year 6 classes are housed in a separate block. The school is built on two levels. Entrance to the building  is through the main reception area, which is suitable for wheelchair access. Ground floor classrooms  are accessed by corridors from which there is also wheelchair access. Toilets are accessible in three  female and three male sets of bathrooms. There is one adult male toilet and three adult female toilets.  In addition to this, there is one disabled toilet located by the school reception and a further disabled  toilet located in the corridor by the school gym. Designated disabled car parking spaces are identified  within the school car park and access to the car park for parents/carers is restricted generally, to Blue  Badge holders only. 

Children requiring equipment specifically to meet their personal needs will be assessed in order to  gain the support that they require. Funding from the SEND budget will facilitate this where needed.  The needs of future cohorts and any staff appointed with disabilities will be assessed and provision  made as they arise. Annual reviews of physical accessibility will be undertaken.

Access to the Curriculum 

At St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School, they pride themselves on their bespoke curriculum  which has been designed by their children, governors, community and staff to ensure that learning  experiences are rich and balanced. Throughout our curriculum and everything that they do here in  school, they ensure that they are instilling nine key values: honesty, humour, kindness, citizenship,  resilience, peace, respect, spirituality, friendship. 

The school clearly makes every effort to be as inclusive as possible and offers all children access to  their broad curriculum. The school is also aware that ‘reasonable adjustments’ must be made in some  areas in order to ensure all children are included in all areas of the curriculum. The school also  endeavours to work closely with parents through the stages of the child’s school life, including parents  in the school community. The school has a medical, SEND, and disabilities register for all year groups. 

Students with significant health needs have Healthcare Plans, drawn up by the school in conjunction  with parents/carers and associated medical professionals. 

The school makes appropriate provision and trains staff as required to accommodate students with  particular needs. 

All students will access the curriculum and setting in core subjects which will allow students to make  rapid and sustained progress regardless of their starting point. 

Class sizes will remain reasonable (typically below 30) and additional interventions and support for  numeracy and literacy will support students to access the curriculum. 

The school is inclusive in line with its philosophy and legal requirements and there are no known  barriers to any child accessing classrooms, activities or any part of the curriculum. 

The school will review at least annually the disability profile of the cohort and adjust provision and  plans as required. In addition to this annual review the school will assess the needs of any new or  prospective in-year transfer. 

Access to information 

The website contains most of the information available to parents and students that is required. 

School signage is large enough (large font) and at a height which can be read easily by any student  including those in wheelchairs. 

School signs make clear where access points and exits points are including disabled signs and disabled  toilets. 

IWB technology enables all students to access information readily regardless of their disability and is  adjusted, where appropriate for students, known to the school already, who suffer hearing loss. 

Where appropriate, disabled students are equipped with laptop, iPad, reading pen or other new  technologies to assist them in accessing information and learning including practical subjects such as  technology and PE. 

Where appropriate and if required, specialist ergonomic furniture will be purchased to enable those  with a disability to learn. 

It is for the School’s Senior Leadership Team and Management to take ownership of actions to improve  accessibility, in the context of the many competing demands schools face. The priorities suggested in  the Accessibility Action Plan may be helpful in that regard.

It is suggested that the school’s own development and improvement plan (SIP) contains targets linked  to this Accessibility Action Plan, to encourage allocation of staffing and budget resource to support  further improvements to accessibility. 

Links to enable school staff to access guidance and support is provided in Section 14. Covid-19 and Accessibility 

The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low and  there are negative health impacts of being out of school. Coronavirus remains in the community and  this puts schools under a great deal of pressure to balance minimising any risks by maximising control  measures, while still providing a full educational experience for their pupils. 

The school has complied with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in  place proportionate control measures. Essential measures include: 

• a requirement that people who are ill stay at home 

• robust hand and respiratory hygiene 

• enhanced cleaning arrangements 

• active engagement with NHS Test and Trace 

• formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in  school wherever possible and minimise the potential for contamination so far as is reasonably  practicable 

The school has taken reasonable steps to protect staff, pupils and others from coronavirus.  Accessibility has also been considered and the school has ensured that all new measures promote an  inclusive environment. 

As well as maintaining social distancing wherever reasonably possible, the school has also put in place  an enhanced cleaning schedule including more frequent cleaning of classrooms or shared areas. Frequently touched surfaces are also cleaned more often than normal and pupils are encouraged to  wash their hands more frequently. 

School life is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact  can affect both current levels of learning and children’s future ability to learn therefore we need to ensure all pupils can return to school sooner rather than later. The school has created a safe learning  environment for all pupils and a safe working environment for their staff. 

Equality Act Audits relationship with St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School does not end with the  submission of this document. We remain available by telephone or email for further discussion,  advice and support throughout the currency of this audit. We especially welcome feedback  regarding your progress. Please do share your success stories with us. 

Thank you for the opportunity to work with the school, and the hospitality extended during our visit to  the school. We look forward to having the opportunity to support the school again, should you kindly  choose to reappoint us.

1.1 Table of Audit Findings 

This table summarises the audit outcomes. The detailed findings are given in Section 10 below.  Action Plan recommendations, where appropriate, are provided in Section 13.

Reference 

Audit Aspect 

Outcome 2020

Access to Information

10.1.1 

Staff Training – Is awareness training provided to enable all  staff to understand and recognise disability issues?

Compliant

10.1.2 

Arrangements for providing information in simple language,  large print, via digital audio, by Braille

Compliant

10.1.3 

Is the school Website and social media content accessible? 

Compliant

10.1.4 

Is information presented to groups in a user-friendly way for  people with disabilities which affect their vision?

Compliant

10.1.5 

Staff familiarity with technologies and support strategies and  processes developed to assist people with disabilities

Compliant

10.1.6 

Complaints process 

Compliant

Access to Site and Facilities

10.2.1 

Access via Public Transport 

Compliant

10.2.2 

Arrangements for disabled parking 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.3 

Security gates and barriers 

Exemplary

10.2.4 

Access through the site to Reception 

Compliant

10.2.5 

Reception facilities 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.6 

External areas, movement between buildings 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.7 

Emergency Evacuation and Lockdown Procedures 

Compliant

10.2.8 

Internal movement – corridors and evacuation routes 

Compliant

10.2.9 

Internal movement – stairs and lifts 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.10 

Accessible Toilets 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.11 

Changing Rooms 

Compliant

10.2.12 

Medical Facilities 

Compliant


 

10.2.13 

Internal Signage 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.14 

Internal décor and finishes 

Compliant

10.2.15 

Lighting 

Compliant

10.2.16 

Dining and Catering 

Compliant

10.2.17 

Social spaces & quiet spaces 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.18 

Doors 

Improvement 

Recommended

10.2.19 

Teaching and study spaces 

Compliant

10.2.20 

Furniture & teaching Equipment 

Improvement 

Recommended

Access to Education

10.3.1 

Training & accreditation of Teachers and Teaching Assistants 

Exemplary

10.3.2 

Pre-admission visits 

Compliant

10.3.3 

Admission 

Exemplary

10.3.4 

Safeguarding 

Compliant

10.3.5 

Pupils with Temporary, Emerging or ongoing Health Care  Needs

Compliant

10.3.6 

Access to the Curriculum 

Compliant

10.3.7 

Lesson planning and support for pupils with disabilities and  SEN

Compliant

10.3.8 

Access to Educational Visits and Extra Curricular Activities 

Compliant

10.3.9 

Pupil Outcomes 

Exemplary

10.3.10 

Staffing & Leadership 

Compliant


 

Introduction to Accessibility and Equality Legislation in Schools 

Whilst this audit and report focuses primarily upon accessibility for disabled persons, schools still need  to comply with the whole of the Equality Act 2010. To that end this section introduces the wider Act so  that the disability access issues raised can be considered within the context of the overall Act. 

The following has largely been extracted and paraphrased from The Equality Act 2010 and Schools – Departmental Advice for school leaders,schoolstaff, governing bodies and local authorities, Department  for Education (May 2014) as permitted under Open Government Licence V2.0. 

1.2. Overview of The Equality Act 2010 

1.2.1 The Equality Act 2010 replaced nine major Acts of Parliament and almost a hundred sets of  regulations which had been introduced over several decades. It provides a single, consolidated source  of discrimination law, covering all the types of discrimination that are unlawful. It simplifies the law by  getting rid of anomalies and inconsistencies that had developed over time, and it extends protection  against discrimination in certain areas. 

1.2.2 As far as schools are concerned there are some changes, but for the most part the effect of the  law is the same as it has been in the past – schools which are already complying with the law will not  find major differences in what they need to do. In some areas – in particular the introduction of the  public sector equality duty which has replaced the three separate duties on race, disability and gender 

– the overall effect of the Act is to reduce a certain amount of bureaucracy and so should be less  burdensome and more effective. 

1.3. Schools: who and what the Act applies to 

1.3.1 In England and Wales the Act applies to all maintained and independent schools, including  Academies, and maintained and non-maintained special schools. In Scotland it applies to schools  managed by education authorities, independent schools and schools receiving grants under section 73(c)  or (d) of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980. 

1.3.2 The Act makes it unlawful for the responsible body of a school to discriminate against, harass or  victimise a pupil or potential pupil: 

∙ in relation to admissions, 

∙ in the way it provides education for pupils, 

∙ in the way it provides pupils access to any benefit, facility or service, or 

∙ by excluding a pupil or subjecting them to any other detriment. 

1.3.3 The “responsible body” is the governing body or the local authority for maintained schools in  England and Wales, the education authority in the case of maintained schools in Scotland, and the  proprietor in the case of independentschools, Academies or non-maintained specialschools. In practice,  any persons acting on behalf of the responsible body – including employees of the school – are liable for  their own discriminatory actions, and the responsible body is also liable unless it can show that it has  taken all reasonable steps to stop the individual from doing the discriminatory action or from doing  anything of that kind.

1.3.4 The Act deals with the way in which schools treat their pupils and prospective pupils: the  relationship between one pupil and another is not within its scope. It does not therefore bear directly  on such issues as bullying by pupils. However, if a school treats bullying which relates to a protected  ground lessseriously than other forms of bullying – for example failing to protect a disabled pupil against  bullying by classmates – then it may be guilty of unlawful discrimination. 

1.3.5 The school’s liability not to discriminate, harass or victimise does not end when a pupil has left the  school, but will apply to subsequent actions connected to the previous relationship between school and  pupil,such as the provision of references on former pupils or access to “old pupils” communications and  activities. 

1.4. Protected characteristics 

1.4.1 The term “protected characteristics” is used as a convenient way to refer to the personal  characteristics to which the law applies. 

1.4.2 It is unlawful for a school to discriminate against a pupil or prospective pupil by treating them less  favourably because of their: 

∙ sex 

∙ race 

∙ disability 

∙ religion or belief 

∙ sexual orientation 

∙ gender reassignment 

∙ pregnancy or maternity 

1.4.3 This audit and report specifically focusses upon disability access.

2. Special provisions for disability 

The following has been extracted and paraphrased from The Equality Act 2010 and Schools – Departmental Advice for school leaders,schoolstaff, governing bodies and local authorities, Department  for Education (May 2014) as permitted under Open Government Licence V2.0. 

2.1.1 The law on disability discrimination is different from the rest of the Act in several ways. It works in  only one direction – that is to say, it protects disabled people but not people who are not disabled. This  means that schools are allowed to treat disabled pupils more favourably than non-disabled pupils, and  in some cases are required to do so, by making reasonable adjustments to put them on a more level  footing with pupils without disabilities. 

2.1.2 The definition of what constitutes discrimination is more complex. Provision for disabled pupils is  closely connected with the regime for children with special educational needs 

2.1.3 The overriding principle of equality legislation is generally one of equal treatment - i.e. that you  musttreat a black person no less wellthan a white person, or a man asfavourably as a woman. However,  the provisions relating to disability discrimination are different in that you may, and often must, treat a  disabled person more favourably than a person who is not disabled and may have to make changes to  your practices to ensure, as far as is reasonably possible, that a disabled person can benefit from what  you offer to the same extent that a person without that disability can. So, in a school setting the general  principle is that you must treat male and female, black and white, gay and straight pupils equally - but  you may be required to treat disabled pupils differently. Discrimination is also defined rather differently  in relation to disability 

2.1. Provisions relating to disability 

The disability provisions in the Equality Act mainly replicate those in the former Disability Discrimination  Act (DDA). There are some minor differences asfollows: 

∙ Unlike the DDA the Equality Act does not list the types of day to day activities which a disabled  person must demonstrate that they cannot carry out, thus making the definition of disability  less restrictive for disabled people to meet. 

∙ Failure to make a reasonable adjustment can no longer be defended as justified. The fact that it  must be reasonable provides the necessary test. 

∙ Direct discrimination against a disabled person can no longer be defended as justified – bringing  it into line with the definition of direct discrimination generally. 

∙ From September 2012 schools and local authorities have a duty to supply auxiliary aids and  services as reasonable adjustments where these are not being supplied through Special  Educational Needs (SEN) statements or from other sources. In practice this will already be being  done in many cases. 

2.2. Definition of disability 

2.2.1 The Act defines disability as when a person has a ‘physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person’s ability to carry out normal day to day

activities.’ Some specified medical conditions, HIV, multiple sclerosis and cancer are all considered as disabilities, regardless of their effect. 

2.2.2 The Actsets out details of mattersthat may be relevant when determining whether a person meets  the definition of disability. Long term is defined as lasting, or likely to last, for at least 12months. 

2.3. Unlawful behaviour regarding disabled pupils 

2.3.1 Direct discrimination 

A school must not treat a disabled pupil less favourably simply because that pupil is disabled – for  example by having an admission bar on disabled applicants. 

A change for schools in this Act is that there can no longer be justification for direct discrimination in any  circumstances. Under the DDA schools could justify some direct discrimination – if it was a proportionate  means of meeting a legitimate aim. What the change means is that if a school discriminates against a  person purely because of his or her disability (even if they are trying to achieve a legitimate aim) then it  would be unlawful discrimination as there can be no justification for their actions. 

2.3.2 Indirect discrimination 

A school must not do something which applies to all pupils, but which is more likely to have an adverse  effect on disabled pupils only – for example having a rule that all pupils must demonstrate physical  fitness levels before being admitted to the school – unless they can show that it is done for a legitimate  reason and is a proportionate way of achieving that legitimate aim. 

2.3.3 Discrimination arising from disability 

A school must not discriminate against a disabled pupil because of something that is a consequence of  their disability – for example by not allowing a disabled pupil on crutches outside at break time because  it would take too long for her to get out and back. Like indirect discrimination, discrimination arising  from disability can potentially be justified. 

2.3.4 Harassment 

A school must not harass a pupil because of his disability – for example, a teacher shouting at the pupil  because the disability means that he is constantly struggling with class-work or unable to concentrate.

2.4. Public Sector Equality Duty 

The Public Sector Equality Duty requires all public authorities, including schools, to have due regard to  the need to: 

∙ Eliminate discrimination and other conduct prohibited by the Act; 

∙ Advance equality of opportunity 

∙ Foster good relations 

2.5 Disability Equality Duty 

Schools previously had a statutory duty which required them to take proactive steps to tackle disability  discrimination and promote equality of opportunity for disabled pupils. Under the Equality Act, this has  been replaced by the general equality duty not to discriminate, and the specific duties below. 

2.5.1 Reasonable adjustments and when they must be made 

The duty to make reasonable adjustments applies only to disabled people. For schools the duty is  summarised as follows: 

∙ Where something a school does places a disabled pupil at a disadvantage compared to other  pupils then the school must take reasonable steps to try and avoid that disadvantage. ∙ Schools will be expected to provide an auxiliary aid or service for a disabled pupil when it would  be reasonable to do so and if such an aid would alleviate any substantial disadvantage that the  pupil faces in comparison to non-disabled pupils. Schools are not subject to the requirement of  reasonable adjustment duty concerned with making alterations to physical features because this  is already considered as part of their planning duties. 

2.5.2 Auxiliary aids and services 

The duty to provide auxiliary aids as part of the reasonable adjustment duty is a change for all schools  from September 2012 and also extends to maintaining local authorities. 

2.5.2.1 Many disabled children will have a SEN and may need auxiliary aids which are necessary as part  of their SEN provision; in some circumstances as part of a formal SEN statement. These aids may be  provided in the school under the SEN route, in which case there will be no need for the school to provide  those aids as part of their reasonable adjustment duty. 

2.5.2.2 Schools will have to consider whether to provide auxiliary aids as a reasonable adjustment for  disabled children. This will particularly be the case where a disabled child does not have a SEN statement  or where the statement does not provide the auxiliary aid orservice. 

2.5.2.3 There should be no assumption, however, that if an auxiliary aid is not provided under the SEN  regime then it must be provided as a reasonable adjustment. Similarly, whilst schools and LAs are under  the same reasonable adjustment duty, there should be no assumption that where it is unreasonable for  a school to provide an auxiliary aid or service, for example on cost grounds, it would then be reasonable  for the local authority to provide it. All decisions would depend on the facts of each individual case. The  nature of the aid or service, and perhaps also the existence of local arrangements between schools and  local authorities, will help to determine what would be reasonable for the school or the LA to provide.  For example, where there is a centrally organised visual or hearing impairment service it may be

reasonable for the local authority to provide more expensive aids or support through that service but  not reasonable for an individual school to have to provide them. 

