Disabilities Policy

1. Policy aims

This Policy aims to afford opportunity to employees and students who are disabled to ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 (SENDA) to have regard to the guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission: What Equality Law Means for you as an Education Provider: Schools. This policy can be made available in large print or other accessible format if required.

2. Policy statement

2.1 Ashbourne College (the College) will:

2.1.1 maintain and drive a positive culture towards inclusion of disabled people in all the activities of the College

2.1.2 when necessary, train staff to understand the types of disabilities and how to deal with employees and students who are disabled.  Staff will not be expected, unless medically qualified or trained, to administer medication

2.1.3 adopt user-friendly procedures for considering admissions from parents of disabled students, and consult with those parents about the reasonable adjustments which can be made to ensure that the admissions process is accessible for their son/daughter

2.1.4 implement and review the Accessibility Plan with the aim of increasing the accessibility of the College’s curriculum, improving the physical environment of the College and improving access to information for our employees, students and prospective students and their parents

2.1.5 keep under review the College’s Admission Policy, Equal Opportunities and Anti-Bullying Policies .

3. Disability

3.1 A person has a disability if they have a physical or mental impairment which has a “substantial and long-term adverse effect” on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activity (Equality Act 2010).

By way of further explanation:

physical disability includes medical conditions for which a person needs to use a wheelchair, for example, cerebral palsy or brittle bones;

a mental impairment is a recognised mental illness which has been diagnosed, a severe learning difficulty or a psychiatric illness;

“long-term” means a period of 12 months or longer.

Other disabilities which may amount to disability under the Equality Act include:

severe disfigurements, scarring conditions and birthmarks (but not including tattoos or piercings)

progressive conditions which will result in a substantial long-term adverse effect on day-to-day activity

a controlled impairment, i.e. a person with a prosthesis, or a person with drug-controlled epilepsy or diabetes

a history of impairment, for example a person who used to be disabled and has recovered, for example, a person with a previous mental illness.

3.2 Disability does not include:

hay fever sufferers

a person with anti-social tendencies such as paedophilia

a person who has a behavioural difficulty, for a reason other than a disability, for example, arising from social or domestic circumstances

a person who is addicted to nicotine, alcohol and other non-prescribed substances unless the addiction was originally the result of administration of medically prescribed drugs or other medical treatment.

4. Discrimination

We will not knowingly discriminate against a disabled person:

in the arrangements for determining admission or employment procedures;
in the terms on which a place at the College is offered;
by refusing or deliberately omitting to accept an application for admission or employment;
in the provision of education and associated services;
in the way the College affords access to any benefit, service or facility offered or provided by the College;
by excluding a person on the grounds of their disability;
by victimising a person with a disability;
by harassing a person with a disability;
by failing to take steps to ensure that disabled persons are not placed at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with non-disabled persons.

5. Admission procedure for students

The College will be open to applications from any prospective student with a physical and/or mental impairment.

The registration or admission form will enable the parents to give details of their son/daughter’s disability.

Every application will be considered on its merits within the College’s criteria for selection on grounds of the student’s ability and aptitude.

The College will treat every application from a disabled student in a fair, open-minded way.

The College will, if appropriate, request from the parents or previous College full details in the form of medical reports, educational psychologist reports and any other report which assesses the student’s disability so that the College can make an assessment of the reasonable adjustments that would be needed in order to provide adequately for the student’s physical and educational needs.

Applications will be considered on the basis that all ‘reasonable adjustments’ have been made by the College in order to cater for the student’s disability (see definition below).
The College will not offer a place if, after all reasonable adjustments have been made, the College will not be able to provide adequately or appropriately for the student’s physical and educational needs.

The College shall inform the parents of their decision and give details of the reasonable adjustments they are going to make or give reasons why the offer of a place will not be made.

6. Education and associated services

The College has an on-going duty to make reasonable adjustments in respect of the education and associated services provided by the College. This is a broad expression that covers all aspects of College life. The range of activities that are covered by the expression include:

  • the curriculum
  • classroom organisation and timetabling
  • access to College facilities
  • College sports
  • College policies
  • breaks and lunchtimes
  • assessment and examination arrangements
  • College discipline and sanctions
  • exclusion procedures
  • College clubs, educational visits and other activities
    preparation of students for the next phase of education.

7. Reasonable adjustments for students

When providing educational services to a student, the College is legally required to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ in order to cater for a student’s disability.

The College shall inform the Students and Parents of the reasonable adjustments that the College are legally required to make for that student, which may typically include:

  • making arrangements for a student in a wheelchair to attend an interview in an accessible room
  • allowing extra time for a dyslexic student to complete an entrance exam
  • providing examination papers in larger print for a student with a visual impairment
  • rearranging the timetable to allow a student to attend a class in an accessible part of the building
  • arranging a variety of accessible sports activities

The College is not legally required to make adjustments which include:

  • physical alterations such as the provision of a stair-lift or new ground floor facilities, such as a new library
  • auxiliary aids and services such as a loop for students with hearing aids
    large LCD screen computers and disability trained classroom assistants.

The Equality Act 2010 will in due course require all schools to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled students. In the meantime, if parents are willing to pay for auxiliary aids and services, the School will carefully consider any proposals and will not unreasonably refuse any requests for such aids and services to be provided.

8. Reasonable adjustments for the public

The College may provide services to the public, for example at:

  • open days
  • parents’ evenings
  • concerts and plays
  • exhibitions
  • auditions

Where a physical feature (for example steps, entrances, exits, toilet facilities) makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for a disabled person to access the service, schools are required to take reasonable steps to:

  • remove the feature; or
  • alter it so it no longer has that effect; or
  • provide reasonable means of avoiding the feature; or
  • provide a reasonable alternative method of making the service available.

Where an “auxiliary aid or service” would enable a disabled person to make use of a service, Colleges are required to take reasonable steps to provide it.  An auxiliary aid or service could be something as simple as extra assistance from a member of staff or a large print sign, or it might be a temporary ramp where steps are preventing wheelchair access.

9. Disclosure

Parents will be requested to provide the College with copies of the student’s latest medical report, educational psychologist’s report and any other information regarding the student’s disability.

If, following the offer of the place, it is discovered that the College has not received full disclosure of information relating to the student’s disability and the College is not able to make reasonable adjustments for those disabilities, then the College may withdraw the offer of a place, or ask the parents to withdraw their son/daughter who is already a student.

10. Review procedure

Parents may request a review if the College decides it is unable to offer their son/daughter a place on the grounds of disability.  The request must be made as soon as possible and in any event within seven days of the decision being notified to the parents. The Principal will advise as to the procedure under which such a review will be conducted.  Parents can choose to invoke the College’s parental complaints procedure.

11. Accessibility plans

The College has prepared an Accessibility Plan which is available, on request, to all parents and staff.

The Accessibility Plan includes consideration of how the College proposes to:

  1. Increase the extent to which disabled students can participate in the College’s curriculum.
  2. Improve the physical environment of the College 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 College
  3. Improve the delivery to disabled students of information which is readily accessible to students who are not disabled.

The Plan will be reviewed on a regular basis, to ensure that the Plan is up-to-date and covers all aspects of College life.


Authorised by The Principal
Date September 2021
Effective date of the policy September 2021
Circulation Teaching staff / all staff / parents / Students on request
Review date September 2022