Disability discrimination policy

What is disability?
The Disability and Discrimination Act (1995) states that ‘a person suffers from a disability if he or she has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out day-to-day activities’. Physical or mental impairments can include sensory impairments (such as those affecting sight
and hearing) and learning difficulties. The definition also covers certain medical conditions when they have a long term and substantial effect on pupils’ everyday lives.
Disability is not the same as special educational needs; not all children who are defined as having a disability have special educational needs, and vice versa.

Aims and objectives
New Life Christian Academy aims to be an inclusive school. We actively seek to remove the barriers to learning and participation that can hinder or exclude individual pupils, or groups of pupils. This means that equality of opportunity must be a reality for all our children, and this of course includes pupils with disabilities.
 We will not discriminate against any persons on account of their disability with regard to admission to the school. The school will follow it’s admission policy.
 We will ensure that pupils with disabilities have the same opportunities as non-disabled pupils to benefit from the education our school provides.
 We will not treat a pupil with a disability less favourably than others because of the nature of his/her disability.
 We will make all reasonable adjustments to ensure that a pupil or member of staff with disabilities is not placed at a disadvantage.
 We will do our best to anticipate the needs of a pupil or staff member with disabilities before s/he joins the school.
 We will have an effective Accessibility Plan which details the changes required to our buildings and to other aspects of our school, so that we fulfil our legal requirements, and remove barriers to inclusion for all pupils and staff with disabilities.

Removing barriers
The school must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that pupils and members of staff and of the public are not disadvantaged.
Disabilities can limit the extent to which children are able to participate in the curriculum, and can impede the delivery of information. So, for example, if a child suffers from hearing loss, the class teacher will always try and face the child when addressing the class, or, in severe cases, the teacher may wear a microphone and transmitter.
The Accessibility Plan covers the measures we have already taken, and are still taking, to improve our school.

The physical environment
We will endeavour to improve provision for disabled pupils and staff by developing the physical environment of the school, within the limits of the resources available. We will provide:
- access to the school via ramps including handrails, where necessary
- ease of movement around the building through clear signage and suitably wide pathways
- accommodation within the building, by providing toilets for disabled pupils, and medical facilities
- appropriately sized furniture
- where possible, relevant equipment to allow full access to the curriculum
Planned improvements to our physical environment are covered in the Accessibility Plan.

The curriculum
- Pupils are involved in individualised learning where they are able to work at their own level and pace for the core curriculum subjects in a morning.
- We use a variety of teaching strategies to enhance learning and participation in a broad and balanced creative curriculum in the afternoons.
- We find ways in which all pupils can take part in sport, music and drama.
- We plan our out-of-school activities and school trips in such a way that pupils with disabilities can participate.
- We use language that does not offend, and we make staff and pupils aware of the importance of language.
- Our library, reading books and other resources contain positive images of people with disabilities.
- The school regularly reviews the way in which resources are matched to the needs of all the children.
- If necessary, to improve our provision, adjustments will be made to classroom organisation, the deployment of support staff, timetabling and staff training. Many of the adjustments we make are dependent upon individual needs, and we are moving towards more individualised approaches.
- Individual Education Plans are effective and manageable.
- We seek and respond to guidance from the parents and the children.
Planned improvements to our curriculum access are covered in the Accessibility Plan.

Information
Information normally provided in writing (lesson content, texts, library resources and
information about school events) will be made available in alternative formats that are clear and user-friendly, where necessary.
We always take account of disabilities, be they the pupils’ or their parents’. For example, communication with a parent who is visually impaired may need to be by telephone rather than by letter.
Planned improvements to our delivery of written information are covered in the Accessibility Plan.

Staffing
When advertising posts, interviewing applicants, or deciding on appointments, the governors and staff will follow the necessary procedures, and will not discriminate against people with disabilities. Should a member of staff be, or become, disabled, the governing body will make reasonable and relevant adjustments to that person’s employment arrangements, or to the premises, in order to enable them to continue in post.
All members of staff are entitled to professional development and training, and are expected to take advantage of a continuous programme of professional development. The staff will also liaise with specialists where possible to support individual pupils. Among these specialists are the following: physiotherapists, educational psychologists, speech therapists, doctors/nurses, social workers, and the staff of the voluntary and statutory agencies.

Health and safety
Members of staff follow the school procedures for maintaining a healthy and safe environment for all.
The school has members of staff qualified in giving first aid treatment, and the emergency services will be called, should they be required.

Policy into practice
The governing body is responsible for the school’s duty not to discriminate.
The Chair of Governors and Headteacher jointly discharge the responsibility of ensuring that we meet our obligation not to discriminate.
The Head teacher will ensure that all members of staff are aware of their responsibilities to all pupils without exception.
All members of staff are fully committed to the policy of not discriminating against pupils, parents or staff with disabilities.
Parents and carers are asked to keep us informed about any relevant issues, so that we can work towards resolving them.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review
We have high expectations of all our pupils. We monitor a range of data to make sure that all pupils are making the best progress possible, and that no groups of pupils are underachieving. We monitor:
- admission
- attainment
- exclusions
- rewards and sanctions
- parental and pupil questionnaires.
Evaluations based on these data are then reported to the governing body, and an action plan will be drawn up if necessary.

It is the responsibility of the Chair of Governors to keep the governing body informed of any new regulations, and to ensure that the school regularly reviews its processes and procedures.
The Head teacher implements the school’s disability non-discrimination policy on a day-to-day basis, and ensures that all staff are aware of the details of the policy as it applies to them.
The Head teacher reports to governors annually on matters regarding disability discrimination.

This policy will be reviewed at any time on a request from the governors, or at least once every two years and in conjunction with the Accessibility Plan (available on request).
This policy has links to the following, and any other relevant polices:
- Admissions policy
- Special Educational Needs Policy
- Equality Opportunities Policy
- Health and Safety policy (including educational visits policy)
- Teaching and Learning Policy
- Curriculum
- Behaviour Policy