2.5.2.4 The term “auxiliary aids” found in the Equality Act 2010 covers both auxiliary aids and services  but there is no legal definition for what constitutes auxiliary aids and services. Considering the everyday  meaning of the words, is, however, helpful. Legal cases have referred to the Oxford English Dictionary  definition of auxiliary as “helpful, assistant, affording aid, rendering assistance, giving support or  succour” and that auxiliary aids and services “are things or persons which help.” Examples of what may  be considered an auxiliary aid could be; hearing loops; adaptive keyboards and special software.  However, the key test is reasonableness and what may be reasonable for one school to provide may not  be reasonable for another given the circumstances of each case. 

2.5.2.5 Some disabled children will have a need for auxiliary aids which are not directly related to their  educational needs or their participation in school life, for example, things which are generally necessary  for all aspects of their life, such as hearing aids. It is likely to be held that it would be unreasonable for a  school to be expected to provide these auxiliary aids. 

2.5.3 Making reasonable adjustments 

2.5.3.1 A minor change for schools is that a failure to make a reasonable adjustment cannot now be  justified, whereas under the previous disability discrimination legislation it could be. However, this  change should not have any practical effect due to the application of the reasonableness test – i.e. if an  adjustment isreasonable then itshould be made and there can be no justification for why it is not made.  Schools will not be expected to make adjustments that are not reasonable. 

2.5.3.2 In addition to having a duty to consider reasonable adjustments for individual disabled pupils,  schools will also have to consider potential adjustments which may be needed for disabled pupils  generally as it is likely that any school will have a disabled pupil at some point. However, schools are not  obliged to anticipate and adjust for every imaginable disability and need only consider general  reasonable adjustments - e.g. being prepared to produce large font papers for pupils with a visual  impairment even though there are no such pupils currently admitted to the school. Such a strategic and  wider view of the school’s approach to planning for disabled pupils will also link closely with its planning duties. 

2.5.3.3 The Act does not set out what would be a reasonable adjustment or a list of factors to consider  in determining what is reasonable. It will be for schools to consider the reasonableness of adjustments  based on the circumstances of each case. However, factors a school may consider when assessing the  reasonableness of an adjustment may include the financial or other resources required for the  adjustment, its effectiveness, its effect on other pupils, health and safety requirements, and whether  aids have been made available through the Special Educational Needsroute. 

2.5.3.4 Cost will inevitably play a major part in determining what is reasonable and it is more likely to be  reasonable for a school with substantial financial resources to have to make an adjustment with a  significant cost, than for a school with fewer resources. For example, a small rural primary school may  not be able to provide specialised IT equipment for any disabled pupils who may need it and it may not  be reasonable for the school to provide that equipment. On the other hand, a much larger school might  reasonably be expected to provide it. 

2.5.3.5 Often, though, effective and practicable adjustments for disabled pupils will involve little or no  cost or disruption and are therefore very likely to be reasonable for a school to have tomake. 

2.5.3.6 Schools generally will try to ensure that disabled pupils can play asfull a part as possible in school  life and the reasonable adjustments duty will help support that. However, there will be times when  adjustments cannot be made because to do so would have a detrimental effect on other pupils and

would therefore not be reasonable – for example, if a school put on a geology field trip which necessarily  involved climbing and walking over rough ground and after fully considering alternatives to  accommodate a disabled pupil in a wheelchair who could not take part it determined that there was no  viable alternative or way of enabling the disabled pupil to participate or be involved, it would not have  to cancel the trip as originally planned. This is unlikely to constitute direct discrimination or failure to  make a reasonable adjustment 

2.5.3.7 The reasonable adjustments duties on schools are intended to complement the accessibility  planning duties and the existing SEN statement provisions which are part of education legislation, under  which local authorities must provide auxiliary aids to pupils with a statement of special educational need. 

2.5.4 Schools’ duties around accessibility for disabled pupils 

2.5.4.1 Schools and LAs need to carry out accessibility planning for disabled pupils. These are the same  duties as previously existed under the DDA and have been replicated in the Equality Act 2010. 

2.5.4.2 Schools must create and provide adequate resources to implement accessibility plans which are  aimed at: 

∙ increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the curriculum; ∙ improving the physical environment of schools to enable disabled pupils to take better  advantage of education, benefits, facilities and services provided; and 

∙ improving the availability of accessible information to disabled pupils. 

2.5.4.3 School accessibility plans shall be reviewed at least every 3 years. 

2.5.4.4 An accessibility plan may be a freestanding document but may also be published as part of  another document such as the school development plan. 

2.5.4.5 OFSTED inspections may include a school’s accessibility plan as part of theirreview. 

2.5.5 Local authorities’ duties around accessibility for disabled pupils 

LAs must, for the schools for which they are responsible, prepare accessibility strategies based on the  same principle as the access plans for schools.

3. Purpose of Audit 

3.1. The audit addresses and recognises the requirements of the Equality Act 2010. The report includes  recommendations for required remedial actions and ongoing monitoring and control measures.  Guidance is also referred to such as BS8300: 2009 - Design of Buildings and Their Approach to Meet  the Needs of Disabled People - Code of Practice; along with other applicable sources where  appropriate. 

3.2. The focus of this report is to ensure that the school meets with the requirements of part IV of the  Equality Act and so does not discriminate against disabled pupils. 

3.3. However, the report will also deal with the obligations under section III of the Equality Act 2010  which relates to the provision of services to members of the public. 

3.4. To achieve this, the report will identify where communication strategies, the property, and  educational teaching and support processes do not meet current legislation or best practice  standards. The report will recommend ways to overcome these issues. Recommendations may  incorporate physical adaptations to the site, changes to policies and procedures or a combination  of these.

4. Commissioning of Audit 

4.1. An Accessibility of Audit of St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School was commissioned by  Rebecca Wilkinson, the head teacher. 

4.2. This is the first Accessibility Audit report undertaken at this School by Equality Act Audits. 

4.3. Initial information was gathered by an initial fact-finding questionnaire and review of information  published on the school website. 

4.4. An on-site audit was undertaken on 21/10/2020 using a checklist. 

4.5. On the day, the auditor met with several members of staff including classteachers. 4.6. The resulting information was compiled into this Audit Report and Action Plan. 

5. Credentials of Access Auditor 

Lesley Mifsud – CEO and Head Access Consultant 

Lesley set up Equality Act Audits in 2010 with the aim to promote equality in  education and ensuring children with special educational needs have the same  opportunities as others. Since setting up EA Audits, Lesley has personally  advised over 1000 schools on accessibility, helping them to comply with the  Equality Act 2010. 

Lesley has over 30 years’ experience in teaching, and has held the positions of  Head of Year, Deputy Head and Headteacher. Lesley has a passion for children  and education and has an excellent knowledge of all areas related to Equality  in Schools and SEN. 

As well as Access Auditing schools to ensure they conform to the Equality Act  of 2010 and writing their SEN Policies and Accessibility Plans, Lesley also  regularly undertakes the following: 

∙ Advising schools on inclusion for their SENpupils. 

∙ Advising on classroom construction for hearing impaired pupils and 

staff. Training others in access auditing schools. 

∙ Training others in access auditing schools. 

∙ Advising Local Education Authorities of their duties regarding The  

Equality Act. 

∙ Public Speaking on equality in education. 

∙ Assisting schools with disability discrimination claims and being an  

expert witness when needed. 

All auditors employed by Equality Act Audits hold an Enhanced DBS clearance.

6. Contextual Background to the School 

Each individual school differs in context from other schools. This individual context will have a bearing on  how and to what extent the school is able to respond to the challenges of maximising accessibility. 

7.1 Location. The school is located in Pilch Lane, Liverpool. St Margaret Mary’s Juniors is a  Catholic School under the trusteeship of the Archdiocese of Liverpool. It is maintained by Knowsley  Council. As a Voluntary Aided School, the Governing Body is the Admissions Authority and is responsible  for taking decisions on applications for admissions. The co-ordination of admissions arrangements is  undertaken by the Local Authority. 

7.2 Ethos of the School. At the heart of all they do are their children. Their school is a safe environment  where everyone is valued equally and encouraged to achieve their full potential as part of a community,  loving, learning and growing together with Jesus. Their broad, balanced, creative curriculum and  enrichment activities provide opportunitiesfor everyone to achieve and succeed. Together they take pride  in making a positive contribution to their school and the wider community. Provision for children with  special educational needs is a matter for the school as a whole. 

7.3 Nature of School Site. St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School is a single site, fourform entry Junior  School, with Years 3, 4 and 5 being joined by the school hall, canteen, gymnasium, community gym and a  series of corridors. Year 6 classes are housed in a separate block. The school is built on two levels. Entrance to the building is through the main reception area, which is suitable for wheelchair  access. Ground floor classrooms are accessed by corridors from which there is also wheelchair  access. 

Toilets are accessible in three female and three male sets of bathrooms. There is one adult male  toilet and three adult female toilets. In addition to this, there is one disabled toilet located by the  school reception and a further disabled toilet located in the corridor by the school gym. Designated disabled car parking spaces are identified within the school car park and access to the  car park for parents/carers is restricted generally, to Blue Badge holders only. 

7.4 Number of pupils. There are 470 pupils on roll (October 2020). 66 pupils have SEN which represents  14% of the school population. 

7.5 Trend in pupil numbers. The school numbers are stable. 

7.6 Trend in School Achievement outcomes. The policy concerning gifted and talented pupils is under  review. 

7.7 Pupil Premium. There are 120 Pupil Premium Pupils. This represents 25.5% of the pupilpopulation. 

The Pupil Premium is an extra grant of money given to schools by central government to support pupils  who qualify for Free School Meals (FSM). The definition includes and pupil that has qualified for FSM in  the last 6 years, even if they are not currently claiming. Research shows that on average, pupils qualifying  for FSM are likely to do less well at school. Whilst this is an average and a generalisation, the initiative  behind the grant is to use the pupil premium to support FSM pupils in any relevant or special ways to  enable them to attain and achieve as well as their non-FSM peers. 

7.8 Pupils for whom English is not the first language. English as an additional language (EAL) refers to  learners whose first language is not English. They may be capable of speaking English and, indeed writing  in English, but, as English was not their first language, it is an additional language. A pupil’s first language  is defined as any language other than English that a child was exposed to during early development and  continues to be exposed to in the home or community. If a child was exposed to more than one language

(which may include English) during early development, a language other than English should be recorded, irrespective of the child’s proficiency in English. 

Where appropriate, EAL pupils will be supported by the Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator  (SENCO/Head of Learning Support) and teaching staff in the classroom to enable the pupil to complete  tasks with understanding. Compared to national figures, they are low with only 30 pupils, 6.38% of the  school population. 

7.9 SEN Staffing. Class Teachers are responsible for: Checking on the progress of pupils and identifying,  planning and delivering any additional help they may need (this could be targeted work or additional  support) and informing the Special Education Needs and Disabilities Co-ordinator (SENCo). Writing  Individual Learning Support Plans for Inclusion/Individual target plans and sharing and reviewing these  with parents at least once each term and planning for the next term. Personalised teaching and learning  for pupils as identified on the school’s provision map. Ensuring that the school’s SEN Policy is followed in  their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEN. 

The SENCo is responsible for: Providing professional guidance to colleagues and work closely with staff,  parents and other agencies. Writing the SEN Information Report which MUST be published on the setting  website and updated annually. Overseeing the day to day operation of the school’s SEN policy. Co ordinating provision for children with SEN. Advising on a graduated approach to provide SEN Support.  Advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils needs  effectively. Liaising with parents of pupils with SEN. Liaising with EYFS providers, other schools,  Educational Psychologist, health and social care professionals and independent or voluntary bodies, LA.  Managing the transition process – between the varying levels of SEN support, from one year group to the  next and any change of school. 

7.10 SENCo. 

Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCo): Mrs C. Medway and SEND Governor: Mrs V. Fillingham 

7.11 Safeguarding. As well as statutory responsibilities in relation to children's learning, the School has a  pastoral and legal responsibility towards their pupils and must recognise that the children and young  people in their charge have a fundamental right to be protected from harm. 

St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare and  well-being of children, young people and staff. They believe that everyone, without exception, has a right  to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of background and free from  discrimination. The School recognises that children learn best when they are healthy, safe and secure. Any  allegation of child abuse or a safeguarding issue will be treated with the utmost concern. They will always  liaise with relevant external agencies in accordance with locally agreed protocols. 

The arrangements for safeguarding are effective. There is a clear ethos across the school that sets the  safety of pupils as a high priority. Leaders have been effective in creating a culture in which safeguarding  is seen as everyone’s responsibility and not just the designated safeguarding leader. Effective record keeping reflects the school’s commitment to keep all pupils safe. Parents and carers say their children are  well cared for and safe at school. Training for staff and governors in child protection means that they are  knowledgeable and up to date with the most recent guidance and legislation. Staff are vigilant and know  what to do should they have any concerns about a child’s welfare. The school works very well with parents  and a wide range of external agencies to keep children safe and free from harm. Leaders are tenacious in  making sure that safeguarding matters are followed up thoroughly. Governors make sure that all checks  on staff and volunteers working with children are made and recorded.

8. Constraints and limitations to the audit 

8.1 This report may not be copied or reproduced by any means without prior written permission from  Equality Act Audits. It is a confidential report and has been prepared for the exclusive use of the  commissioning party and unless otherwise agreed in writing by Equality Act Audits, no other party may  use, make use of or rely on the contents of this report. No liability is accepted by Equality Act Audits for  any use of this report, other than for the purposes for which it was originally prepared andprovided. 

8.2 Opinions and information provided in the report are based on Equality Act Audits using due skill, care  and diligence in the preparation of the same and no warranty is provided as to their accuracy. It should be  noted, and it is expressly stated, that no independent verification of any of the documents or information  supplied to Equality Act Audits has been made. 

8.3 The content of this report is based on the information and access provided to the consultant at the  time of this audit. Any recommendations or advice in thisreport is based upon evidence seen. Whilst every  care is taken to interpret current Acts, Regulations and Approved Codes of Practices, these can only be  authoritatively interpreted by Courts of Law. Undergoing of the recommendations in the report could  assist in meeting the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 / Disability Discrimination Act but does not  guarantee it. Nor does compliance with this report remove any liability on the part of the client or give  protection against legal proceedings. 

8.4 OFSTED and others should not infer weakness in the management of a school from the outcomes of  the accessibility audit. The ability of the school to address issues considered to require improvement or  be inadequate may be constrained by a variety of factors outside the control and influence of the school  management and leadership team. 

8.5 The “myth” of compliance: There is actually no such concept as being “fully DDA compliant” for an  existing building. The phrase has entered the language, but the legislation reads differently. A new public  building will have to show disabled access, accessible toilets etc. but an existing structure will be asked to  make “reasonable adjustments”. 

8.6 Disability and equality legislation is not prescriptive in its recommendations to improve accessibility.  As such, compliance with the various Acts cannot ultimately be determined or used as a method for  assessing accessibility. Only tangible standards set out in guidance documents such as BS8300: 2009 can  be referred to for 'compliance'. 

8.7 Although we have included the code of practice for means of escape for disabled people within our  criteria, this report should not be considered as a detailed assessment of the overall means of escape  provision, which should be included in the school’s emergency evacuation plan. 

8.8 In the time available it is not possible to visit every occupied room. In the case of large school premises,  a reasonable sample of teaching environments for pupils and working environments for staff and visitors  has been visited. Plant rooms and workshops etc not used for educational purposes, and rooms otherwise  not visited during the audit process are not covered by this report. 

8.9 Recommendations represent best practice at the time of writing, but the concepts of “best practice”  and “reasonable” will change with time. Research and innovation allow new concepts and  products/servicesto become available. Therefore,the Equality Actrecommends a school be audited every  3 years. 

8.10 Fire Evacuation and Health & Safety legislation may conflict with disability equality legislation. When  this happens fire and safety legislation take priority (although H&S and disability equality often share  common objectives).

8.11 For this report, consultation with local Access Groups has not been undertaken. It is advisable to seek advice from various user groups and appropriate employees prior to undertaking  specific adaptation works arising from recommendations within this report. 

8.12 If the site or buildings have a listed building status or are located within a designated conservation  area, professional advice must be sort for planning applications. 

8.13 Where recommendations have been suggested that may influence the evacuation strategy or the fire  safety integrity of the building additional consultation with the relevant local Fire Officer is advised prior  to works being undertaken. 

8.14 Externally sourced images are used within this report; these are for illustrative purposes only.  External images are indicated along with their source.

9. Key to the Accessibility Audit 

9.1 Key 

Reference No. 

The reference number of the audit item. This links through to the  Action Plan.

Best Practice 

A brief summary of accepted best practice in the area being considered,  including where appropriate a perspective from the point of view of  disabled persons.

Audit findings 

Captures what was observed or stated to be the case during the audit  process. Where appropriate a photo will provide visual support to the  evidence.

