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to expect the school to be wheelchair accessable everywhere?

(65 Posts)
mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:18:56

And that in 2013 there should not be large amounts of rooms unaccessable to the wheelchair bound and that my daughter shouldn't have to miss food tech as there is only a food tech room upstairs and stairs? Or have it suggested that she should stay home instead? NOT happy with school.

Smartiepants79 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:23:15

An alternative should be found, sending her home isn't an answer!
Is it an old building?
I thought all public buildings had to be wheelchair accessible by law.
Surely this is something that was considered before she started at the school.

Sirzy Wed 27-Feb-13 21:25:02

I thought all public buildings had to be wheelchair accessible by law.

New buildings have to be wheelchair accessible, older buildings have to be able to show that they have done everything which is realistically possible in order to make the building accessible.

LatteLady Wed 27-Feb-13 21:29:33

In an ideal world it would be wonderful but unfortunately you have to deal as a GB with the school building stock that you have. You make every effort to make all of the school accessible... you fight with the lift that appears to have a mind of its own and has done since it was fitted two years ago... you lose staff toilets to create a wet room.

Unless your building is of new stock, then it is a real challenge to ensure access to everyone... you aim for it but sometimes, the building itself conspires against you.

BTW suggesting she stay at home is an illegal exclusion and the school is on a very sticky wicket... get a copy of the school complaints and follow it to the letter.

RainbowsFriend Wed 27-Feb-13 21:32:21

The school I work at gets numbers of children in wheelchairs requesting our school even if out of catchment as it is much better wheelchair-friendly than most other secondaries in our area.

It still has many classrooms that are inaccessible however - but no "specialist" rooms are inaccessible except where there is another on the ground floor - eg 2 art rooms upstairs, one downstairs.

YANBU in that your DD should be able to access all areas of the curriculum, but maybe the building cannot be altered without huge amounts of funding (which is not available)? Are there any other schools she could go to? Did you look into this before choosing her school?

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:32:35

i can understand that some parts of the building is older but to send her home? Her disability has come on so to speak unexpectactly and very rtapid onset so we were not thinking she would need a wheelchair when she started there. But to send her home? I said NO loudly, and an email to the head shortly followed.

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:33:48

basically no IT or any tech at all.

RainbowsFriend Wed 27-Feb-13 21:33:58

Please excuse my poor grammar. Knackered, morning evening sick and still wrestling DD into bed...

RainbowsFriend Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:23

You may just have to change schools then. They can't just alter it for you unfortunately, although it is not ideal. I believe the LEA only has to have 1 accessible school in each area, although they are trying to improve all schools gradually... sad

fairylightsinthesnow Wed 27-Feb-13 21:35:26

of course she should not stay at home but it is unrealistic to think that all schools can adapt buildings appropriately. Some of my school's buildings are grade 1 listed but even normal 60s built comps are restricted in what they can do. Where at all possible, lessons are timetabled into accessible rooms but it is not reasonable to expect a school to meet the expense of repositioning a specialist room.

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:38:02

I went to that school iand i know that there are a few 3 steps here, 2 steps there which i think could be sorted which would make much more of the school accessable but they haven't done it. And they use one of the two disabled toilets for storage!

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:39:23

Also they park the school minibuses in the disabled parking spaces near the front door. why?

RainbowsFriend Wed 27-Feb-13 21:41:37

Because they've got slack?

I must admit that our school is crap re the disabled parking spaces - I often arrive to find the staff carpark over-full and overflowed into the disabled spaces - which I dont use - I park round the corner and walk if that's the case - but a lot of teachers dont seem to care about the disabled spaces sad

CloudsAndTrees Wed 27-Feb-13 21:43:23

If this is a rapid onset thing, there is a chance that they are going to try their best to be accommodating to your dd, but they just haven't been able to. I'm being very generous here and giving them the benefit of the doubt!

It sounds like their attitude is a problem if they are suggesting sending her home, and that ime is the biggest barrier.

How long has this been going on for? Have they done anything at all to show willing?

Sirzy Wed 27-Feb-13 21:43:29

they need to sort the toilet and the parking now they are actually needed but its not that simple to just take out steps.

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:44:17

its the attitude i hate, like it doesn't matter as long as they have been seen to be disabled friendly but not actually at all

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:48:04

they put a lift thing on the 5 steps to the library so they could if they want to. but the school minibuses in the disabled spaces? both of them? can't they park them somewhere else? why do they need to put stuff in the loo? been going on a few months. sending the OT in the next few weeks to help.

SirBoobAlot Wed 27-Feb-13 21:49:35

The toilet and parking thing need sorting out NOW. That's shocking.

I remember our school being adapted in the summer because a new student with a walking frame was transferring. It wasn't a particularly new school. They adjusted the stair case - made it narrower, and introduced a one-way system - to make it doable.

They should be finding a way for her to attend her subjects. Her missing them just isn't okay, and sending her home is terrible!

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:50:07

i think they hope we will change schools

IAmLouisWalsh Wed 27-Feb-13 21:50:42

Food tech rooms are a bugger to relocate because of requirements about sinks, gas points etc. We would love to move ours but there just isn't the money to do it.

Despite our best efforts, we have only managed limited wheelchair accessibility for the school, because the fabric of the building just won't support it.

blackeyedsusan Wed 27-Feb-13 21:51:30

you can make a complaint about the parking and the disabled toilet, citing them as reasonable adjustments. the children's primary school has wheelchair lifts at two of the 3 changes of level. the other one has an alternate route as it is a bit aawkward. they get few wheelchai users, so when they need to they swap the classrooms around to put the wheelchair users in the accessible ones.

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:52:59

i wouldnt mind if i felt they really couldnt do it but i think they can but dont want to. I have made a complaint so will see if anything changes.

quoteunquote Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:08

Make sure Ofsted know, about the school inability to meet your daughter needs.

mum382013 Wed 27-Feb-13 21:53:56

i just wish they school had made as much effort as yours Iamlouiswalsh.

tethersend Wed 27-Feb-13 21:54:23

No, the school are in breach of The Equality Act by suggesting that your DD should stay at home and not offering her the same curriculum as able-bodied children.

Leaving aside the travesty of the destruction of the Building Schools for the Future scheme, schools are not allowed to discriminate in this way.

1. Reasonable adjustments for disabled people

Schools have a continuing duty to ‘make reasonable adjustments’. This may involve treating disabled pupils ‘more favourably’ than non-disabled pupils. The duty contains three requirements:
• changing your provisions, criteria or practices;
• making changes to overcome barriers created by the physical features of the premises;
• providing auxiliary aids and services – this is a new duty and further details will be provided in the final guidance.

All schools have to make adjustments in relation to:
• the arrangements you make for deciding who you offer admission to;
• the way you provide education;
• the way you give access to a benefit, facility or service.

3. Providing education and access to any benefit, service or facility

A school must not:
• discriminate in the way it provides education for a pupil;
• discriminate in the way it gives a pupil access to any benefit, facility or service;
• refuse to provide education for a pupil for discriminatory reasons;
• refuse to give a pupil access to a benefit, facility or service;
• harass a pupil;
• victimise a pupil.

4. Exclusions

Schools must not discriminate against pupils when making exclusion decisions. Reasons for exclusion must not be the protected characteristic. Any exclusions based on behaviour, should be consistently applied to those with or without a protected characteristic.

The procedures used for deciding what punishment a pupil will receive and for investigating incidents must not discriminate against pupils with a particular protected characteristic.

Essentially, by asking your DD to stay at home, they are excluding her due to her disability.

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