Accessibility Strategy

Accessibility Strategy for Cheam High School:

The purpose of this strategy is to:

(a)       increase the extent to which disabled students can participate in the school’s curriculum;

(b)        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;

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

Definition of disability under the Equality Act 2010. You're disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.

Current Position:

The school has a policy of inclusivity and does not discriminate on the grounds of disability. Places are offered according to our admissions criteria or via formal consultation to establish our capacity to meet any special needs for those with Education, Care and Health Plans.  The PEP group (Post 16 unit for those with moderate learning needs and holding an Education, Care and Health Plan) is an important and valued part of the school, sited within the Post 16 Building.

The school has toilets, dining and hall facilities and many classrooms on the ground floor, with access to all necessary buildings through ramped entrances. There are a number of disabled toilet facilities in various parts of the school including a disabled toilet for visitors. Access to the first floor is possible in the M building (Art and Mathematics), T building (ICT), D building (PE changing, Dance) with the aid of a lift. All staircases have handrails. Students in wheelchairs or mobility disabilities are able to access the subject specialist provision.

The school is painted with due care to the visually impaired, with contrasting colours between floors, walls and entrances in nearly all areas of the buildings. Stair treads have clear colour changes to show the rise and fall and are generally textured.

Individual arrangements for children with particular medical needs are made, taking the advice of health professionals.

The special needs department also provides additional support for individuals as appropriate; this may include adaptation of visual materials, additional support to access lessons, small group tuition or to deliver programmes as advised by specialists (eg speech and language).  More information is on the website.

The school also supports students with social, emotional and behavioural needs through a range of strategies including: ELSA (Emotional Learning Support); small group specialist programmes or mentoring; 1-1 mentoring and coaching; outreach. 

The school works closely with external providers to support students’ progress within the school.

How views and information from those with disabilities have been involved in developing the plan

The school has existing systems which collect a range of information from students, staff and visitors.  Outcomes of these consultations and information gathering processes are used to inform the plan.  Particular aspects include the following:

·         Risk assessments around the site against needs of students/staff/carers

·         Education and Health Plan annual reviews (annual, interim as required)

·         Medical information for new and existing staff, linked to discussion of needs

·         Consultations with the Learning Support Team regarding needs of individual students

·         Input from our staff teams that focus on pastoral, social, emotional and health needs

·         Meetings with parents/carers or students to identify and implement strategies

·         Discussions with students

·         Performance management processes – eg barriers to job (annually)

·         Return to work interviews where there are areas of concern – eg support needed to do job properly (as need identified)

·         Referral to occupational health (as need arises)

·         Input from specialists eg Visual Impairment, Hearing, ASD, Behavioural, EP, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Psychologist, Physiotherapist, School Nurse (usually related to particular students but can also be making general comments)

·         Feedback from visitors, parents or other community users on provision.

Outcomes of this information inform planning each year.  This includes:  special educational needs; staff development and support; pastoral support; premises planning; teaching and learning developments.

Current Equality Objectives (2016-2020) include access strategy objectives and are:

Closing gaps for different groups of students including PP students, with a focus on improving attendance, supporting aspirations; building relationships .

Continuing to develop the access to the site and site events for students, parents/carers, staff and visitors through discussion with individuals as to how to meet their needs.

Ensure the  LIFE programme continues to look at protected characteristics and other issues as part of its content, developing contexts and discussion opportunities to support student understanding and positive approaches to different groups

Recent changes re accessibility include:

·         Purchase of wheelchair accessible minibus: September 2016

·         Removal of lockers from crowded corridor:January 2017

·         Visualisers and other ICT techniques: 2016/17

·         Blue transparency as part of student journal: 2016/17

·         Special arrangements for individual students eg timetabling lessons on ground floor; support to move round the site etc

·         Planning for students with particular needs joining us as part of Year 7 in September

·         Further development of interventions for literacy, numeracy, speech and language: 2016/17

·         Use of technology to track different behaviours, concerns and interventions allowing better focusing of needs  2016/17 (CPOMS for SEN and IRIS for behaviour)

Useful Policies include:

·         SEN

·         Medical Needs

·         Equality (staff)

·         Equality

·         Behaviour Policy