Grade 2020 

The Audit aims to take a non-judgemental stance. However, it is  perhaps inevitable that grading findings may feel judgemental.  Feedback indicates that many schools find ranking the findings to be  helpful. Understand that the grades are intended to help focus  attention where it is most required, for the benefit of those affected,  and are not intended as a judgement on the quality of leadership or  management.

Previous Grade (if  

stated)

Allows progress to be compared with previous audits.

Suggestions to  

improve/resolve

Constructive suggestions as to how further actions will help improve  accessibility. Significant actions will be referred to in the Action Plan.


 

9.2 Findings descriptors 

For each of the three sections of the audit, an overall grade is indicated. 

These three grades together inform the overall audit grade indicated in the Executive Summary.

 

In an audit item

Exemplary 

Highly effective, exemplary or innovative  practice that fully supports accessibility for all  pupils or visitors.

Compliant 

Effective practice that supports accessibility for  a significant majority of pupils or visitors


 

   

Requires Improvement 

Practice supports accessibility for most pupils,  however a significant minority of pupils or  visitors could be more effectively supported. 

In some cases, there may be potential health  and safety risks or where failure to implement  changes would be highly likely to attract legal  

implications. Immediate action is recommended  to put changes into effect – see Action Plan.


 

Accessibility Audit 

10.1. Access to Information 

An accessible school is one where pupils and parents can access information normally provided by the  school to its pupils available to disabled pupils, by means appropriate to the relevant disability; and  where staff are well trained, aware, and able to initiate and implement changesto facilitate such access.  Information might include items such as handouts, timetables, text books or information about school  events, reports, newsletters, and general letters home. 

Schools have a duty to parents with disabilities to let them have reasonable access to services related to  the education of their child or children. This is to make sure parents with disabilities can be fully involved  in their child's education. Your child's school should make 'reasonable adjustments' to procedures and  policies or provide you with aids to help you access their services, like putting information in accessible formats. They must not refuse to provide a service, or provide a lesser service, to you as a parent with 

disabilities. 

Alternative formats for the provision of information might include: large print, audio tape, Braille, a  recognised symbol system, the use of ICT and the provision of information orally, through lip reading or  in sign language. 

Information must be provided within a reasonable time frame, i.e. to be of proper use for the pupil. For  example, a reasonable time frame for the provision of a handout needed during a lesson would be the  start of the lesson. 

In practice, it is anticipated that most pupils requiring information to be provided in a different format  will already have had their needs identified through the school’s and/or the Local Authority’s SEN  identification processes.

10.1.1 

Staff Training – Is awareness training provided to enable all staff to understand  and recognise disability issues?

Best Practice 

You must not discriminate against a pupil in your school, in the provision of  education, or access to any benefit, facility or service, by excluding them or by  subjecting them to any other detriment. It is your school’s responsible body that  is liable for any acts of discrimination. All staff should receive disability  awareness training as part of their Induction. 

Refresher and update training should be provided. 

Training in medical conditions pertaining to individual pupil medical conditions  shall be provided to those staff working with such pupils.

 

The school is aware that staff need to understand and recognise disability issues.  There are regular updates and training organised during INSET days and weekly  staff briefings. This will ensure that your students, whether disabled or not, get  the best possible level of care and support from all of the staff. 

A performance review and objective setting process is implemented.


 

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.1.2 

Arrangements for providing information in simple language, large print, via  digital audio, by Braille

Best Practice 

Providing a school's annual report, quarterly newsletter or a child's school report  in Braille, large print, 'easy-read' or on CD. 

Examples of how and when schools can support parents with disabilities include: 

∙ using a pen and notepad to communicate with you if you are deaf or  hearing impaired and/or providing induction loops in a certain room. ∙ arranging for an interpreter, for example, in British Sign Language (BSL)  and/or allowing more time for one-to-one meetings. 

∙ updating you on your child's progress by telephone or email if you are  unable to go to a meeting because of your impairment. 

∙ holding a meeting in an accessible location, for example, to avoid stairs,  if you have impaired mobility. 

∙ providing a script of a school play if you are deaf or hearing impaired to  help follow the action.

Audit Findings 

Arrangements for providing information in simple language, large print, via  digital audio, by Braille can be provided if requested but not available at the  moment.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.1.3 

Is the school Website and Social Media content accessible?

Best Practice 

The Schools Information Act 2012 requires the online publication of many  documents and policies. These should be displayed on the school website. 

∙ Chose a content management system that supports accessibility. ∙ Use headings correctly to organize the structure of their content and  include proper alt text for images. 

∙ Links should have unique and descriptive names and colour should be  used with care. 

∙ Design forms for accessibility and use tables for tabular data and notfor layout.


 

 

∙ Ensure that all content can be accessed with the keyboard alone in a  logical way. 

∙ Use ARIA roles and landmarks and make dynamic content accessible. 

Information that is normally provided in writing (such as handouts, timetables  and textbooks) can be made more accessible by providing it: in Braille, in large  print, on audio format and using a symbol system. It is essential that the website  be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people  with diverse abilities.

Audit Findings 

The Schools Information Act 2012 requires the online publication of a large  number of documents and policies. 

It is essential that the school’s website accessible in order to provide equal  access and equal opportunity to people with diverse abilities. Ensure information  is up to date. 

The website does not currently allow access via text to speech and user adjustable font sizes. A user adjustable font size option on a website is useful for  users with a visual impairment and, although it is possible to manually adjust  font sizes on individual browsers, not many people know how to do this. This  may be particularly true of older people who are learning about computers later  on in life or people with cognitive disabilities. 

All policies relating to equality, access, and medical support processes are  available on the website.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.1.4 

Is information presented to groups in a user-friendly way for people with  disabilities which affect their vision?

Best Practice 

Sight is key to communication, learning and movement. It co-ordinates other  senses and helps people to understand what they have heard, touched, tasted  or smelled. The more people can see, the easier it is for them to make sense of  the environment around them. 

Assistance with a sight problem may include medical intervention or specialist  equipment. However, simple changes in our behaviour or in the environment  can be the most affective and cost nothing. The following are some of the  things that may be considered in the treatment of an eye condition: 

It is often believed that people with intellectual disabilities will automatically  reject glasses. Yet many people have benefited from carefully prescribed and  chosen glasses. Glasses should be introduced in a planned way and involve the  individual wearing them for motivating activities (that are obviously  appropriate to the function of the glasses, e.g. near vision) and should always  be clean.


 

 

All people with intellectual disabilities should obtain regular eye checks. (RNIB  advises annual checks). 

All those involved in the support of a person with intellectual disabilities who  has a sight problem should know the details of the condition. 

All those involved in the support of a person with intellectual disabilities should  have an understanding of how they can adapt the environment and their own  behaviour to meet the individual's visual needs. 

All those involved in the support of a person with intellectual disabilities know  how to use and maintain any specialist equipment (e.g. people know what  tasks a specific pair of glasses should be used for).

Audit Findings 

All information is sent electronically, so parents are able to use electronic  devices to help them to access the information. However, if requested,  information can be presented in a different way.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.1.5 

Staff familiarity with technologies and support strategies and processes  developed to assist people with disabilities

Best Practice 

Learning disabilities impact the way children are able to process and  understand information; they are neurological disorders that might manifest  themselves as difficulty listening, thinking, writing, speaking, spelling, or doing  mathematical calculations. Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, visual  perception disorders, auditory processing disorders, and language disorders  fall under the umbrella of learning disorders. Many children with ADHD also  have comorbid learning disorders. 

An idea that teachers must understand is that students with special needs  such as learning disabilities need to be taught differently or need some  accommodations to enhance the learning environment. 

Not everyone learns in the same way, and you can follow some tips to create  a well-rounded learning atmosphere: 

∙ Maintain an organized classroom and limit distractions 

∙ Use music and voice inflection. 

∙ Break down instructions into smaller, manageable tasks. 

∙ Use multi-sensory strategies. 

∙ Give students with special needs opportunities forsuccess.

Audit Findings 

The School understands their obligations to provide auxiliary aides to those  pupils who require them where it is reasonable to do so without putting the  disabled pupil at a substantial disadvantage. Where it is necessary to provide auxiliary aids or support for pupils which goes beyond a reasonable


 

 

adjustment then the cost of this is usually passed on to the parents and will be  agreed with them in advance. 

The School is aware of the various methods designed to assist children with  their learning and has the resources to use the following strategies if required:  text-to-speech software, coloured printed papers, portable hearing induction  loops in classrooms, magnification aids and various accessibility features  within computer software.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  

improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.1.6 

Complaints Process

Best Practice 

∙ It’s in everyone’s interest that complaints are resolved at the earliest  possible stage. Many issues can be resolved informally, without the  need to follow formal procedures. Schools should take informal  concerns seriously and make every effort to resolve the matter as  quickly as possible. 

∙ Pupils, parents and visitors should be able to complain if their  accessibility needs are not being met. 

∙ If a school's complaint procedure says you should write to the  Headteacher, you should be allowed to make a verbal complaint if you  are unable to write because of your impairment. 

∙ A school complaints procedure is an Ofsted publication requirement.

Audit Findings 

The school has their complaints procedure on their website. Their policy is that  concerns and complaints should be dealt with locally, that is, at school level. This is because they want to build and maintain good relations with parents  and to work with them to provide the best possible education for their  students. Wherever possible, they prefer to resolve any concerns informally,  so as to make the best use of valuable time in supporting all the children in  their care. 

They ask, therefore, if parents have any concerns at all about their child's  education or welfare at school, that they contact them via the school office to  arrange an appointment to discuss concerns with the appropriate member of  staff. 

The school realise that from time to time, situations can arise where parents  feel that they must state their concern more formally. The procedures are set  out on their website. They recognise that parental concerns can give rise to  stressful situations for families and the school's staff. They therefore ask  parents to bring their concerns to them in a spirit of positive willingness to seek  a solution, and they will respond accordingly.

Grade 2020 

Compliant


 

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2. Access to Site and Facilities 

An accessible school is one where the physical environment does not limit a pupil’s ability to take advantage of the education (and other) opportunities on offer. 

The purpose of this section of the access audit is to assess how well a site performs in terms of access  and ease of use by a wide range of potential users, including people with disabilities. The audit provides  a certain "snapshot" of a building at one point in its life. As the starting point of an ongoing access action  plan, it can be used to highlight areas for improvement as well as a general risk assessment. 

The physical environment includes steps, stairways, kerbs, exterior surfaces and paving, parking areas,  building entrances and exits (including emergency escape routes), internal and external doors, gates,  toilets and washing facilities, lighting, heating, ventilation, lifts, floor coverings, signs, interior surfaces,  room décor and furniture. 

Improvements to physical access include ramps, handrails, lifts, widened doorways, electromagnetic  doors, adapted toilets and washing facilities, adjustable lighting, blinds, induction loops, communication  aids, well designed (passive) room acoustics and way-finding systems. Improvements can also be made  through rearranging room space, removing obstructions from walkways, changing the layout of  classrooms, providing designated storage space or reallocating rooms to subjectspecialisms. 

The most obvious part of a building, which determines its accessibility, is the shell. Decisions made by  the architect can fundamentally affect the accessibility for a long time. 

When the building is fitted out, fixtures and fittings can be critical. Most do not survive as long as the  building itself, and if deficiencies are identified, these can be included in the next potential  refurbishment. 

A building is next furnished and equipped, and at this stage many mistakes can occur. Furnishings are  generally short-lived so opportunities for improvement tend to occur more regularly. 

Finally, as the building is occupied, the way it is used and managed becomes crucial. Accessibility is  affected when bad housekeeping exists causing tripping hazards or, for example, over-zealous polishing  leads to slippery floors. Continual monitoring by management therefore has a considerable role to play.

10.2.1 

Access to Public Transport

Best Practice 

The most accessible schools will have effective access to public transport.  Depending on the locality, this could include airports, National & local bus  routes, Railways, trams, underground or other light transit systems, cycle lanes,  local taxi infrastructure. People with disabilities may rely on such services to  reach the school.

Audit Findings 

The nearest bus stop to the school is 50 metres from the school gate. 

Does the school website provide links to route planning sites (e.g. Google maps  etc)? Yes

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.2 

Arrangements for disabled parking

Best Practice 

For a number of wheelchair users and mobility impaired people it is very  important that designated, well sized, accessible parking bays are provided as  close as possible to the entrance points. 

If there is not sufficient size to allow a person to transfer from the car to a chair  it may actually prevent that person from visiting the building at all or could  result in them parking improperly causing an obstruction to other users. 

As a result, it is essential that an adequate number of well-designed accessible  bays are provided. 

For a site of this type and use there is no specific guidance to follow but we  would suggest that 5% of the overall parking provision should be made  available for disabled use. 

Having provided well designed accessible parking it is equally important to  ensure that pedestrian routes to and from the main disabled entrance are  accessible as well as routes for other pedestrians. 

Routes should be level, free from steps, bollards and steep slopes which  present difficulties for many disabled people. Moveable street furniture such  as bins, seating and A-boards should be carefully located so as to not obstruct  walking routes. 

Well-designed dropped kerbs with appropriate tactile paving should be  provided where necessary. 

In addition, the hatched areas should allow a 1.2m access zone between bays  at the side and 1.2m at the rear for easy boot access. Disabled users are likely  to be more vulnerable to collision with traffic and a mobility impaired or  elderly person is unlikely to be able to move as quickly as a disabled person.  Equally a visually impaired person will be less aware of oncoming traffic. As a  result, a safe route should be provided from accessible parking bays to the  nearest exit or entrance. 

Any new bays should be designed to meet the requirements of BS8300: 2001.  In effect this design ensures that the surface is relatively level, have a hard  finish and free from stones, gravel etc. 

As well as a sign on the ground as provision for disabled drivers or passengers  only, there should also be a sign immediately in front of the space, or to the  side of the space, which is good practice. This is needed in case of snow or leaf  covering on the ground. For wheelchair users, signs should be placed between  1000mm and 1100mm above floor level. The lettering should be in small case  and should contrast with the sign board, and the sign should have a matt  surface. Symbols can be used to supplement written signs.


 

 

Directions to the disabled car parking are required to be placed at the entrance  to the site so any disabled visitors know which way to go to access the  designated disabled car park space.

Audit Findings

This kerb should have a  dropped kerb fitted.

The school has a large car park which is  approached from the main road and electronic  gates are in place with an intercom for entry.  Parking is for staff and deliveries only although  visitors are allowed into the car park. There is  one accessible bay close to the main entrance  door and a further two spaces by the school hall  where there is ramped access. The bay next to  the main entrance would benefit from a dropped  kerb as a person in a wheelchair would have to  manoeuvre their wheelchair to the zebra  crossing 20 yards away. 

There are no safe walkways in the car park but  there are zebra crossings where pedestrians  need to cross the flow of the traffic. 

How does school remind parents to park sensibly  and safely when collecting children? Through  school communication tools; Newsletters,  Parents App, Twitter, Email, Website. 

Yellow zigzag lines are in place in front of the  vehicular entrance to the school. School Keep  Clear road markings were initially introduced in  the 1964 Traffic Signs Regulations. They were  originally consisting of broken white lines that  formed a box containing the words ‘School  Entrance'. In 1975 these markings were changed  to the current yellow zig zag lines with the words  ‘School Keep Clear’ placed between the zig zag  lines. Due to the success in helping to prevent  accidents between motorists and children, these  yellow zig zag lines are now seen at the majority  of school entrances and exits throughout the UK. 

There are no signs at the entrance to the site  showing the location of the disabled parking and  no signs in front of the bays. They have been  correctly marked out.

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Place a sign at the entrance to the car park showing the location of the  disabled parking. Example: 

 

Place a sign immediately in front of the bays (in case of snow covering on the  ground) 

 

Mark out safe walkways in the car park.

 


 

10.2.3 

Security Gates & Barriers

Best Practice 

Security and safety in schools is a highly emotive subject and one which is  never far from the conscience of the head teacher, facilities team, governing  body and LEA who all have roles to play in the implementation of an effective  school security strategy. 

Through initiatives such as the Building Schools for the Future campaign,  funding may be available for schools to upgrade perimeter security to the  “duty of care” levels commensurate with the school/pupil relationship. 

Schools have a basic requirement to safely contain students in their care during  school hours, keeping them protected from unwanted intruders and away from  any danger within the confines of the grounds. After hours the school also needs to be able to ’lock-down’ to deter acts of vandalism, theft, concealment and even arson. 

The physical security that surrounds a school site needs to be interfaced with  intelligent access control solutions across the entire campus. Generally  speaking, most schools (and nurseries) will require segregated access to the  main reception from the car park, at which point all visitors are vetted and  their reason for wanting to gain entry to be qualified prior to being granted  access to the site. In the interest of safety, all access controls must work in  conjunction with any fire alarm installation to ensure a speedy evacuation of  the site when required


 

 

All fencing, gate and access control solutions must be carefully considered to  ensure they are compliant with the stringent safety regulations designed to  minimise the risk of accidents. In infant and junior schools and for play areas, it  is important to look for RoSPA approved and BS EN 1176 compliant products  which have been tested for their ability to provide a safe fencing or gate  solution, reducing the risk of puncture wounds or the entrapment of limbs. Schools selecting these products will significantly reduce the risk of public  liability claims– an all-important consideration in today’s increasingly litigious  society. 

