St Clare’s School Accessibility Plan
May 2015- May 2018
St Clare’s School is a community special school for pupils aged 11-16 with complex needs. All students have a learning difficulty covering a wide range from moderate needs and includes severe learning difficulties, physical difficulties, sensory impairments, emotional, social, communication and behaviour difficulties and autistic spectrum conditions. All students have a statement of special educational need or an Educational Health Care Plan.
The school has a wide catchment area covering Derby City, Derbyshire and Staffordshire. Students come from a variety of socio and economic backgrounds. The school has 103 students on role.
We believe that this Accessibility Plan is compliant with current legislation and requirements as specified in Schedule 10, relating to Disability, of the Equality Act 2010. School Governors are accountable for ensuring the implementation, review and reporting on progress of the Accessibility Plan over a 3 year period.
‘Where everyone reaches their goals’
St Clare’s School is accessible, inclusive and has close links to the local community. It is a school where diversity is celebrated and strong partnerships are built.
The curriculum provides challenging and stimulating learning experiences, with realistic yet high expectations of standards, progress and achievement for all.
St Clare’s School will enable pupils and students to:
- Make appropriate decisions and choices.
- Build effective relationships.
- Prepare themselves for the challenges of independent living and change.
- Develop a positive self-image and awareness of their rights and responsibilities.
- Be active participants in their learning.
- Learn to be effective communicators
- Enhance their social understanding and the skills of citizenship.
- Manage their own behaviour appropriately.
- Enjoy life.
Access and School Policy and Procedures
We adhere to Equality Act of 2010 throughout all our policies and practise to ensure pupils access learning and the school environment.
Access to the Curriculum
We provide a differentiated National Curriculum. We ensure all pupils can access activities that we offer and adaptations to equipment and activities are made to fulfil this aim. For pupils to access the curriculum lessons are highly differentiated and take account of individual learning difficulties. Priority is placed on pupil participation, as independently as is possible. Adults are clear about the learning objectives of the lesson, class and individuals.
Good communication is supported by the use of Makaton signing and symbols and we use specialist software to aid dyslexic students. All pupils have access to appropriate computer technology. We employ speech and language therapists to assist and advise on ways to improve communication techniques.
Local Authority physiotherapists and occupational therapists work alongside staff and parents to ensure that we meet the physical needs of our pupils. We use adapted curriculum materials and sensory approaches for children sensory impairments. Both the Teacher Advisory Service for hearing and visual impairment visit regularly to help us ensure pupils can access learning materials and experiences.
No child misses out on school activities that take place off site. As a school we encourage independence in our pupils and strive to ensure that they experience full and rewarding lives.
The school will continue to seek and follow the advice of LA services, such as specialist teacher advisers and SEN inspector/advisors, and of appropriate health professionals to ensure barriers to learning are reduced and enable pupils to reach their full potential.
Access to the School Environment
The building was built in the 1970’s and was not designed to cater for the needs of all of our students. We endeavour to ensure that the building is accessible as possible given the building constraints. No child misses an experience based on the poor design of the building; we make adjustments to compensate. The outdoor environment is more accessible with the learning space on one level.
The school will take account of the needs of pupils and visitors with physical difficulties and sensory impairments when planning and undertaking future improvements and refurbishments of the site and premises, such as improved access, lighting, acoustic treatment and colour schemes, and more accessible facilities and fittings.
Access to Information
All information issued by the school aims to be user friendly. Newsletters letters incorporate photographs. Makaton signing and symbols (Communication in Print) are used throughout the school to support the pupils’ communication, reading and understanding.
We encourage parents and professionals to take up the offer of having communications sent to them electronically.
For a child with a visual impairment we receive support from Derby LA in modifying printed materials into a format to meet the needs of individual children and for parents who might also have a visual impairment.
The school will make itself aware of local services, including those provided through the LA, for providing information in alternative formats when required or requested.
This plan should be read in conjunction with other relevant documents including:
School Evaluation and Development and Maintenance Plan.
Date approved by the Governing Body: May 2015
Date for policy review: September 2017