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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.

sashh Thu 28-Feb-13 01:43:18

They don't have to change the entire school though do they? They could get a baby belling and use a science room for food tech or even the staff room, or any room with a sink.

A laptop in another classroom for IT.

Or let her come home but only with a food tech teacher to teach her one to one, the same for IT.

Neither is ideal, but both would allow her to access the curriculum.

The school sound like they don't want to help.

IAmLouisWalsh Thu 28-Feb-13 07:47:26

Sashh, presumably they would also then have a 1:1 teacher for Food Tech? They can't use the staff room - ours has a microwave and that is it! The whole point is surely about integration.

I am not defending the school - but if our Food room was upstairs we could do nothing to move it. Ours is an old building and we searched for a place to put a lift it there is nowhere.

And I keep coming back to the academy point - regardless of what it may say in law, they own their own funding and seem to be able to do as they please. I have heard of several blowing thousands on iPads and there is sod all anyone can do if that money would be better spent elsewhere.

I agree that OPs daughter is being treated very badly, but at the end of the day the school cannot be 'forced' to do anything unless it is via a long legal process.

mum382013 Thu 28-Feb-13 12:21:01

update got to school this morning and one minibus had been moved. the email must have been read then!

mum382013 Thu 28-Feb-13 12:25:34

i've got the ot coming next week to see her and she will go in school. She has 5 more years at school as she is year 7. and her sister who has the same problem is year 4 so anything they do will help both my children. They are never going to get better sad

MMMarmite Thu 28-Feb-13 13:22:07

I'm furious on your daughter's behalf. She's got enough to deal with without the school making things more difficult. The toilet thing and the minibus thing are awful.

I had a more minor disability at school, and found them very patchy: there were some helpful teachers and some awful ones. You'll have to fight for her rights, unfortunately unless you push for adjustments the school will just try to do what's easiest for them. Try to work out which school staff are sympathetic, and get them on your side to help make things happen. Letters from medical professionals outlining her needs are helpful, and the mumsnet special needs section has people who know the legal situation.

JuliaScurr Thu 28-Feb-13 13:37:39

Yes, part of the problem is that it's an academy - a law unto itself. AAA might be up for fighting your case

if the building can't be adapted, it shouldn't be used as a school
good luck!

willesden Thu 28-Feb-13 14:45:11

Flag everything to the Chair of Governors. That will get things moving.

meditrina Thu 28-Feb-13 14:58:55

Academies aren't exempt from this, just as private schools aren't. It just means a slightly different route for the same complaint.

The fundamental problem is of course the attitude of the school. They should realise that they have a pupils with specific needs RIGHT NOW and of course will have further pupils with additional needs in future. Their clear duty is to provide these pupils with full access to the curriculum and life of the school.

Now there may be some things that are ruled out by the nature of the disability (some DT, perhaps, or doing the lighting for a production) and those just have to be lives with as there is no work around;, anywhere, ever; others may be problematic because of the state of current facilities (listed buildings into which lifts cannot be put, poor layout as a result of earlier decisions on the school estate).

But a school with a good attitude would be commissioning accessibility audits, rearranging timetabling into accessible classrooms, looking to minor redesign to every curriculum option has at least one accessible classroom, ensuring full provision in all new builds etc,

JuliaScurr Thu 28-Feb-13 16:36:23

Willesden good idea

IAmLouisWalsh Thu 28-Feb-13 16:39:13

They are not exempt, but because they are not LA controlled there are fewer options for holding them to account.

mum382013 Thu 28-Feb-13 19:01:39

thank you everyone. End of school the minibuses were back in the spaces sad the school nurse rang and said the head of her house had phoned as she didn't know why she had a wheelchair. So she had forgot the numerous phone calls and the medical info i gave her. i soon put the nurse straight. again not happy

cory Thu 28-Feb-13 20:46:07

A good school will be forward looking and planning ahead on the assumption that sooner or later they will have to deal with disability.

A bad school will be equally surprised every time it happens again.

Dd's HT kept telling us that he had never had to deal with this situation before, though we knew perfectly well that there were other disabled/chronically ill children in the school when dd was there and had been others in the past. He clearly thought parents never spoke to each other.

NUFC69 Thu 28-Feb-13 21:00:12

A head teacher I know is dreading having this kind of problem to solve - his school was built in the 1950s and is on two floors. He has made enquiries about having a lift installed; however because of the design of the school it is not simple and a whole external corridor and lift system would have to be built; he was told it would cost in excess of £250,000! I really don't know what the answer is - there is no way this kind of money could be found.

I am sorry about your problem, Op, I hope it can be resolved.

MMMarmite Thu 28-Feb-13 21:39:19

I'm sorry OP, the school sound absolutely shit sad The upstairs access problem, fair enough, might be difficult, but they're not even making an effort with the basics. I wish I had some useful advice; you have my sympathy.

HairyHandedTrucker Thu 28-Feb-13 22:14:17


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