Controls need to be accessible. 

Intercoms should be easy to use and have good signage.  

User operated parts to be highlighted including gate handles.

Audit Findings 

 

 

 

Schools are private property. People do not have  an automatic right to enter. Parents have an ‘implied licence’ to come on to school premises at certain times, for instance: 

for appointments 

to attend a school event 

to drop off or pick up younger children 

Schools should set out their rules for this and tell  parents what they are. Anyone who breaks those  rules would be trespassing. 

The school site is secure and the access to the  main school is through the reception, at which  point all visitors are vetted and their reason for  wanting to gain entry to be qualified prior to  being granted access into the building. 

The site is very secure with locked gates and  entry to school by either code of fobs.

Grade 2020 

Exemplary

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.4 

Access through the site to Reception

Best Practice 

The approach from gate to entrance doors should have: 

∙ vehicular circulation that allows for public and private transport,  including set-down and drop-off without congestion (for example, one  way or roundabout traffic flow), and makes provision for emergency access and maintenance


 

 

∙ designated safe pedestrian routes – some people have less awareness of the risks of traffic (or cannot see/hear vehicles). 

∙ easily accessible, level or ramped slip-resistant and well-drained  surfaces along the route, without trip hazards and with an accessible  stepped route nearby to give a choice. 

∙ suitable car parking, with accessible parking bays near the entrance ∙ good quality external lighting for routes, clear legible signage, visual  contrast and sensory wayfinding to help independence. Children may  all enter the school through the main entrance, or there could be  separate entrances, depending on the way the school is organised. ∙ For younger pupils, entry might be via a gated or fenced area, with  sheltered access and waiting areas. 

The school building’s entrance should be easily identified from a distance by its  design, location, lighting and signage (tactile signs are generally not  recommended for external use), and have: 

∙ a level threshold with a safe, level drop-off zone that has, ideally, only  shallow gradient ramps. 

∙ a canopy or covered access to the pavement for children transferring  to or from buses or taxis. 

∙ sheltered, accessible waiting spaces - for parents with other children, if  appropriate, and for children with SEN and disabilities to wait for  assistance - with a visible, easily operated entry phone or intercom to  reception. 

∙ easily operated doors, such as automatically operated sliding doors,  with appropriate fail-safe mechanisms, wide enough and in a safe and  secure position. 

∙ sufficient circulation space for people (including those in wheelchairs)  to gather inside the building at the start and finish of the school day,  avoiding congestion – safety is paramount, since this can be a  particularly stressful time for some children. 

∙ a good visual link between inside and outside, so that reception staff  can oversee and supervise easily (CCTV cameras should be discreet and  not detract from the welcome or reduce accessibility).

Audit Findings 

 

 

 

There is one main pedestrian entrance into the  school grounds which is at the front of the  school. There is a further pedestrian entrance. 

Signage has been provided indicating the  different entrances. There are no obstructions  from the main pedestrian entrances to the  school entrances and the routes are smooth and  free from loose stones. The routes are free from  hazards and easily accessible and are also well  lit. 

Although I surveyed the buildings in the day  time, the routes are free from shadows and  would not cause a problem for the partially sighted. External street lighting is provided


 

 

 

 

throughout and is available on approach to the  site. Adequate lighting is essential for all visitors 

Are there separate pedestrian and vehicle  entrances to the site? Yes 

Are pedestrian routes marked on the ground,  signposted, and separated from vehicle routes  by barrier so far as is reasonably practical? Yes 

Are pavements in sound condition? Yes  Is tactile paving used? Yes 

Are approaches to Pedestrian entrances clear?  Yes 

Are grit bins provided for easy gritting of  pedestrian routes in case of ice and snow? Yes 

Are main entrance doors automatic or manual  entry? Manual 

The main entrance to the school offers disabled  access through a wide, single door, with a side  panel, which is opened manually. The Entrance  is wide enough for a wheelchair to enter and is  easy to locate. It is clearly distinguishable from  

the building front. It is well lit and free from  shadows. The door is constructed mainly of glass  and aluminium.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.5 

Reception Facilities

Best Practice 

The reception space should be attractive, friendly and welcoming, with: 

∙ a secure, draught-free, convenient and welcoming lobby, with outer  and inner doors and security controls, giving reception staff better  access control. 

∙ an easily identifiable reception counter, ideally facing onto the secure  lobby, with a sliding window or glazed screen at an accessible height, a  lower section and knee recess for wheelchair users, and a hearing loop. 

∙ waiting and seating areas with sufficient space for wheelchair users or people with buggies. 

∙ visual and/or tactile signage, sited where users can take time to read it.


 

 

An individual with a disability should be able to move about in the reception  area without interference by furniture, planters or similar movable objects.  Remember to consider persons with mobility and visual disability issues. 

The entrance/reception can offer a transition lighting zone where people with  visual impairments can adjust between a bright exterior and a subdued interior - the receptionist’s face should be clearly visible, avoiding down-lighting that  casts shadows on the face of the receptionist or visitor. The following are also  recommended: 

∙ well organised safe display of children’s work to promote a sense of  achievement and belonging (without impeding circulation, causing  hazards or obstructing lighting). 

∙ safe storage of personal belongings and mobility equipment, with  battery charging close by, so that there can be easy transition between  equipment from home and school. 

∙ accessible toilet(s)/changing room signposted nearby. 

∙ a parents’ room (often) located nearby

Audit Findings 

 

 

 

∙ Intercoms / video phones at appropriate  height? Yes 

A wheelchair user can enter principal main  entrance unaided. 

∙ Are manual doors heavy to operate? No 

Reception staff are aware of the needs of  disabled visitors and communication is inclusive  and supportive. 

∙ Wheelchair accessible counter? Yes ∙ Space for a wheelchair to wait? Yes ∙ Reception Chair with arms? Yes 

∙ Alternative Signage in large fonts available?  Yes, if required. 

∙ Permanent hard-wired or Portable Induction  Hearing Loop available? No 

An induction loop with appropriate signage  should be provided to assist hearing-aid users to  communicate with the receptionist. There is no  induction loop fitted to assist visitors who have  impaired hearing in the reception area. Hearing  (induction) loops help people with hearing loss  to hear sounds more clearly by reducing the  effect of background noise. 

When a staff member speaks into that  

microphone, sound is transmitted as a magnetic  field which can be picked up by hearing aids when set to the ‘T’ setting or hearing loop  program. This applies to different types of  hearing aids, including digital.


 

   

A portable hearing loop provides limited  coverage and is designed for one to one  conversation for people with hearing aids. 

Accessible toilet available nearby? Yes

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

 

Install a portable hearing loop and clearly display the sign. 

 

Place signage next to your intercoms which will greatly assist any visually  impaired visitors to your school. (Car park entrance, pedestrian entrance and  main entrance to the school.)


 

10.2.6 

External areas, Movement between buildings

Best Practice 

(See Part M Access to buildings other than dwellings) 

Ramps should have the following dimensions: 1.5m wide with a minimum  unobstructed width of 1.5m. Have a maximum individual flight of 10m and  maximum gradients of 1:20 if longer than 5m, 1:15 if longer than 2m or 1:12 if  shorter than 2m. Have 100mm high raised kerbs to any open side of ramp or  landings 

Have a continuous suitable handrail on each side which is easy to grip: slip  resistant, non-reflective and not cold to touch. Handrails to project 300mm  beyond top and bottom landings with closed ends. Handrails to be between  900mm and 1000mm above surface or steps pitch line / 900mm and 1100mm  above surface of landings. Handrail profile to be diameter between 40mm and  45mm (where circular) or Oval 15mm min radius (preferred solution) min  50mm width (refer diameter 7 A.D.M). Max 100mm projection into surface  width of steps, landings or ramps. Clearance of between 60mm and 75mm  between handrail and any wall surface. Min 50mm clearance between the  cranked support and the underside of the handrail. Inner face to be N.M.T  50mm beyond the surface width of the ramp or step access. 

All steps in frequent use should be painted with contrasting nosings OR have  tactile paving at the top and bottom of the flight of steps. This will alert a sight


 

 

impaired person to a change in level. Nosings should be 2-inch strips which are  painted or attached to the front and top of each step. Usually yellow is used as  it is a good contrasting colour. If nosings are not painted, then tactile paving  should be used. Nosings, (stair edgings) are used to define the edges of steps in  line with guidelines in Approved Document M (ADM) of The Building  Regulations 2010 and BS8300:2009+A1:2010. Nosings can help to reduce  accidents on stairs and steps as well as helping to provide an ‘inclusive’  environment giving access to all school users. 

Pedestrian walkways are designated areas in car parks and school grounds,  intended for those on foot. They lead to specific areas, such as entrances. The  intent behind pedestrian walkways is safety, to keep people walking apart from  those in vehicles and to reduce the incidence and possibility of accidents in the  car park. 

The way in which information is relayed is important. Not everyone is able to  read a variety of text styles, sizes and formats. Clear and concise signage is  particularly important for people who find communication more difficult (such  as people with hearing loss or speech impairments). 

Signs should be provided at each decision point where a choice of routes is  available, for example more than one pathway or corridor, or a series of doors. 

External spaces can be a particular issue, as there is often limited visual  contrast around green space and the route someone may take is not as  regulated as indoors. 

Making routes and directions clear is very important. Some disabled people  need to conserve their energy and not waste it walking around areas trying to  find their destination. Others will experience fatigue, breathlessness or pain  and discomfort.

Audit Findings 

 

 

 

Paths and routes are safe and clearly marked,  with surfaces and kerbs free from trip or safety  hazards. They are also separate from all vehicle  movements. 

∙ There are several external ramps offering  level access into the school buildings.  

Accompanying handrails are important for  people with walking difficulties and impaired  balance. There should be handrails either  side in a contrasting colour. Normally people  who have difficulty negotiating changes of  level need the support of handrails. For  example, someone with cerebral palsy would  only have strength to one side of the body  and so would require a rail to be fitted either  side of the ramps for ascent and descent. 

Adequacy of wayfinding and signage - 

appropriate fonts, Braille provision? Yes,  adequate signage but no braille provision.

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended


 

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Ensure all outside ramps are fitted with 2 handrails. 

Incorporate braille into all future signage.


 

10.2.7 

Emergency Evacuation & Lockdown procedures

Best Practice 

Schools must comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Services) Order 2005 to  ensure that they have adequate fire precautions in place to allow the safe  escape of all occupants in case of fire. Staff and students with disabilities  should be able to evacuate a building promptly in the case of an emergency. Ensuring safe evacuation in an emergency is a complex issue, requiring  consideration of a broad range of factors that it is not possible to cover in  detail in this audit. 

Some areas for consideration include: 

∙ the use of both visual and audible alarm systems, escape doors with  opening devices and opening forces designed to meet the needs of  both students and staff. 

∙ balancing personal dignity and independence with safety and speed of  evacuation. 

∙ the risk of using lifts or evacuation chairs to evacuate people with  mobility difficulties down or up to ground level. 

∙ ensuring that evacuation chairs are suitable for the intended users,  ensuring that emergency contact facilities inside lifts (phones or  intercom systems) are monitored at all times that the School may be  used. 

∙ the needs of students who require personal care – for example,  someone could be toileting with a career when the alarm is raised or  other respiratory conditions in particular the possible impact of smoke on everybody, particularly students with asthma. 

∙ the use of zones and compartmentation to support phased evacuation  of the building. 

∙ the use of vibrating alarms or other assistive technologies to raise the  alarm for staff or students who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

∙ the location of assembly points to be reachable by allstudents. ∙ Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for staff and students  who may need assistance during evacuation. 

∙ making students aware of evacuation procedures, which should be  practiced regularly throughout the school year.

Audit Findings 

 

Do pupils with SEND needs have Personal  Emergency Evacuation Plans in place? Yes, there  are 4 pupils with PEEPS in place. 

Fire drills/emergency evacuations are rehearsed  termly, and certain members of staff are trained  in helping mobility impaired people evacuate.


 

 

 

 

All necessary fire risk assessments have been  carried out with all fire extinguishers checked  and serviced annually.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.8 

Internal movement – corridors and evacuation routes

Best Practice 

According to ADM the following apply: 

∙ Corridor unobstructed widths of 1200mm with 1800mm by 1800mm  passing places or 1800 width without passing places. Passing places to  be at reasonable intervals. 

∙ Projections in to the corridor to have contrasting guardrails. ∙ Floors to be level – max gradient 1 in 60. Any gradients steeper than 1  in 20 to be designed as ramps. 

∙ Ramps less steep than 1 in 20 to have max rise 500mm with 1500mm  long rest landings. 

∙ No door to open across the corridor (doors should be recessed back  from corridor) - except a unisex toilet door where the corridor is  1800mm wide. 

∙ Some minor utility cupboards can outward open i.e. small store  cupboards. 

∙ Slip resistance floor surfaces. Avoid patterns to floor coverings. ∙ Glazed screens alongside the corridor to have manifestation at two  levels. 

∙ Projections to be protected with contrasting guardrails.

Audit Findings 

 

 

All corridors and circulation routes have a clear  unobstructed width of 1.2M. 

∙ Is there a system in place to systematically  check that corridors and escape routes are  free from obstructions? Yes 

∙ Are wheelchair users able to reach and  operate emergency fire exit devices when  unaccompanied? Yes


 

 

 

All corridors and circulation routes have surfaces  that are not slippery, and are free from trip  hazards. 

Is there a system in place to systematically check  that floor surfaces are free from slip and trip  hazards? Yes

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.9 

Internal movement – stairs and lifts

Best Practice 

The design for internal stairs, steps and ramps is the same as the external stair  dimensions. see previous notes which also apply to handrails. Steps 12 risers  maximum to a landing, but exceptionally no more than 16 in small premises  where plan area is restricted. Rise of between 150mm and 170mm and going  at least 250mm. (150mm max rise / min 280mm going for schools). No need  for tactile warnings as external stairs. Provide guarding under landings less  than 2100mm to prevent visually impaired walking into them. 

Ramps - Where the change in level is more than 300mm – 2 or more clearly  signposted steps must be provided in addition to ramp. Where the change in  level is less than 300mm – a ramp is to be provided instead of a single step. All  landings to be level – subject to a max 1 in 60 gradient along their length. Provide guarding under landings less than 2100mm to prevent visually  impaired walking into them. 

A.D.M recommends: 

Lifting Devices 

Passenger lifts preferred option for all buildings, however for existing buildings  in exceptional circumstances a platform lift may be considered and in  exceptional circumstances, in an existing building giving access to a small area  with a unique function, a wheelchair platform stair lift could be considered. All new developments to have a passenger lift provided serving all storeys. An  unobstructed manoeuvring space of 1500mm x 1500mm or 900mm straight  access route to the lift. 

Landing call buttons located between 900mm and 1100mm – 500mm from any  return wall, with raised symbols for tactile reading. Controls to have  contrasting finish from background. Avoid dark colours to car floor and  ensure floor frictional qualities similar or higher than the landing floor. 

A handrail on one wall 900mm above the floor.  

An emergency communication system.


 

 

Passenger Lifts 

Lift car to be designed in accordance with A.D.M. - 1100mm wide x 1400mm  deep and the provision of a mirror to allow wheelchair user to see behind. Min  800mm clear width of opening doors – doors to have timing and re-opening  activators to allow for people to enter or leave car. Doors to contrast  surrounding surfaces. Car controls between 900mm and 1200mm. Audible and  visual indication of lift arrival and location in and out the car. Avoid use of  visually and acoustically reflective wall surfaces 

Lifting Platforms 

Vertical travel distance of 2.0m maximum with no enclosure and no floor  penetration. More than 2.0m with a lift enclosure. Over 3m travel a product  certificate issued by a Notified Body is required. Continuous pressure controls  located between 800mm and 1100mm and at least 400mm from any return  walls. Landing call buttons located between 900mm and 1100mm – 500mm  from any return wall, with raised symbols for tactile reading. Controls to have  contrasting finish from background. Three platform sizes depending on  enclosures and accompanied or not; 800mm wide x 1250mm deep minimum – non-enclosed platform and no provision made for wheelchair companion. 900mm wide x 1400mm deep minimum – enclosed platform and no provision  made for wheelchair companion. 1100mm wide x 1400mm deep minimum – 2  doors at 90 degrees relative to each other / enclosed platform and provision  made for wheelchair companion.

Audit Findings

 

Handrails and nosings on  edge of steps needed. 

 

Extra handrail and nosings  needed. 

 

Good example of stairwell  with handrails fitted on  both sides and continuous  with the landing.

There are 4 sets of internal steps in the 2  buildings. The treads and risers are all the same  height. The nosings are readily identifiable and  unlikely to create trip hazards. The lighting on  the stairs is free of shadows and when measured  a maintained illuminance of 100 lux was  achieved. 

