Accessibility Policy

Ashbourne College strives to be inclusive and welcoming and therefore aims to ensure that each and every student can participate as fully as possible in the life of the College. We are committed to removing barriers to entry to our College, wherever possible, for students with SEND (Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities); please see the College Admissions Policy. We are also committed to challenging attitudes about disability and accessibility and seek to develop a culture of awareness and inclusion.

Ashbourne monitors the physical environment of its three sites to assess what reasonable adjustments can be made to improve access and provision for SEND students so they are able to take full advantage of the College’s educational and associated services. Ashbourne’s Accessibility Plan (pdf) has been developed to map out and monitor our interventions in this regard, as required by the Equality Act 2010, schedule 10.

The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as: ‘A physical or mental impairment which has substantial and long term adverse impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal everyday activities’. This overlaps with the definition of ‘special educational needs’ in the Children and Families Act 2014, which includes students with significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of his/her age, or a disability which means that a student cannot make full use of the general educational facilities provided for students of their age in mainstream state schools.

Since January 2015, anti-discrimination considerations have been introduced into Part One of the DfE ‘Teachers Standards’, outlining the professional expectations for all teachers in the UK.

Ashbourne’s Accessibility Plan covers the period from September 2018 to September 2021 and will be kept under review throughout this period by the Principal, SENDCO and other senior members of staff (SLT); it will be monitored and revised as necessary during this period. The Principal is responsible for giving the final approval for this plan.

To ensure the fair treatment of student with disabilities, the Accessibility Plan illustrates Ashbourne’s commitment to:

  • Improve the physical environment of the school in order to increase the extent to which disabled students are able to take advantage of education and associated services.
  • Increase the extent to which pupils with SEND can participate in the school’s curriculum.
  • Improve the provision to disabled students of information which is already in writing for students who are not disabled.

This policy is reviewed at least annually by senior members of staff with the assistance of external expert advisors where appropriate. The terms of the review are:

  • To review the College’s policies, procedures and facilities as they are likely to affect students and prospective students who are disabled.
  • To make recommendations with a view to improving the accessibility of Ashbourne’s educational provisions to students or prospective students with disabilities by means of reasonable adjustments and future-planning.
  • To prepare and adjust as necessary the College’s Accessibility Plan.
  • To review related plans and policies as necessary, and at least on an annual basis.

Ashbourne’s SLT, including the Principal, Director of Studies, Designated Safeguarding Lead and SENDCO, take into consideration the following areas when developing and reviewing the plan:

Admissions
Ashbourne commitment to removing barriers wherever possible to entry to our College for SEND students.

Attainment
Ashbourne commitment to supporting all students, regardless of any SEND or other personal circumstances, to attain the best outcome for their personal and educational development. Student attainment will be reviewed on an ongoing basis through half-termly mock exams and individual student reviews throughout the academic year.

Attendance
Ashbourne’s clear attendance expectations of all students, as laid out in our Attendance policy. The College carefully monitors and supports students with medical and SEND issues with attendance in order to ensure they do not miss out on or are disadvantaged in their learning if they are unable to attend lessons.

Exclusions
The College’s pro-active stance to seek all reasonable solutions to disciplinary issues. In any situation requiring disciplinary action, including exclusion, any relevant aspects (including SEND) that would affect the behaviour or actions of a student would be taken into careful consideration.

Education
Ashbourne staff appraise their own teaching strategies to ensure any potential barriers to learning and participation for disabled students are removed. We promote the importance of using non-offensive language amongst both our staff (Staff Code of Conduct) and our students (Student Behaviour and Exclusions Policy), and ensure that, wherever possible, positive examples of managing students with SEND are portrayed in teaching materials.

Extra-curricular activities
We have students with a variety of disabilities at the College. These include, but are not limited to: physical disabilities, visual impairments and learning disabilities. All of our students are given the opportunity to fully integrate into school life and participate in the whole curriculum including extra-curricular activities (such as school trips) and a variety of College clubs.

Physical college environment
The College monitors the physical environment of its sites and seeks to make reasonable adjustments in order to better enable disabled students access and take advantage of the College’s educational and associated services.

Selection and recruitment of staff
Ashbourne aims to offer equality of opportunity and fair treatment in its recruitment, selection, training, development and promotion of staff at all levels. Our Equal Opportunities and Safer Recruitment and Selection of Staff Policies set out how our procedures work and are produced in accordance with the Equality Act 2010. Ashbourne staff are required to read and adhere to all College policies, which includes recognising the importance of accessibility for all students and respecting the needs and rights of students with SEND.

Authorised byThe Principal
DateNovember 2019
Effective date of the policyNovember 2019
CirculationTeaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review dateSeptember 2020