It is general knowledge that the Equality Act 2010 states that all schools, as from the 1st of September 2014 will require an access audit, SEN policy and accessibility plan to be put in place. In addition to this, all schools as of September 2014 must publish this information on their school web pages and must provide information about the adoption of their policies for pupils with SEN.
Here at Direct Access Consultancy, the audits we provide will be based on the Ofsted Framework of 2013. Section 8 of this framework specifically refers to ‘the extent to which the education provided by the school meets the needs of the pupils at the school…in particular the needs of disabled pupils and those who have special educational needs’, this also relates closely to the Equality Act of 2010.
Like any access audit project, we will require a physical site visit by one of our auditors. We will highlight the areas that needs changes and will constitute “reasonable” adjustments to adopt. We will also take into consideration the costs and building structure. In addition to this, we will be able to provide a unique perspective of access audit as all of our employees here at Direct Access Consultancy have been impacted by a disability of some sort.
Our access audit will cover:
- Entrances and exits
- Open areas and car parks
- Reception/lobby area and any open hallways
- Stairs and lifts
- Your staff and classrooms
- Any signage and wall-posted directions
- Emergency exit plans
When the inspection has been completed, we will compile a report for you detailing all the changes that needs to be made to be able to reflect upon the Equality Act 2010. There will also be an on-going telephone helpline should you have any additional questions and query after the access audit.
How getting an access audit will benefit your school
You will contribute a major part in the battle for equality of access and demonstrate to Ofsted and other relevant bodies that you have implemented reasonable access and have attempted to do everything to comply with the legislations.
It is illegal to restrict disabled people from accessing the same goods and services as a ‘normal’ person, but it is also ethically wrong to continue this practice. Make a change today and contact Direct Access Consultancy for an access audit.