∙ Do internal stairs and steps have correctly  designed and installed continuous handrails?  Yes 

∙ Are the start and end points clearly  demarcated? Yes 

∙ Where practical are correctly designed  ramps with clearly demarcated start and end  points provided? No internal ramps

∙ Do all stairs and steps have high contrast  nosings, visible on both horizontal and  

vertical planes? Yes, apart from the steps  which lead onto the stage. 

∙ Are lifts between floors suitable for  wheelchair users available? N/A

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended


 

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Fit handrails to the steps in the hall and paint nosings on the edge of the steps.


 

10.2.10 

Accessible toilets

Best Practice 

Each toilet for disabled pupils needs to contain one toilet and one washbasin  (and possibly a shower or other wash down fitting) and have a door opening  directly onto a circulation space that is not a staircase and which can be  secured from the inside. Where possible, the number and location of  accessible toilets will be sufficient to ensure a reasonable travel distance for  users that does not involve changing floor levels 

A.D.M recommend: 

Wheelchair accessible unisex toilet provision 

One located near to entrance and/or waiting area in a building.  Not located in a way that compromises privacy of users. 

Located in similar position of each floor of a multi-storey building with choice  of transfer layouts on alternate floors. Choice of transfer layouts when more  than one unisex toilet is available. Where W.C is the only one in a building the  width must be increased to 2000mm to accommodate an additional standing W.C located on accessible routes that are direct and obstruction free. 40m  maximum travel distance to an accessible toilet. Travel between floors  restricted to one floor if a lifting platform is only provided. Doors to outward  open – with horizontal closing bar to rear. Heat emitters not to restrict  wheelchair manoeuvring space or space beside W.C 

Toilets in separate sex washrooms 

Ambulant disabled people should be able to use a W.C compartment within  any separate sex toilet washroom. 450mm diameter manoeuvring space is  provided in cubicle between door swing and edge of pan. Minimum  dimensions of compartments for ambulant disabled people. Compartment  doors for ambulant disabled people preferably open outward. One low level  washbasin and urinal with vertical grab bars.

Audit Findings

 

 

The disabled toilet near the  sports hall has no alarm  cord

∙ There are 10 accessible toilets spread  throughout the school. Reception area,  Sports area and year 5 area are the main  accessible toilets. There is no accessible  toilet in the second building where the year  6 pupils’ classrooms are located. 

∙ State whether designed for single sex or  unisex or gender neutral? Gender Neutral ∙ State whether they are stand alone or  integrated within blocks of toilets used by  able bodied users.? Stand Alone 

∙ Are the fittings complaint with code of  practice? Yes


 

 

 

 

 

 

The cord has been tied back in the toilet in the reception area and items are blocking a person in a wheelchair being able to manoeuvre. 

 

 

Cord out of reach.

∙ Sink, hand drying facility, mirror, coat hooks,  shelf for belongings, – provided and at an  accessible height? Yes, but no coat hooks in  any of the toilets. 

∙ Are the floor surfaces slip-resistant? Yes ∙ Are emergency aid cords fitted, are the  tangled, tied back, or in ready to use  

condition? Yes, fitted but not all in use. ∙ Are emergency aid beacons provided outside  the toilet with a repeater beacon in a staffed  area? Yes 

∙ Have staff been trained and know how to  respond to an activation of the emergency  beacon? Yes

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Ensure in each accessible toilet: 

Cords are left to hang freely and available if needed. 

No items will prevent a person in a wheelchair to manoeuvre.  Coat hooks are fitted at an accessible height. 

Consider installing a further accessible toilet in the year 6 building.


 

10.2.11 

Changing Rooms

Best Practice 

It is preferable for showers to be in areas separated from toilets and they need  to provide adequate privacy and be accessible. Consideration may also be  given to providing changing rooms, with or without showers, at primary  schools for pupils who need to wear sports kit for physical education, but this is  not required under the regulations.

Audit Findings 

 

∙ There are two fully accessible changing rooms  but due to COVID – 19 these are not in use and  are being used for storage. 

∙ State whether designed for single sex or unisex  or gender neutral? Single Sex 

∙ Are the fittings complaint with code of practice?  Yes 

∙ Sink, hand drying facility, mirror, coat hooks,  shelf for belongings, – provided and at an  

accessible height? Yes 

∙ Are the floor surfaces slip-resistant? Yes

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.12 

Medical Facilities

Best Practice 

The requirements for medical and therapy rooms enable pupils that are ill or  injured to be looked after appropriately, and for therapy to be offered to those  with special educational needs or disabilities who need it. In mainstream  schools this may involve assistance from visiting specialists, such as a  physiotherapist or speech therapist. 

SS Regulation 23B — 

(1) The standard in this paragraph is met if the proprietor ensures that suitable  accommodation is provided in order to cater for the medical and therapy  needs of pupils, including— (a) accommodation for the medical examination  and treatment of pupils; (b) accommodation for the short term care of sick  and injured pupils, which includes a washing facility and is near to a toilet  facility; and (c) where a school caters for pupils with complex needs, additional  medical accommodation which caters for those needs. 

2) The accommodation provided under sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b) may be  used for other purposes (apart from teaching) provided it is always readily  available to be used for the purposes set out in sub-paragraphs (1)(a) and (b). 

(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)(c), a pupil has “complex needs” if the pupil has profound and multiple learning difficulties in addition to other


 

 

significant difficulties, such as a physical disability or sensory impairment,  which require provision which is additional to or different from that generally  required by children of the same age in schools other than special schools or by  children with special requirements. 

Some therapy can take place in a teaching space or in a small quiet room, such  as an office. The dedicated accommodation can be used for other purposes,  except teaching, so long as it is readily available for medical use when needed.

Audit Findings 

 

 

 

St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School is  committed to providing emergency first aid  provision in order to deal with accidents and  incidents affecting employees, children and  visitors. Their policy is available on the website  and they have ensured the school has adequate,  safe and effective first aid provision in order for  every pupil, member of staff and visitor to be  well looked after in the event of any illness,  accident or injury, no matter how major or  minor. 

∙ Where is the medical room? At the front of  the school, behind the reception. 

∙ Is it wheel chair accessible? Yes 

∙ Is it located for ease of access by ambulance or parent’s car? Yes 

∙ Is there privacy for pupils to maintain dignity  while receiving treatment or taking routine  medicines/inhalers etc? Yes 

∙ Do first aiders know and understand pupils’ medical needs? Yes

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.13 

Internal Signage

Best Practice 

In order that signs can firstly be located and then read it is important that  signboards are well contrasted to their background. Arrows can be useful to  signs but they can also be very confusing if not applied correctly. In general,  signs should be designed so that arrows directing users to the left, up or down  are set to the left-hand side of the lettering. Arrows directing to the right  should be to the right-hand side of the lettering. As this is the Standard  method, any sign adopting a different approach may prove confusing for the  visually impaired person or someone with learning difficulties.


 

 

Using colour as an additional aid to way-finding works well in schools, as it  works almost subconsciously and can be easily introduced as part of the décor  or on the signs themselves. You can then co-ordinate this with a particular  activity or part of the site. For example, if you had two car halls, you would be  able to ask visitors to “go to the lower hall (follow the orange signs)” or “follow  the brown signs for the sports facilities”. Choose colours that are different to the background they’ll be seen against (for example avoid green signs in areas that are predominantly trees, bushes and grass). 

Tactile information such as Braille and/ or embossed text will be helpful to  some and is critical on certain signs, such as toilet doors. It is possible to add  Braille information using a transparent self-adhesive tape below an existing  sign, on a temporary notice or even on files, lockers and equipment. There is a  Dymo label maker for this, costing circa £50 but you may find a local sensory  services department will offer to do this at the cost of just the tape used. The  most widely used tactile information is a 19 embossed symbol or text. The  RNIB also sell a product called Tactimark pen which is a plastic writing tube  with gel with which you can create freehand text or lines – the substance dries  to give an embossed finish. It is available in black, white and orange at about £6 a tube. Embossed lettering is only helpful when in easy reach (such as on a  door 1500mm high or below) and it needs to be of sufficient size to be legible  by touch - minimum 15mm height of initial capital letter and 1mm raised depth  from the background. 

By matt laminating a simple computer print-out of appropriate text and/or  symbols, and applying Tactimark pen or some Braille self-adhesive labelling it is  possible to create e your own notices and signs in an accessible way. (Always  use matt laminating sheets. They are only marginally more expensive and do  not have the high reflectance which makes most laminated notices difficult to  read under direct light or sunlight.) A painted or taped line in a distinct colour  is a simple solution to some situations that are difficult to cover in signage. This  can be very helpful for external environments, where the destination does not  have line of sight from the departure point. Some people with visual  impairments lose their ability to see colours clearly. It is therefore helpful to  combine a colour with a shape, where possible – for example an orange  triangle or a blue circle etc.

Audit Findings 

 

 

 

There are numerous signs in uppercase. Signs in  uppercase do not conform to the Equality Act  2010 as they are potentially confusing to those  with a visual impairment. 

Constantly review your signage to ensure the  criteria are being met. “Signs should form part  of an integrated communication scheme that  gives clear directions, information and  instructions for use of a building” – BS  

8300:2001. Tactile signage makes visual  information accessible to blind and partially  sighted people. 

Accessible maps and signs ensure blind and  partially sighted people can find their way


 

 

 

 

around your school. This is a legal requirement  to make sure your signage doesn't exclude  people from accessing your school. Any new  signs should be designed to meet the  

requirements of the Sign Design Guide. This is  published by the JMU & Sign Design Society. 

∙ Are classrooms uniformly signed? Some are  signed and some not. 

∙ Is any internal signage potentially  

confusing? No 

∙ Use of non-verbal signage, Braille? No ∙ Use of floor plan maps? Yes 

∙ Location and sufficiency of signage? Yes

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Replace any signage in uppercase to lower case.  

Ensure all classroom doors are uniformly signed. 

Incorporate tactile signage in all future signage.


 

10.2.14 

Internal Décor & Finishes

Best Practice 

For people with good vision, differences in colour and colour intensity provide  adequate visual contrast. However, this is not the case for everybody with  vision loss. The light reflectance value (LRV) of a colour is used by professional  designers to identify those colours which adequately contrast against other  colours. The combination of colour, tonal and visual contrasts between  surfaces and objects placed on them such as switches and litter bins are  important. 

Ceilings should be finished in light colours. 

Movement and travel for people who have reduced vision is challenging and  extremely tiring. The ability to judge distance, depth and speed is often  compromised and therefore the need to negotiate busy, cluttered and  unpredictable environments can increase stress, diminish concentration,  learning and social opportunities while also increasing accident risk. 

All the floor surfaces should be suitable and easy for a wheelchair to  manoeuvre. 

The means of escape should be clearly visible from both a standing and seated  position. 

Carpets are preferred in classrooms as they will absorb sound and will give a  better learning experience for any hearing-impaired pupils.


 

 

Throughout the corridors, both the natural and artificial light should avoid  reflection, glare, shadows and silhouette. 

Tonal contrast between different features is important for people with vision  loss in a number of ways: floors that contrast with walls will indicate the size of  a room; handrails that contrast with the wall indicate their location; and doors  that contrast with their surrounding indicate their position and help  wayfinding. 

Improving the visual contrast in a school should be considered when carrying  out maintenance or refurbishment work – for instance when painting walls and  doors, or renewing floor finishes.

Audit Findings 

∙ Is any of the décor confusing or disorienting for disabled pupils with visual  impairment, autism or epilepsy? No

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.15 

Lighting

Best Practice 

Lighting has a significant impact on the ability of students to concentrate and  learn in comfort. Controllable lighting systems, which can increase or decrease  light levels in particular parts of the classroom, are very helpful for students  with disabilities. 

It is important that lighting levels are reasonably consistent, so students do not  experience wide variations in light levels when moving their vision from their  own desk to the teacher. 

Lighting should take into account the different needs of all students. Students  with vision loss need good lighting levels to enhance their sight, and may  require additional lighting for certain tasks. 

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students need clear visibility for lip-reading. 

Some students may be particularly sensitive to glare. Therefore, it is important to be able to control the sunlight entering a space by installing suitable blinds. 

Blinds and curtains in classrooms should be installed to reduce glare.  (Important for lip-reading) 

For lighting to be suitable, attention needs to be paid to: 

achieving adequate light levels, including the lighting of teachers’ and  pupils’ faces for good visual communication; giving priority to daylight in  all teaching spaces, circulation, staff offices and social areas; providing adequate views to the outside or into the distance to ensure visual comfort  and help avoid eye strain; providing lighting controls that are easy to use;  providing means to control daylight and sunlight, to avoid glare, excessive internal illuminance and summertime overheating; providing external


 

 

lighting to ensure safe pedestrian movement after dark; floodlighting  outdoor sports areas; providing emergency lighting in areas accessible  after dark. Further guidance on lighting in schools can be found in Lighting  Guide 5, “Lighting for Education” (LG5), and British Standard BS EN 12464-

Audit Findings 

All areas to which disabled and SEN pupils have access are well lit. There is a  provision of blinds and curtains to control glare and reflections.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes


 

10.2.16 

Dining and Catering

Best Practice 

Where dining, eating or food preparation facilities are provided; care should be  taken to ensure that all students and staff members can safely and  independently use the facility. 

Dining environments should not be viewed as purely functional but should be  structured to facilitate social interaction and inclusion with peers. 

Tables should be accessible to wheelchair users 

Aisles should be wide enough to allow students carrying trays to safely pass 

Self-service shelves and dispensers for cutlery and condiments should be  within reach of wheelchair users and people of small stature. 

Tray slides allow trays to be rested while moving along a counter. These should  be continuous to reduce the chances of dropping trays, and have knee space  underneath to accommodate wheelchair users 

The biggest issue in many dining areas in schools is the acoustics – lots of hard  finishes can create considerable echo, which is very difficult for people with  sensory impairments. 

Introducing some soft finishes, such as chairs or screens with fabric, curtains  etc., will help a little. 

Refreshment areas have similar needs to reception waiting areas in terms of a  mix of seating styles. If all chairs are without arm supports, consider changing  some for sturdy chairs with arm supports. If your tables and chairs are fixed,  these will be quite difficult for many disabled pupils to access and it would be  beneficial to supplement or exchange one or two fixed units with some  freestanding tables and chairs. This offers flexibility for all needs. 

Ensure aisles between tables are kept clear – at least one aisle should be wide  enough for a wheelchair user to turn (1500mm width needed), and the under table clearance height should be at least 700mm for comfortable wheelchair  access.


 

 

Whilst ideally serving counter heights should not be too high (850mm  recommended), this can be overcome by someone else bringing items to the  table. This is a recommendation anyway for items where it would be difficult or  potentially dangerous for a physically disabled person to carry (for example hot  drinks). 

The variety of food available should ideally include some finger food items.  Have straws readily available for use with hot and cold drinks. 

Plain crockery is easier for someone with a visual impairment but must  contrast from the tables on which they will be placed. A mix of cups with and  without handles is also useful. 

Menus should be displayed in a large print, easy read format. A few schools  might use a venue with a vending machine. Assistance can be provided to  operate the machine if needed, especially if the coin slot is too high or the  dispenser too low. Braille tape could be added to the selection panel if a need  is identified and there are also self-adhesive labels called “bump-ones”  available in an assortment of colours, shapes and texture that can be added to  particular products.

Audit Findings 

 

∙ School lunches are cooked on site and children eat  in the hall and canteen. Special dietary needs are  catered for E.g. nut allergies, lactose and gluten  intolerance, from information produced and held in  SIMS for each pupil. 

∙ Are there special arrangements for queueing  priorities? Yes 

∙ Are food serving points and tills accessible to  wheelchair users? Yes 

∙ Are dining tables and picnic tables wheelchair  accessible? Yes

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.17 

Social Spaces and Quiet Spaces


 

Best Practice 

Outdoor circulation needs to have a clear rationale and provide a variety of  accessible routes to suit the whole spectrum of children, minimising gradients  so that they can easily access all outdoor facilities. 

There should be shelter available along routes for more vulnerable children,  with seats every 50m on long pedestrian routes, safe and easily navigable  surfaces (wheelchair accessible), with safe changes in level or transitions  between surfaces - both ramps and steps are needed where level access is  absent. 

Good sightlines for overseeing children’s safety, with no hidden spaces, noisy  busy routes separate from quieter sheltered spaces, so more vulnerable  children can make their own way at their own pace, level thresholds for access  by wheelchair users and to avoid staff lifting mobility equipment, wide enough  gates and wide paths with defined edges, well away from outward opening windows and any hazards clearly identified. 

1200mm, preferably 1500mm and 1800mm for busy routes with passing places  as required. 

Bays off circulation routes can be provided for children to sit and talk, rest, re orientate or calm down and let others pass – but they need to allow clear  sightlines and passive supervision, since hidden spaces can encourage  inappropriate behaviour. There should be outdoor access for curriculum and  social activities and for means of escape but it should be controllable for safety  and security, especially where there is a possibility that children might try to  run out of school. 

It is important that all students can access and use the external spaces in a  School, so that they can participate in social and recreational activities. Outdoor space in Schools normally comprises a mix of hard surfaced and  grassed areas. While grass may be a difficult surface for wheelchair users,  access to grassed pitches can be provided using pathways or matting products.  As well as areas for activities such as games and sports, quieter social spaces  with seating should also be provided for students to use. Where playgrounds  are provided, equipment should be carefully selected to ensure accessibility for  all students, including wheelchair users, students who use crutches and  walking frames, and those with hearing loss or vision loss.

