Accessibility Strategy 2022 to 2025
The Equality Act 2010 brought together a range of equality duties and requirements within one piece of legislation.
The Act introduced a single Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) (sometimes also referred to as the ‘general duty’) that applies to public bodies, including maintained schools and academies (including Free Schools) and which extends to all protected characteristics:
- sex, age
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
- pregnancy and maternity
- gender reassignment
This combined equality duty came into effect in April 2011. This can be viewed on the Government website.
The duty has three main elements. In carrying out their functions, public bodies are required to have due regard to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination and other conduct that is prohibited by the Act
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
- foster good relations across all characteristics - between people who share a protected characteristic and people who do not share it
This strategy has been developed following a public consultation and incorporates feedback received during this process. The strategy sets out Buckinghamshire Council's responsibilities for ensuring education is accessible for disabled pupils, in the schools for which it is responsible (maintained schools), specifically:
A. Increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the schools’ curriculum by an increased focus on relevance, modes of presentation and pupil involvement
B. improving the physical environment of the schools for the purpose of increasing the extent to which disabled pupils are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or services provided or offered by the school
C. Improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is readily accessible by an increased focus on relevance, modes of presentation and pupil involvement
This strategy applies to children and young people with disabilities:
- who are currently in maintained schools
- who are in the school system but at an earlier key stage. For example, early years settings
- who are not yet in the school system but are known to Buckinghamshire Council or other agencies
This strategy is for schools, governors, parents/carers, young people, professionals, other educational settings, and members of the local community. It should provide guidance and be a reference point from which to inform and develop individual Education Health and Care plans that are co-produced with pupils and their parents/ carers and educational professionals.
This strategy applies to Buckinghamshire Council maintained schools, nurseries, and early years settings only. It does not apply to academies, Private Funded Initiative (PFI) schools or private nursery providers on school sites, however these settings may find the information in the strategy to be information in complying with the requirement to have an accessibility plan.