Direct Access and the team of NRAC Access Consultants have been providing school access audits for over 12 years. We are also specialists in the new Special Education Needs and Disability Code of Practice 2015.
As of 1st of September 2014 all schools were required to have an accessibility plan in place. As part of an accessibility plan, schools also have had an access audit carried out.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Code of Practice also states – ‘All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage’
Our access audits for schools relates directly to the Ofstead Framework. Section 8 of the framework for school inspections states that Ofsted will be looking at ‘the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the pupils at the school and in particular the needs of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs.’ This relates directly to the Equality Act of 2010.
Our highly qualified NRAC Access Consultants have provided disability access audits for schools of all sizes, from individual primary schools to university campuses. Access audits are the best way for schools to assess their compliance with disability access regulations such as the Equality Act 2010. Direct Access also provides consultation during the design and construction of new schools and classrooms to assure full disability access and regulatory compliance. The course of each school access audit varies, depending on the school or facility being reviewed, but each is, at its core, an assessment of whether the school has made the ‘reasonable adjustments’ to their policies, procedures and practices that the Equality Act of 2010 requires.
One of our trained access auditors would visit a school, and make a detailed inspection of the current accessibility and policies in place. Post school access audit, a detailed report including information, lots of photographs, and our recommendations would be produced. The accessibility of the school and services would be addressed, and any barriers to access a school’s procedures or facilities would be identified. Direct Access’s school access audits are known to be the most detailed in the industry and all factors are looked at such as: Approach Routes, Entrances, Reception areas, Building management, Corridors, Entrances, Fire strategies, Internal doors, Toilets and Signage.
Our school access audit benefits any school or education facility, no matter how large or small, by providing an independent, professional assessment of the current access status. This assessment will provide either peace of mind about the facilities and policies, or provide a roadmap to improving the delivery of services to staff members, parents and pupils who have a disability. Each access audit report comes with a prioritised, achievable action plan. Many of these recommendations can be accomplished at little or no cost.
Direct Access is proud to be registered with Incensu, and that all surveyors have passed DBS checks (and carry a current clearance certificate) Furthermore, Direct Access is unique in the sense that every member of the team has a personal experience of a disability, so we bring an unusual level of personal sensitivity and commitment to every audit.
Direct Access is happy to announce that recently the surveyors completed the 750th disability access audit for an education establishment. We have worked for many fine institutions such as The Dollar Academy in Scotland, The King Edmund School in Essex, and the Islington Arts and Media School in London. We are happy to supply references and further information upon request.