Audit Findings 

 

Quiet rooms / calming rooms are available to pupils who  need such spaces and there are appropriate places for  lonely pupils to seek company and friendship. 

∙ Are school gardens/woodland areas/amenity  spaces/playing fields accessible by wheelchair? Yes 

The library, sensory room and computer room are not  accessible as these are on the first floor of the main  building

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Consider re locating the library, computer room and sensory room to ground  level so that these are accessible by all pupils.


 

10.2.18 

Doors

Best Practice 

According to AD M 

∙ Doors to have maximum opening force at leading edge of 20N. Door furniture to be easily operated by a closed fist, visually apparent i.e.  contrasting with door surface and not cold to touch. Door clear width  measured from handle to jamb. Varies according to angle of approach.  Straight approach to door – 800mm clear width / right angle approach to  door with access route min 1500mm - 800mm clear width / right angle  approach to door with access route min 1200mm - 825mm clear width and  doors and side panels to doors wider than 450mm to have vision panels  provided – visibility zone between 500mm and 1500mm and if necessary  interrupted between 800mm and 1150mm above floor level e.g. to  accommodate an intermediate horizontal rail. Unobstructed 300mm min  space on door pull side between door leading edge and wall (not to  powered doors). 

∙ Door frames to contrast with surrounding wall surfaces. Manifestation at  two levels, 850mm to 1000mm and 1400mm to 1600mm. Glass doors in  glass façade to have 150mm high contrast strip at door edges, and door  protection if capable of being left open. Manifestations should visually  contrast inside and out and in all lighting conditions. Fire doors self-closing  either fitted with hold open devices or free swing devices and close on  activation of the fire alarm (to negate requirement for 20N opening force) 

According to BS 8300 - Colour and luminance contrast should be used to  distinguish the boundaries of floors, walls, doors and ceilings, e.g. if the  architrave is the same colour as the door but a different colour from the  

surrounding wall, it may outline the opening for some visually impaired users  when the door is open. 

There should be adequate space alongside the leading edge of the doors for a  wheelchair user to pass through. A space of 300 mm should be provided  alongside the leading edge of the door to enable wheelchair users to reach the  handle. The Department of the Environment Part M Technical Guidance Document notes the importance of a ‘leading edge’ at every door. This is “an  unobstructed space of at least 300mm between the leading edge of a single  leaf door (when it opens towards you) and a return wall, unless the door is  opened by remote automatic control. This enables a person in a wheelchair to  reach and grip the door handle, then open the door without releasing hold on  the handle and without the footrest colliding with the return wall”. 

Doors present some of the most common accessibility issues. They may be too  “heavy” and require too much force to open. Heavy doors are especially  difficult for people with disabilities and seniors with limited upper body  strength and/or skills in using their hands. They may close too quickly for some  people to pass through easily. People who move slowly or use mobility devices like wheelchairs or walkers may not be able to pass through fast enough.


 

 

Luckily, these common problems can often be resolved by simply adjusting  door closers. 

Door controls should be at a suitable height. All door furniture and fittings to  be 1000mm above floor level. Switches to be the large touch plate type. All of  the door handles should be the D-shape variety. All door furniture and fittings  to contrast to their background.

Audit Findings 

 

Incorrect door 

handle 

Correct door handle 

 

Door handles do 

not contrast with the door.

∙ Are there noisy door closures? No 

∙ Do all doors have the correct D style of handles? No ∙ Are doors accessed by disabled pupils wide enough  for wheelchair access? Yes 

∙ Do doors include vision panels that extend low  enough to enable short or young or wheelchair  pupils to see through and be seen? Yes 

∙ Are door with closers openable with minimum  force? Yes 

∙ Are door handles of a contrasting colour to the  background? No, not all 

∙ Are corridor doors held back in an open position for  ease of access? Yes 

∙ Do held-open doors have high visibility edge  markings for ease of identification? Yes

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Change non-conforming handles to the D shape handles 

Ensure all door handles contrast in colour to their doors. Either change the  handles or paint in a contrasting colour.


 

10.2.19 

Teaching and Learning Spaces

Best Practice 

The classroom is the most common type of room in a School building. 

An appropriate classroom environment is important for successful teaching and  learning and for ensuring that all students can participate equally in classroom  activities. It is important that all students can circulate freely around the  classroom, and can access storage areas, equipment, sinks, sockets, and so on. 

The provision of ample space and level access is important for those using assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, crutches or canes. Worktops and sinks  should have knee space underneath to allow a wheelchair user to use them


 

 

comfortably. Anti-glare film is recommended on windows in areas which  visually impaired children use frequently. This is due to photosensitivity further  reducing vision, ability to judge speed and distance and also causing eye pain  and headaches. 

Students with disabilities will have certain unique requirements that impact  how they use School facilities. For example: 

∙ Students with mobility disabilities may have particular difficulties  with steps, or heavy doors. They may need additional desk space if  they use a wheelchair, or additional storage space for a walking  frame or crutches. 

∙ Students with visual difficulties will benefit from improved lighting  and clear visual contrasts on doorframes and support columns. ∙ Some students with emotional, psychological or mental health  difficulties will benefit from a calming environment created by  appropriate use of light and colour schemes. 

∙ Many students have particular requirements for access to laptop  computers or other assistive technology. Availability of power  points for recharging will greatly benefit these students 

At secondary level, children progress to a wider ranging and specialised  curriculum, and accommodation can be correspondingly diverse. Rather than  spending most of their day in one classroom as they do in primary school,  children move around the school to spaces with specialist facilities for different  activities. 14–19-year olds often also have vocational training and work  experience. Mainstream schools can be especially large, so some children with  SEN and disabilities need assistance when they move between different spaces  and to take part in school life. 

The range of spaces needed will depend on a school’s curriculum, size and  organisation but will typically provide the following: - general teaching spaces,  larger spaces for a range of practical specialist and performance subjects, small  rooms for individual and group work, resource spaces, including library and ICT  facilities, large spaces for physical education and assemblies, dining and social  spaces, outdoor spaces. 

These will be supported by: staff facilities, storage for personal belongings,  learning aids and resources, accessible toilet and changing rooms, kitchen  facilities 

3 sizes of general teaching space schools are recommended: Small classrooms  (49–56m2 for up to 30 children) If many children have SEN and disabilities or  need a high level of support, adjustments will need to be made to how a space  of this size is used. For example, class numbers might need to be reduced to  allow adequate circulation space for learning aids and teaching assistants. It is  not generally recommended to have small general teaching spaces in new  school buildings because of their lack of flexibility. 

Standard classrooms (56–63 m2 for up to 30 children) Standard teaching spaces  are usually large enough for children with SEN and disabilities to access all  relevant curricular activities, allowing for one child using mobility aids and a  wheelchair, with access to some or all of the space, depending on the layout.


 

 

Large classrooms (63–70 m2 for up to 30 children) Large teaching spaces are  especially suitable for children with SEN and disabilities, since they provide  enough room to accommodate one or more children (or staff) using mobility  aids and/or wheelchairs, as well as the necessary support staff.

Audit Findings 

 

Furniture layouts in the classrooms have been carefully  planned to ensure space at the entrance and access to  key facilities such as the whiteboard, storage areas, and  practical zones. An 1800mm turning space at these  areas has been maintained and a preferred circulation  width of 1200mm for movement between them. A  minimum of 900mm circulation width is available on all  routes. This space is based on the requirements of  wheelchair users, but will also benefit a range of other  users. 

Classroom floors are suitably carpeted and the room  acoustics assist pupils’ abilities to participate. Not all  pupils have access to specialist teaching spaces for all  

areas of the offered curriculum – the library, the  computer room and the sensory room are not  accessible. (See 10.2.17) 

There are no areas of storage which would prevent  pupils from accessing aids and equipment. 

Displays of information/examples of exemplar work are  readable for all pupils (e.g. if viewed from a wheelchair).

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.2.20 

Furniture and Teaching Equipment

Best Practice 

Furniture layouts in the classrooms should be carefully planned to ensure  space at the entrance and access to key facilities such as the whiteboard,  storage areas, and practical zones. An 1800mm turning space at these areas  should be maintained and a preferred circulation width of 1200mm for  movement between them. A minimum of 900mm circulation width should be  available on all routes. This space is based on the requirements of wheelchair  users, but will also benefit a range of other users. 

Chairs with arms and height adjustable workbenches should be available 

As of September 2012, the Equality Act 2010 (“the Act”) imposed a new duty  on schools to make reasonable adjustments to provide auxiliary aids and  services to disabled pupils.


 

 

Examples of auxiliary aids might include hearing loops, adapted PE equipment,  adapted keyboards and special software. Cost will inevitably play a major part  in determining what is reasonable and it is more likely to be reasonable for a  school with substantial financial resources to make an adjustment entailing  significant cost. Even so, many reasonable adjustments are inexpensive,  involving a change in practice rather than the provision of expensive pieces of  equipment or additional staff.

Audit Findings 

 

There is one main staff room situated in the main  building. 

There are currently no chairs with arms in the staff  rooms. It is important to have chairs with arms available  in staff rooms as people with mobility issues would find  it easier to use them. 

Appropriate furniture & equipment is provided to meet  the needs of individual pupil. The school reviews this on  a case-by-case basis. 

Furniture layouts allow easy movement for pupils with  disabilities and any specialist furniture is correctly  adjusted, serviced and maintained.

Grade 2020 

Improvement Recommended

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Provide a high backed chair with arms in the staff room.


 

10.3. Access to Education 

An accessible school is one in which disabled pupils and pupils with ongoing or temporary medical  limitations can participate fully in the school curriculum. 

The curriculum covers teaching and learning and wider provision embracing after-school clubs; leisure,  sporting and cultural activities; and school trips. Planning for improved access to the curriculum should  include consideration of school and classroom organisation and support, timetabling, curriculum options, the deployment of staff and staff information and training. 

Pupils with disabilities, medical or intellectual capacity needs can be amongst the most vulnerable in  society. Safeguarding the wellbeing of these pupils especially is therefore an important consideration.

10.3.1 

Training & accreditation of Teachers and Teaching Assistants

Best Practice 

Teachers, Teaching Assistants (TAs), and adult helpers all have a specific job to do in the classroom and each role requires careful planning. The effective use


 

 

and management of classroom TAs, specifically, also requires a coordinated  approach to that planning. 

By law, all mainstream schools are required to have a SENCO. However, unlike  in mainstream schools, where SENCOs are legally required to be qualified as a  teacher/in the process of qualifying, there is no such requirement in special  schools. Some special schools will employ a member of staff to essentially carry  out the work a SENCO would be required to complete. They may also employ  people to assist with the admin work SENCOs have to deal with. 

Under The Education (Special Educational Needs Coordinators) (England)  Regulations 2014 a SENCO must be either: a qualified teacher; head  teacher/appointed acting head teacher; or, where a person becomes the  SENCO at a relevant school after 1 September 2009, and has not previously  been the SENCO at that or any other relevant school for more than 12 months,  the school must ensure that the person holds “The National Award for Special  Educational Needs Co-ordination” if they are the school’s SENCO at any time  after the third anniversary of the date that person became a SENCO. There are  great similarities in the role of a teacher and a SENCO and so understandably,  the requirement to be a qualified or nearly qualified teacher is necessary. 

The SENCO’s responsibilities are as follows: 

∙ overseeing the day-to-day operation of the school’s SEN policy ∙ co-ordinating provision for children with SEN 

∙ liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after  pupil has SEN 

∙ Advising on the graduated approach to providing SEN support ∙ Advising on the deployment of the school’s delegated budget and other resources to meet pupils’ needs effectively 

∙ liaising with parents of pupils with SEN 

∙ liaising with early years providers, other schools, educational  psychologists, health and social care professionals, and independent or  voluntary bodies 

∙ being a key point of contact with external agencies, especially the local  authority and its support services 

∙ liaising with potential next providers of education to ensure a pupil and  their parents are informed about options and a smooth transition is  planned 

∙ working with the headteacher and school governors to ensure that the  school meets its responsibilities under the Equality Act (2010) with  regard to reasonable adjustments and access arrangements 

∙ ensuring that the school keeps the records of all pupils with SEN up to  date

Audit Findings 

∙ They aim to keep all school staff up to date with relevant training and  developments in teaching practice in relation to the needs of pupils with  SEND. The SENCo and Learning Mentor attend regular cluster meetings to  update and revise developments in SEND and Inclusion. The SENCo attends  relevant SEND courses, Local Authority SEND meetings and  

facilitates/signposts relevant SEND-focused external training opportunities for all staff. Staff meeting time is also dedicated to 14 SEND where


 

 

necessary in order to ensure a whole-school approach to meeting the  needs of children with SEND. 

∙ They recognise the need to train all their staff on SEND issues and they  have funding available to support this professional development. The  SENCo, with the Senior Leadership Team, ensures that training  opportunities are matched to school development priorities and those  identified through the use of provision management. All staff have access  to Continued Professional Development opportunities and are able to  apply for additional needs or inclusion training where a need is identified  either at an individual pupil or whole class level. Similarly, support staff are  encouraged to extend their own professional development and the School  Management Team ensure tailor-made or whole-school training where this  is appropriate. Their School supports all their staff to continue learning,  alongside their students. 

They are committed to: 

∙ Providing the time, resources, choice and autonomy to allow effective,  personalised, professional development - within a supportive whole school  structure 

∙ Developing a coaching culture, with an emphasis on deep reflection,  listening for understanding and personalised support 

∙ Providing a wide-range of professional development opportunities ∙ They also offer training opportunities for their non-teaching staff to  support their development and career aspirations. 

∙ Do staff, governors and pupils receive training and education in disability  equality issues? Yes 

∙ Many public and private sector organisations seem to be missing a trick  when it comes to disability training. To many it is taboo. Through training  and discussion, barriers can be broken down and compassionate  understanding can be achieved. Imagine the difference that creative,  practical and stimulating Disability Awareness Training could have on your  staff. It is always refreshing to be greeted by a competent and helpful  member of staff with knowledge of any special requirements.

Grade 2020 

Exemplary

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing actions and processes.


 

10.3.2 

Pre-admission

Best Practice 

All schools have admission criteria to decide which children get places. The  school or local council usually set these. 

Admission criteria are different for each school. For example, schools may give  priority to children:


 

 

∙ who have a brother or sister at the school already? 

∙ who live close to the school? 

∙ from a particular religion (for faith schools) 

∙ who do well in an entrance exam (for selective schools, for example  grammar schools or stage schools)? 

∙ who went to a particular primary school (a ‘feederschool’) 

∙ in care or being looked after (all schools must have this as a top  priority) 

∙ who are eligible for the pupil premium? 

∙ If a child has SEN their statement or education, health and care plan  will recommend a school for them. If a parent applies there, the school  must give that child a place.

Audit Findings 

The School sets out to liaise with parents in order to encourage them to have  an active role in their child’s education. Parents play a key role in enabling  pupils to reach their potential. Parents are invited to attend parents’ evenings  and additional individual meetings as and when appropriate. They are also  expected to inform the school of any relevant essential information pertaining  to their child’s SEN or indeed any factors that could affect this.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.3 

Admission

Best Practice 

A school’s Information Report must include information for identifying,  assessing and making provision for pupils with SEN and for the admission of  disabled pupils. 

The requirements are set out in legislation (the Special Educational Needs and  Disability Regulations 2014 – see further information). 

The SEN Information Report should contain everything Ofsted – and for that  matter any agency, parent, student or professional – could want to know in  terms of SEN identification, provision and support. It can also act as a guide  

through SEN provision for all members of staff, whatever their career profile. It  must include:


 

 

∙ Details of and links to your area Local Offer(s). Remember that if you  work with more than one local authority, then you need to have links  to all of the Local Offers for those authorities. 

∙ In relation to mainstream schools and maintained nursery schools, the  name and contact details of the SENCO. Best practice would be to also  include the same details for your headteacher and your SEND  governor, as well as how parents can make a complaint or raise a  concern. 

∙ Information about the expertise and training of staff in relation to  children and young people with SEN and about how specialist expertise  will be secured. 

∙ How you make provision for pupils with SEN, whether or not they have  Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). 

∙ What interventions you have implemented and their impact. ∙ The additional learning opportunities for pupils with SEN. 

∙ Your procedures, if you are a mainstream school or nursery, for the  identification and assessment of pupils with SEN. 

∙ Your approach to teaching pupils who have SEN. 

∙ How you adapt the curriculum and the learning environment for those  who have SEN. 

∙ How the school enables pupils with SEN to engage in the activities of  the school (including physical activities) together with children who do  not have SEN. 

