Equality Act Duties

How the Children and Families Act reinforces schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010

When a school links its Accessibility Plan to the SEN Information Report, or includes the plan within the report,they comply with both the Children and Families Act and Schedule 10 of the Equality Act 2010. Details of the SEN Information Report requirements are at paragraph 6.79 of the SEND Code of Practice. 

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Cornwall Council aspire that all SEN Information Reports are linked to the Cornwall Local Offer published on the Support in Cornwall website. This will support The Local Offer in providing a comprehensive overview of provision for children and young people with SEND.

Please send the link to your SEN Information Report to localoffer@cornwall.gov.uk.

A school must publish a SEN Information Report that:

What does schedule 10 state about accessibility plans?

In schedule 10 of the Equality Act it states that:

‘1.The responsible body of a school in England and Wales must prepare:

a) an accessibility plan
b) further such plans at such times as may be prescribed

2 An accessibility plan is a plan for, over a prescribed period:

a) increasing the extent to which disabled pupils can participate in the school's curriculum
b) improving the physical environment of the school for the purpose of increasing the extent to which disabled pupils are able to take advantage of education and benefits, facilities or services provided or offered by the school
c) improving the delivery to disabled pupils of information which is readily accessible to pupils who are not disabled’(paragraph 3 of schedule 10 to the Equality Act 2010)

What are the main duties of schedule 10?

  • The duty not to treat disabled pupils less favourably and
  • The reasonable adjustments duty - to take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils/students at a substantial disadvantage.

The Reasonable Adjustments duty of schedule 10

The duty to make reasonable adjustments requires schools to take positive steps to ensure that pupils/students with SEND can fully participate in the education provided, and that they can enjoy the other benefits, facilities and services provided for all pupils/students.  Many reasonable adjustments are inexpensive and will often involve a change in practice rather than the provision of expensive pieces of equipment or additional staff.

Anticipating reasonable adjustments

A school’s duty to make reasonable adjustments is an anticipatory one and therefore the school needs to make plans in advance about what pupils/students with SEND might require and what adjustments might need to be made for them. 

Auxiliary aids and services

Additional provision under the new Equality Act 2010 was introduced in September 2012, and relates to the requirement for schools to provide auxiliary aids and services for disabled pupils subject to the Reasonable Adjustment duty. Many auxiliary aids are found in inclusive schools as a matter of course for example coloured layovers, pen grips, adapted PE equipment, adapted keyboards and computer software.

Overcoming Disadvantage

Where something a schools does places a pupil/student with SEND at a disadvantage compared to other pupils/students then the school must take reasonable steps to try and avoid that disadvantage. Schools will be expected to provide an auxiliary aid or services if it would alleviate any substantial disadvantage that the pupil faces in comparison to non-disabled pupils.