∙ Details of the support that is available for improving the social,  emotional and mental health and development of pupils with SEN. ∙ How you involve pupils and their parents in decision-making. ∙ How you evaluate the effectiveness of your provision, including  securing feedback and the views of pupils and their parents

Audit Findings 

The school does all that is reasonable to comply with its legal and moral  responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and Special Educational Needs and  Disability Act 2001, in order to accommodate the needs of applicants who have  disabilities for which, with reasonable adjustments, the school can cater  adequately. The school is committed to promoting equal opportunities and  treatment for all, regardless of gender, pregnancy or maternity, disability, race,  ethnicity, religion or belief, cultural background, linguistic background, special  educational need, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or academic or  sporting ability. The School is pleased to receive applications for admission  from pupils irrespective of race, nationality, colour, ethnic or national origin,  religion or creed, disability or previous educational background. All applications  are treated equally. In particular, the School takes seriously its responsibilities  to ensure compliance with the Special Educational Needs and Disability and  Equality Acts. Additional meetings and transition days may need to be arranged  dependent upon need. 

The admission arrangements for all pupils are in accordance with national  legislation, including the Equality Act 2010. This includes children with any level  of SEND; those with statements or Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP),  and those without. Children identified, prior to joining their school, as having  additional needs will be considered carefully when being placed with staff and  classes in order to ensure a balance of provision and opportunity. Parents/carers of children with a Statement of SEND, EHCP or EHCP pending


 

 

will be invited to discuss the provision that can be made to meet their identified needs. St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School will accept all  pupils where the school is named in an Education Health and Care Plan. All  Year Two children will attend transition sessions at St. Margaret Mary’s Junior  School, prior to commencing their time in Year Three. Those Year Two children  identified by the Infant school as a vulnerable group, will attend additional  transition sessions. Transition programmes for children with SEND will be  personalised and extensive to ensure smooth movement between Key Stages.  The SENCo and Learning Mentor will attend Team Around the Family (TAF),  Early Help Assessment (EHA), Pastoral Support Programme (PSP) and any other  relevant meetings of children moving from St. Margaret Mary’s Infant School in  to Year 3. Admissions from other schools to St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior  School will be considered on an individual basis and will follow the same  admission arrangements as for our other children. 

As a junior school 99% of their intake comes directly from the independently  run infant school. SEN pupil assessments/discussions between the infants and  junior schools begin at Easter time with any needs/special arrangements that  are currently in place considered. Following the discussions there is a SEN  transition programme which is delivered by both infant and junior Learning  Mentors over a period of 4-6 weeks; this allows school to see the SEN children  in their setting and determine any support that the children may need when  they arrive. Where required, meetings are arranged in the Summer term with  the parents of SEN children to ensure that the family understand and agree the  provision in place for their child. 

This information is shared with relevant teachers and support staff through  one to one meetings with class teachers and heads of year. Information on  each child is also available via their schools shared drive. 

The school has arrangements in place for admitting disabled pupils and liaises  with the Infant school and parents to ensure a smooth transition. There is a  handover meeting with parents and all relevant documentation is shared with  all who will be working with the child. 

The school’s SENCO is involved in pre-admission open evenings and transition  days and accompanies the child and their parents. 

Pupil needs are identified with their EHCP and discussions all involved with the  child’s care, as well as the parents. Before pupils are admitted, the school,  ensures all the relevant planning takes place.

Grade 2020 

Exemplary

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.4 

Safeguarding


 

Best Practice 

Disabled and impaired children and young people can be amongst the most  vulnerable and may be especially reliant upon the support of adults. Such  groups are potentially vulnerable to being targeted inappropriately. Effective  safeguarding systems are vitally important for the protection of such pupils. 

The DfE publishes Statutory guidance for schools and colleges on safeguarding  children and safer recruitment. The guidance is updated from time to time. 

Statutory guidance sets out what schools must do to comply with the law. You  should follow the guidance unless you have a very good reason not to. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/keeping-children-safe-in education--2

Audit Findings 

The named Safeguarding lead is Ruth Culley, The Deputy Head teacher. 

All staff at the school have been provided with, read, and signed to acknowledge, the current edition of DfE “Keeping Safe in Education”. 

The school takes safeguarding very seriously – they ensure their children are  kept safe in lots of different ways. They only employ qualified and trained staff  who have had an enhanced criminal records check. 

All volunteers and visitors are also checked and issued with identification  badges before they have access to the site. 

The school has a safe and secure building and grounds; they carry out daily,  weekly or yearly risk assessments for the equipment and areas used by all  children, both in the School grounds and whenever they go for trips beyond  their boundaries. 

All staff have regular safeguarding training and they focus on the well-being of  every child individually.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.5 

Pupils with Temporary, Emerging or ongoing Health Care Needs

Best Practice 

Section 100 of the Children and Families Act 2014 places a duty on governing  bodies of maintained schools, proprietors of academies and management  committees of PRUs to make arrangements for supporting pupils at their  school with medical conditions. 

Pupils at school with medical conditions should be properly supported so that  they have full access to education, including school trips and physical  education.


 

 

Governing bodies must ensure that arrangements are in place in schools to  support pupils at school with medical conditions. 

Governing bodies should ensure that school leaders consult health and social  care professionals, pupils and parents to ensure that the needs of children  with medical conditions are effectively supported. 

Parents of children with medical conditions are often concerned that their child’s health will deteriorate when they attend school. This is because pupils  with long-term and complex medical conditions may require on-going support,  medicines or care while at school to help them manage their condition and  keep them well. Others may require monitoring and interventions in  emergency circumstances. 

It is also the case that children’s health needs may change over time, in ways  that cannot always be predicted, sometimes resulting in extended absences. It  is therefore important that parents feel confident that schools will provide  effective support for their child’s medical condition and that pupils feel safe. In  making decisions about the support they provide, schools should establish  relationships with relevant local health services to help them. It is crucial that  schools receive and fully consider advice from healthcare professionals and  listen to and value the views of parents and pupils. 

In addition to the educational impacts, there are social and emotional  implications associated with medical conditions. Children may be self conscious about their condition and some may be bullied or develop  emotional disorders such as anxiety or depression around their medical  condition. In particular, long-term absences due to health problems affect  children’s educational attainment, impact on their ability to integrate with  their peers and affect their general wellbeing and emotional health. Reintegration back into school should be properly supported so that children  with medical conditions fully engage with learning and do not fall behind when  they are unable to attend. 

Short term and frequent absences, including those for appointments connected with a pupil’s medical condition, (which can often be lengthy), also  need to be effectively managed and appropriate support put in place to limit  the impact on the child’s educational attainment and emotional and general  wellbeing. 

Some children with medical conditions may be disabled. Where this is the case  governing bodies must comply with their duties under the Equality Act 2010.  Some may also have special educational needs (SEN) and may have a  statement, or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan which brings together  health and social care needs, as well.

Audit Findings 

How are pupils with health care needs supported? Parents complete an  Individual Health Care Plan. Schools act on the plan accordingly. Children are  allocated a key worker if they have a specific medical need - usually R Culley.  Only prescribed medication is administered once the relevant forms are  completed. 

How are Individual Health Care Plans agreed and communicated? Allocated based on previous year’s historical paperwork. Year 2 (infant school) pass on the names of children who have an IHCP. If children’s medical needs change as


 

 

the year progresses, the parent inform class teacher who informs Ruth Culley – Safeguarding Lead. 

The school has accessibility and educational support arrangements in place for  pupils with temporary medical or physical impairments such as broken limbs,  post-operative recovery periods.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.6 

Access to the Curriculum

Best Practice 

Ensuring access to the curriculum is vital in providing equal opportunities to  children and young people with SEND. Considerable progress has been made to  improve the accessibility of the curriculum, covering both teaching and  learning, as well as Early Years, trips and visits, after school activities and  extended school activities in our schools. 

Schools and educational settings (including Early Years) are responsible for  providing a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils and play a key role in  planning to increase access to the curriculum for all pupils. Therefore, schools  are required to have in place an ‘Accessibility Plan’ that demonstrates what  actions the school is taking to increase access to the curriculum, particularly for  those pupils with SEND. 

Adjustments that would help children with disabilities have better access to  the curriculum might include: 

∙ changes to teaching and learning arrangements, classroom  organisation and timetabling. 

∙ Technology suited to a child's needs can help them learn faster and  more easily. This can increase their access to the curriculum. Examples  of technology that can help include: 

∙ touch-screen computers, joysticks and trackerballs, easy-to-use  keyboards, interactive whiteboards, text-to-speech software, Braille translation software, software that connects words with pictures or  symbols. 

The following is considered good practice: 

∙ Develop effective classroom partnerships by differentiating the  learning objectives and outcomes, ensuring all staff are fully briefed  and can adjust the lesson to meet the needs of individual pupils. This  partnership should be underpinned by encouraging independence  amongst pupils. 

∙ Develop a whole school approach that raises the capability of all school  staff to assist in the teaching of pupils with SEND in mainstream settings. In particular this approach should focus on ensuring school


 

 

staff can provide care and support for vulnerable pupils and know who  to speak to find out more. 

∙ Make SEND a priority by ensuring there is a member of the governing  body, or a sub-committee, with specific oversight arrangements for  SEN and disability. This should include regular reviews between the  Headteacher, SENCO and the governing body on how resources are  being allocated and the impact of this allocation.

Audit Findings 

They are committed to whole school inclusion. In their school they support  children with a range of special educational needs. They will seek specialist  SEND provision and training from SEND services where necessary. Every effort  will be made to educate pupils with SEND alongside their peers in a  mainstream classroom setting. Where this is not possible, the SENCo will consult with the child’s parents for other flexible arrangements to be made.  Regular training and learning opportunities for staff on the subject of SEND and  SEND teaching are provided both in school and across the family of schools. Staff members are kept up to date with teaching methods which will aid the  progress of all pupils including those with SEND. Pupils with SEND will be given  access to the curriculum through the specialist SEND provision provided by the  school as is necessary, as far as possible, taking into account the wishes of their  parents and the needs of the individual. 

In class provision and support are deployed effectively to ensure the  curriculum is differentiated where necessary. They make sure that individual or  group tuition is available where it is felt pupils would benefit from this  provision. They set appropriate individual targets that motivate pupils to do  their best, and celebrating achievements at all levels. Learning opportunities at  St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School are appropriately rewarding and  effectively differentiated, using diverse teaching styles. All staff will work to  ensure that children are supported effectively in accessing the curriculum. Whole school curriculum maps are in place and plans are differentiated in  order to ensure appropriate learning outcomes for all pupils. Differentiation  takes a variety of forms within teacher’s planning and this is closely monitored  by the SENCo through termly book and planning scrutiny and Learning  Walks/observations of classroom practice. Learning intentions are always  made explicit and activities are adapted or planned separately as appropriate  in order to ensure access to learning for all children. 

Alternative methods of responding or recording are planned for where  appropriate and children with SEND may access the curriculum through  specialist resources such as ICT where this is appropriate. Staff use a range of  assessment procedures within lessons (such as recording, role-play/drama,  drawing, photography etc.) to ensure children with additional needs are able to  demonstrate their achievement appropriately. All children requiring  information in formats other than print will have this provided. They adapt printed materials so that children with literacy difficulties can access them, or  ensure access through extra adult/peer support/scribing etc. 

Disabled pupils can participate in all curriculum areas. It is the Policy of the  School that any pupil with any type of special need should be as fully  integrated into the school as possible. They will have full access to the  curriculum unless special arrangements have been made, in full consultation with all concerned. It is recognised that all pupils have something to offer to


 

 

the School and that pupils have strengths and weaknesses in different areas. It  is their policy to recognise those areas of strength and to enhance them,  exploiting them to the full, thereby building a feeling of worth and self-esteem  in each pupil. Concurrently, areas of challenge are targeted, in order to remedy  problems. 

Differentiation of work or task may take place to ensure full access and, when  possible, approaches will be varied or modified to take into account the  different learning styles and levels of ability of individual pupils. The head of  learning support is in regular communication with those pupils with EHC plans,  (when they are in place) their parents and teachers to ensure that the  requirements of their plans are met, they are taking appropriate courses and  able to make progress. The needs in school at the moment allow pupils to  participate in all subjects in the curriculum. 

The School is an educationally inclusive School, where the teaching and  learning achievements, attitudes and well-being of every pupil matter. Through  appropriate curricular provision, they recognise that pupils have different  educational needs and abilities. They learn and acquire knowledge in different  ways and at varying rates. Accordingly, teaching provision is adapted to the individual’s needs, including those with disabilities, those with special  educational needs, those from all cultural backgrounds and pupils with English  as an additional language. 

All pupils may have special needs at different times and therefore a wide  variety of strategies are used to meet these needs as they arise. Learning  diversity is recognised and planned for, any barriers to learning and  participation will be challenged and removed and all pupils will be provided  with equality of opportunity. 

Parents will be fully involved in the education of their children and they will be  fully informed when special education provision is made for their child. 

All pupils are encouraged to take part in music, drama and PE and access is  provided to appropriate computer technology. 

Do all staff allow for the extra time needed by some pupils with disabilities to  use equipment in practical work? Yes 

Do staff recognise and allow for the extra mental effort expended by some  disabled pupils? For example, when lip reading? Yes

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.7 

Lesson planning and support for pupils with disabilities and SEN


 

Best Practice 

Recent legislation and guidance make clear that all the teaching staff in a  school are responsible for the provision for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities.  All staff should be involved in developing school policies and fully aware of the  school’s procedures for identifying, assessing and making provision for pupils  with SEN and/or disabilities. 

Staff should help pupils with SEN to overcome any barriers to participating and  learning, and make any reasonable adjustments needed to include disabled  pupils in all aspects of school life. The Equality Act has substantial implications  for everyone involved in planning and teaching the curriculum. Schools have  specific duties under the Act to: make reasonable adjustments to their policies  and practice to prevent discrimination against" disabled pupils increase access  for disabled pupils, including access to the curriculum, through accessibility"  planning, and promote disability equality and have a disability equality scheme  showing how they will do so. 

Teachers have a statutory duty to modify the programmes of study “Schools  have a responsibility to provide a broad and balanced curriculum for all  pupils.” This is more than just giving pupils ‘access to the curriculum’. 

The curriculum is not immovable, like some building, to which pupils with SEN  and/or disabilities have to gain access. It is there to be changed, where  necessary, to include all pupils. 

The statutory ‘inclusion statement’ in the National Curriculum sets out a framework for modifying the curriculum to include all pupils. Teachers have to: set suitable learning challenges " respond to pupils’ diverse learning needs,  and “overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for particular  individuals and groups " of pupils. 

These principles allow you to: choose objectives for pupils with SEN and/or  disabilities that are different from those of the rest “of the group, or modify  the curriculum to remove barriers so all pupils meet the same objectives." Planning for pupils with SEN and/or disabilities should be part of the planning  that you do for all pupils, rather than a separate activity. It doesn’t need to be  complicated or time-consuming. 

You can simply jot down brief notes in your lesson plans on the learning  objectives and approaches you will use to remove barriers for pupils with SEN  and/or disabilities. Any personal targets the pupil has can inform this planning. 

At times it may be appropriate to plan smaller steps to achieve the learning  goal or provide additional resources. It is often possible to use the support  available to do this, either from the SENCO or teaching assistant/mentor. 

You should also think about the questions you will ask different groups and  individuals and the ways you will check that pupils understand. Some pupils  with SEN and/or disabilities will show they understand in different ways from  their peers, so you should look at a range of opportunities for pupils to  demonstrate what they know and can do.

Audit Findings 

At the beginning of each academic year a Register of Pupils requiring  additional support, who have received support in the past years, or who give  cause for concern, is collated and circulated. This is regularly updated throughout the year in consultation with the appropriate staff, parents and


 

 

pupils. Regular meetings are held for this purpose to discuss cases, and to  impart information. Where the advice of outside help is considered necessary, e.g. speech therapy or occupational therapy, this will be included in any  support plan. Additionally, a need for pastoral care may also be identified. In  this case the relevant member of staff will be consulted. Any further  information about the pupil will be disseminated to the appropriate staff,  thereby helping staff to understand and meet the needs of each pupil.  Resources and teaching aids are current, up to date and in sufficient quantity  for the number of pupils helped. All lessons are responsive to pupil diversity  and teaching is appropriately differentiated to meet individual needs. 

Staff are constantly seeking to remove all barriers to learning and participation  and also look to provide alternative ways of giving access to experience and  understanding. 

All staff recognise, understand, and allow for the additional planning and  effort necessary for all pupils to be fully included in the curriculum. There are a  variety of activities to maximise strategies for pupils to engage. For example,  discussion, oral presentation, writing, drawing, problem solving, use of  library/internet, audio-visual materials, and practical tasks. 

Lessons involve a variety of solo work/pairs/groups/whole class.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.8 

Access to Educational Visits and Extra Curricular Activities

Best Practice 

Ensuring accessibility of any activities or events that involve travelling outside  School grounds will help all students to participate fully in School life. This  would include educational trips, such as, visits to museums or theatres, visits to  other Schools, sports events, or work experience. It is also important to review  the accessibility of the destination, and the transport to and from the  destination, as part of the planning of any such activities. 

If a visit is to cater for pupils with special needs, a suitable venue should be  selected. 

Additional safety measures to those already in place in the school may be  necessary to support pupils with medical needs during visits. 

All teachers supervising visits should be aware of a pupil’s medical needs and any medical emergency procedures. 

Summary sheets held by all teachers, containing details of each pupil’s needs  and any other relevant information provided by parents, is one way of  achieving this. If appropriate, a volunteer teacher should be trained in  administering medication, if they have not already been so trained, and should  take responsibility in a medical emergency.


 

 

If the pupil’s safety cannot be guaranteed, it may be appropriate to ask the parent or a care assistant to accompany a particular pupil. 

If teachers are concerned about whether they can provide for a pupil’s safety  or the safety of other pupils on a trip because of a medical condition, they  should seek general medical advice from the School Health Service or further  information from the pupil’s parents. (For further DfE guidance see Supporting  Pupils with Medical Needs: A Good Practice Guide) 

Schools will already be familiar with the nature of a pupil’s special educational  needs. Any limitations or problems the pupil may have should be taken into  account at the planning stage and when carrying out the risk assessment. Off site visits may pose additional difficulties for a pupil with SEN and the  behaviour of some pupils may prove challenging. 

Enquiries should be made at an early stage about access and facilities for  securing wheelchairs on transport and at residential centres etc., if  appropriate. If ramps are not going to be available in certain places, the  organiser may wish to arrange to take portable ramps with them. The group  leader should at an early stage assess whether manual handling skills will be  needed and, if so, whether training should be sought.

Audit Findings 

The staff of the School firmly believe that a child’s education is greatly enhanced by their involvement in educational activities outside the classroom. 

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School makes all trips inclusive by planning  in advance and using accessible places. They offer to take all children on  residential trips in Years 4 and 6 and provide additional adult support for  individual children as required. On occasions when it has been 13 necessary,  parents have attended to provide specialised care so that the trip remains fully  inclusive. All children are welcome at their after school activities and support is  appropriately organised. The risk assessments carried out include the  consideration of matters such as hazardous activities, fire procedures and  cautions, pupil supervision, transport and pupil free time etc. 

The School recognises that importance of that fact that sufficient time is  allocated to the preparation and planning of a visit to ensure its success and  safety. 

Are school visits, including overseas visits, made accessible and available to all  pupils irrespective of attainment or impairment? Yes 

Name some examples pf places visited during the last 12 months: Condover Hall. Under normal circumstances, the school does several day trips and a Year  4residential trip to Colomendy (due to COVID many of these, including  Colomendy, did not go ahead in 2019-2020)

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.9 

Outcomes

Best Practice 

According to the Department for Education and Skills (DfES), about 3/5 of  children with Statements of SEN are currently placed in Maintained (i.e. State)  Mainstream Schools. However, whilst the number of pupils with Statements of  SEN continues to increase, the number of children for whom a Statement is  issued for the first time is slowly decreasing. 

The number of pupils in Special Schools has remained fairly constant but the  number of pupils in Mainstream Maintained schools has increased sharply  with over 75% of children with statements of SEN for the first time being  placed in Mainstream schools now.

Audit Findings 

The School Governing Committee evaluates the success of the education that  is provided by the school for all pupils. Primarily, this is achieved through a  termly report to Governors which includes information relating to the number  of pupils receiving special educational provision and the forms of provision  which they receive. 

The Headteacher will report on any whole school developments in relation to  inclusion, at the same time, and will ensure that governors are kept up to date  with any legislative or local policy changes. In order to make consistent  continuous progress in relation to SEND provision the school encourages  feedback from staff, parents and pupils throughout the year. This is done in  the form of a parent and pupil questionnaires, discussion and through  progress meetings with parents. Pupil progress will be monitored in line with  the SEND Code of Practice. They analyse pupil attainment and progress data  on a half-termly basis, with particular focus on vulnerable groups. They also  use IDSR and ASP to compare performance of vulnerable groups with other  children in their school and with national statistics. They also analyse data  relating to behaviour (incidents are recorded using ABC charts) and  attendance, using this analysis to plan their provision map. Through the school  development plan they set targets for the year ahead. They report progress  against these targets to the Governing Body. 

Whole-school monitoring and evaluation procedures include scrutiny of work  and planning, and observations of classroom practice. The SENCo and  Headteacher both facilitate these processes. Outcomes pertinent to SEND and  Inclusion provision and planning will be taken forward by the whole staff and  used to build upon successful practice. SEND provision and interventions are  recorded on a provision map, this is updated as and when interventions  change. These are updated by the class teacher and are monitored by the  SENCo. These reflect information passed on by the SENCo at the beginning of  an academic year and are adapted following assessments. These interventions  are monitored and evaluated termly by the SENCo and information is fed back  to the staff, parents and governors. This helps to identify whether provision is  effective. 

St. Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School encourages the inclusion of children’s voices in the School Council. Each class has two representatives who


 

 

gather views from their class and feed back to classes following meetings.  They also use Circle Time and Collective Worship opportunities to listen to all  pupils’ voices’ throughout the school. They aim to include children in their  target setting and encourage and support them to take an active part in their  annual reviews and PPP reviews, through preparation and making the  information and meeting itself accessible and child-friendly. Throughout the  School, pupils’ progress is assessed and monitored on a regular basis. Early  identification of any difficulties is vital. Assessment and review of each pupil is  an ongoing process. In addition, the Special Needs Policy and resulting practice  are continually kept under review, with the changing needs of pupils and the  School, teaching requirements and Government policy. As the need arises,  staff, parents and pupils are kept informed of developments. 

What does school data reveal about the progress that disabled and SEN pupils  make? In their school, children with SEND make better than average progress  in reading (2.08), better than average progress in writing (1.2) and better than  average progress in maths (2.9). 

How does this compare with the progress other pupils make? There is more  progress than all pupils and non-send pupils. However, There is a gap in  attainment, with SEND children not achieving as highly as their peers. 

Does the school track the destination of leavers? Yes

Grade 2020 

Exemplary

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

10.3.10 

Staffing & Leadership

Best Practice 

SEN leaders play a critical role in supporting children, establishing the ethos  and approach to SEN within the school and ensuring that SEN has a high  profile. Without strong leadership in this area, the individual needs of all  children are not recognised and listened to. Have high expectations and  ambition for all children. 

The purpose of collating these strategies is not to highlight weaknesses in SEN  provision in UK schools but to promote the positive and easily accessible  routes to improvement that, in the main, already exist in the system. 

We are currently ignoring our greatest resource in raising standards for children with SEN – teachers and school staff. We must quickly realise the  opportunity for teachers, SENCOs and inclusion leads to share their knowledge  and good practice through school-to-school collaboration. 

Changes in SEN provision is coming but schools are struggling to engage with  this because of the massive overhauls taking place in the wider education  system.


 

 

Interventions used in SEN should be measured by their impact on children’s  attainment, just as they are for all children. Wellbeing, happiness, attendance,  low exclusion rates and freedom from bullying are, of course, all important  measures, but we must place emphasis on attainment levels also. We have to  start aspiring for each and every one of our children and young people.

Audit Findings 

The current SENCO is a member of the SLT. 

The SENCO regularly inform the rest of the SLT on SEND policy and practice, as  well as SEND pupil progress and outcomes. The SENCO has a clear vision for  the SEN provision at the school and for improving SEND outcomes. 

The school’s SEN Information report meets legal requirements and it is  published on the school website. 

There are high expectations of all pupils and all are equally valued. The whole  school strategic planning takes account of the duty to make reasonable  adjustments and there are there clear SEN aims and objectives in these plans. 

SEN aims and objectives have been fed into the strategic planning for the year.  Ensuring that all pupils are supported, optimising the use of digital technology  and promoting positive mental health for all pupils. 

Staffing is sufficient for the number of disabled and SEN pupils, and the SENCO  is involved in the decision-making progress about staff deployment and use of  resources for SEN (including funding and use of Pupil Premium). 

The school endeavours to make effective use of available Teaching Assistants.

Grade 2020 

Compliant

Previous grade,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suggestions to  improve/resolve

Maintain existing action and processes.


 

Accessibility Plan for St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Junior School  

Click or tap to enter a date. 

Policy Title:

 

Date adopted:

 

Date of next review:

 

SLT Lead:

 

Committee:

 

Statutory requirement: 

Yes


 

1. Introduction/Context 

1.1 The Accessibility Plan addresses the statutory requirements of the Equality Act 2010 (which  replaced the Disability Discrimination Act 1995) and the SEND Code of Practice of September  2015. These acts place a responsibility on the Governing Body to ensure that the school is  socially and academically inclusive. In particular, the Equality Act requires the school to  develop a plan to show how it will develop services in the following three areas: 

a) To increase the extent to which disabled students can participate in the  school's curriculum. 

b) To improve the physical environment of the school to ensure disabled students  are able to take advantage of education and other benefits, facilities or  

services provided or offered by the school. 

c) To improve the delivery of information to disabled students, so information is  as available as it is for students who are not disabled. 

2. Purpose/Aims 

2.1 The school’s diverse and inclusive community will be a centre of excellence in learning, where  all students, including those with disabilities, are supported and challenged to fulfil high  ambitions. 

2.2 All students will have access to appropriate qualifications and will develop the skills and  resilience to meet the demands of working, family and community life. Students will  demonstrate the empathy and confidence to work with others to achieve a betterfuture. 

2.3 To ensure all disabled students are fully involved in school life and are making at least  expected progress. 

2.4 To identifying barriers to participation and find practical solutions to overcoming these. 2.5 To work collaboratively with disabled students and their parents/carers to create appropriate  provision, including robust EHCPs where appropriate. 

2.6 To increase the confidence, sensitivity and expertise of teachers and support staff when  teaching or supporting a wide range of disabled students. 

2.7 To meet the requirements of the Equalities Act and the SEND Code of Practice in respect of  disabled students. 

3. Definitions 

3.1 Definition of Disability (Equality Act 2010) 

“A person has a disability if she or he has a physical or mental impairment that has a  substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to perform normal day-to-day  activities.” 

3.2 Definition of Special Educational Needs (SEND Code of Practice September2015) A child or young person has special educational needs if he or she has a learning difficulty or  disability which calls for special educational provision to be made for him or her. A child or  young person has a learning difficulty or disability if he or she:

a) has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of others of  the same age, or 

b) has a disability which prevents or hinders him or her from making use of  facilities of the kind generally provided for others of the same age in  

mainstream schools. This will include students with medical needs. 

4. The Accessibility Plan 

4.1 This plan summarises our development priorities in the three areas specified by the Equality  Act (see context above). The school is also committed to making reasonable adjustments for  individual students to ensure all students are able to be involved in every aspect of school life,  in partnership with their families, and that barriers to learning are removed. 

a) Increase the extent to which disabled students can participate in the school's curriculum 

4.2 Students with SEND (special educational needs or disability) are given access to the curriculum  supported by the school’s specialist SEND provision and in line with the needs of the individual  and the wishes of their parents. Every effort is made to educate students with SEND alongside  their peers in a mainstream classroom setting. Where this is not possible, the SENCO consults  

the student and parents about proposed flexible arrangements. 

4.3 The school curriculum is regularly reviewed to ensure that it is accessible to students of all  levels and abilities and supports the learning and progress of all students as individuals. This  includes learning outside the classroom. 

4.4 Our Special Educational Needs Policy, Local Offer and SEN Report outline the provision the  school already has in place to support students with special educational needs and disabilities  (SEND). This includes: 

a) Identification of SEND at a very early stage through meticulous liaison with appropriate  feeder schools such as nursery schools, primary schools or high schools, supported by  individual provision maps and the SEND register. 

b) Keeping staff fully informed of the special educational needs/disability of any student in  their charge, including sharing progress reports, medical reports and student/parent  feedback. 

c) Listening to students’ and parents’/carers’ views and taking them into account in all aspects of school life. 

d) Awareness raising programmes for all students about the range of disabilities in the  school, in particular creating a very supportive base for each disabled pupil. 

e) Regular training opportunities for staff on SEND and appropriate teaching and learning  strategies. 

f) Increasingly specialised in-class support or guidance from trained TLAs (Teaching and  Learning Assistants) and Additional Educational Needs Teachers (AEN Teachers). g) Specific specialist intervention to build skills (particularly for literacy and numeracy) in  small groups and/or adapted timetables. 

h) Specialist advice from other professionals (e.g. Speech and Language Therapist, School  Nurse, Occupational Therapist, hearing impaired service, physiotherapist) on how to adapt  the curriculum and teaching strategies for individuals. 

i) Special access arrangements for internal and external exams. 

j) Specific target setting and monitoring to ensure all students with SEND make at least  expected progress and accelerated progress in intervention groups. 

k) Ready access for parents to staff, with partnerships supported by planned structured  conversations and ongoing home-school liaison. 

l) A structured and dedicated transition programme for vulnerable students m) Specialist advice and guidance to support transition 

n) Multi-agency support coordinated by the school’s Inclusion teams in each year group.

o) Training for all staff from specialist autism provision staff on teaching and learning  strategies for students with autism. 

Further development 

4.5 The School Development Plan sets out additional development priorities in this area. These  include: 

a) Create an inspiring curriculum model which meets the needs of allstudents. b) Broaden choices to construct personalised pathways. 

c) Develop high quality curriculum for lower ability students. 

d) Develop more complex curriculum model. 

e) Conduct annual curriculum reviews. 

f) Reorganise non-classroom-based support staff to ensure effective context for continuing  professional development. 

g) Improve the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to  which disabled students are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or  services, provided or offered by the school 

b) The school environment already incorporates many features to ensure accessibility to students  with disabilities. 

4.6 These include: 

a) Ramps 

b) A specialist SEND area, with small, quiet and calm learning spaces 

c) Disabled toilets 

d) Features that improve acoustics 

e) Customised furniture and/or equipment 

f) Specialist resources, including digital technologies 

g) Guiding in emergency evacuation. 

h) Any automatic doors 

4.7 In addition, teachers are given advice on how to move and arrange furniture, how to manage  lighting, noise and visual stimulus, how to create visual timetables etc., so that individual  students’ needs are met. Similar attention is given to how students’ needs can be met on  school journeys and visits. 

Further development 

4.8 The school carries out an accessibility audit every three years in advance of reviewing this  policy. The last audit was undertaken by EA Audits Ltd. 

4.9 The school is also committed to ensuring full accessibility in any future new build. 

c) Improve the delivery to disabled students of information which is readily accessible to students  who are not disabled 

4.10 Teachers and TLAs consider the needs of each SEND student and provide accessible learning  resources for them. The increasing use of Interactive Whiteboards and other digital  technologies have diversified the ways in which information is presented to all students.  Visual and audio information is now as common as written information. 

4.11 In addition, the school makes the following available as appropriate:

a) Differentiated resources with particular attention to reading age, plain English, images  and layout. 

b) Laptops and other digital technologies. 

c) Coloured overlays for text. 

d) Tactile resources. 

e) Readers and/or scribes in exams, where appropriate 

Further development 

4.12 The following opportunities to improve further will be explored: 

a) Opportunities provided by digital technologies. 

b) Regular clear and relevant information to parents in home language ifrequired. 5. Responsibilities 

5.1 All staff are responsible for removing barriers to learning for disabled pupils. 5.2 All leaders are responsible for improving accessibility within their area ofresponsibility. 5.3 The Governing Body is responsible for the approval of this plan. 

5.4 The Head teacher is responsible for ensuring the resourcing, implementation and updating of  this plan. 

5.5 The SENCO is responsible for ensuring that all current students’ needs are covered by this plan  and for monitoring the effectiveness of the plan in meeting disabled students’ needs. 

6. Review 

6.1 This Accessibility Plan has the status of a policy of the Governing Body and is reviewed every 3  years. The views of disabled students and parents will feed into the review.

12. Key to Action Plan 

12.1. Priority Ratings 

It is unlikely that you will be able to implement all the recommendations in the near future and we do  recognise this. To this end a priority rating is given to each recommendation, which is designed to  guide 

you in the formulation of the accessibility plan, which then can be incorporated into the school  accessibility 

strategy and your School Improvement Plan (SIP). 

Priorities for action may be dependent upon a range of factors including, for example: 

∙ Compliance to AD M (Part M of The Building Regulations) 

∙ Client's policy and objectives 

∙ Current use of the building 

∙ Costs involved and available budget and resources 

∙ Plans for refurbishment 

∙ Maintenance programmes 

∙ Agreement of outside agencies (such as a free holder or local highway authority, planning  permission) 

It is for the Schools’ senior leadership and management to take ownership of actions to improve  accessibility, in the context of the many competing demands schools face. The priorities suggested  below may be helpful in that regard. 

It is suggested that the Schools’ own development and improvement plan (SIP) contains targets linked to this Accessibility Action Plan, to encourage allocation of staffing and budget resource to support  further improvements to accessibility. 

Priority A: 

Where there are potential health and safety risks or where failure to implement changes would be  highly likely to attract legal implications. Immediate action is recommended to put changes into effect. 

Priority B: 

Where action is recommended within the short term to alleviate an access problem or make  improvements that will have a considerable impact. 

Priority C: 

Where action is recommended within 12 - 24 months to improve access. 

Priority D: 

Where the recommendation involves excessive costs or should be implemented as part of a long-term  plan.

 

 

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