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Accessibility plan

This accessibility plan pays due regard to government law including the Equality Act (2010), the Children and Families Act (2014) which links to the SEN Code of Practice (2015) and to past legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 and the SEN and Disability Act 2001. It also notes Norfolk County Council’s Accessibility Guidance. It also incorporates aspects of the Hethersett Academy Development Plan.

This accessibility plan is divided into three sections:

  • Section 1: Access to the curriculum - to increase the extent to which students with disabilities can participate in the curriculum.
  • Section 2: Site accessibility - to improve the physical environment to enable disabled pupils, parents, and staff to take better advantage of the education, benefits, facilities, and services provided.
  • Section 3: Access to information - to improve the availability of accessible information for disabled students, and the wider staff, parents, and community.

This accessibility plan details policies and initiatives, how these are monitored, reviewed/evaluated, and how these evaluations are developed and embedded into school systems and practice.

This accessibility plan encompasses existing policies and development plans and is implemented and monitored by a range of teachers, the senior leadership team, and governors.

This accessibility plan highlights key whole school aims regarding accessibility for 2018-2019.

This accessibility plan is reviewed each year by the senior leadership team with individual responsibilities for specific sections of the policy/plan as noted and the SENCO. It is also reviewed by the governing body.

Section 1: Access to the curriculum

Students across the Key Stages will have an appropriate (differentiated and personalised) curriculum to fit their needs. This section of the accessibility plan will be monitored by the individual leads for each of the respective curriculum areas.

Curriculum leads will oversee the delivery of all aspects of the key curriculum areas of literacy and numeracy and will also monitor teachers’ development in each Key Stage.

The following documents/policies support this aim:

  • Academy Development Plan
  • Key curriculum areas development plans
  • Equality and community cohesion policy
  • Assessment, recording, and reporting policy
  • Special educational needs policy
  • SEND information report 

Principal features of Hethersett Academy in this area are:

Within their teaching teams, curriculum leaders will monitor students’ progress and work with members of SLT and the academy SENCO, to determine the appropriate curriculum for specific students.

Children classified as ‘Pupil Premium’ will be identified, and their curriculum progress will be tracked and supported by curriculum leaders as part of the senior leadership team. Interventions in key curriculum areas will be recorded and monitored. Similarly, students’ attendance will be monitored by the Assistant College Leads in conjunction with College Leads.

  • In non-core subjects, students will be taught in mixed-ability, age-related classes.  Core subjects will be set according to ability.  The monitoring of the teaching classes will lie with the Curriculum Leads and will be discussed at SLT meetings.
  • Progress via teachers’ assessments and reports will be reviewed by the Curriculum Leads, as part of the wider SLT, to allow for appropriate interventions, evaluation, and modification, as required.
  • The most able students will be identified by attainment data to ensure that differentiated curriculum development, enrichment, and extension activities are made available to them.
  • Data from previous school years and in school baseline screening will inform differentiated mainstream classroom teaching and interventions together with information from parents, students and professionals.
  • SEND interventions are informed by testing and key curriculum diagnostics in the early part of each school year. This will lead to differentiated and personalised support in all lessons as well as some individual and very small group teaching sessions for literacy (reading, writing, and spelling) and numeracy to boost the achievements of specifically identified and monitored students.
  • There will be various SEN/Support for learning interventions to provide a differentiated and appropriate curriculum for identified students.
  • Students with medical needs who are unable to access school full-time will be supported by the class teachers, teaching assistants and, if necessary, external support.
  • In all subject areas, students will be identified for access arrangements (exam concessions) using whole school data and in liaison with the SENCO.
  • The SENCO will manage, in conjunction with the Curriculum Lead, the various short-term interventions for those learners who need support with their learning.
  • The Assistant College Leads / Behaviour Lead will manage, in conjunction with the Curriculum Lead, longer-term interventions for school refusers, students returning from school after exclusion or from medical absence or who are on part-time timetables due to documented medical reasons or long-term absence.

Section 2: Site accessibility

Responsibility for this section of the plan lies jointly with the principal, the SENCO, and the academy site manager, with contributions from a range of professionals supporting the school and also from individuals within the school.

Students, staff, parents, and visitors to the school will have an equality of opportunity to access the curriculum and we aim to make all areas of the site accessible where possible. Where buildings cannot be adapted, changes will be made to the curriculum; typically this will mean re-rooming to accessible accommodation.

The following policies support these aims:

  • Single equality and community cohesion policy
  • Academy Development Plan
  • Health and safety policy
  • SEND policy
  • SEND information report

Principal features of Hethersett Academy in this area are:

  • An annual audit of the site, using Norfolk County Council’s framework/guidelines, regarding access arrangements and in consultation with occupational therapists if appropriate.
  • The academy buildings are fully wheelchair accessible including the provision of ramps, fire evacuation equipment for wheelchair users, and disabled toilets.
  • The academy provides a ‘safe space’ where vulnerable students can go at break and lunchtime if they feel in need of such provision.
  • Health and safety issues are identified and addressed on a continuous basis by a range of people within the academy including teachers, the site manager and Curriculum Leads/SLT.
  • Risk assessments will be written principally for two purposes: firstly for activities and related groups of students and secondly for specific students for specific activities or to take into account their specific disability.
  • Risk assessments will identify evacuation procedures for individual students whose movements are compromised by their disability.
  • The medical condition of student(s) that affect health and safety and site accessibility will be compiled as a separate document by the SENCO and circulated to staff in school on a ‘need to know’ basis.
  • The medical conditions of staff affecting health and safety and site accessibility will be known on a ‘need to know’ basis by the principal and related staff.
  • The SENCO will have the responsibility for ensuring that identified SEND students can access all areas of the site within the health and safety guidelines.
  • Outside professionals (for example, CAMHS, speech therapists, educational psychologists, occupational therapists, the Sensory Support Service, physiotherapists, CEPP, Respectrum etc.) will support the work of the school, and the integration of specific students within mainstream classes.
  • Class teachers and teaching assistant(s) will on a day-to-day basis monitor individual students’ accessibility to the site.

Section 3: Access to information

This section of the plan is monitored by the principal with the support of the school’s administration team. The school will liaise with the local authority to ensure compliance with local authority and government statutes. The aim is to ensure that students, parents, staff and visitors have access to the information that they need, with due regard to confidentiality.

This policy supports the legislative framework for responding to requests for information under the statutory access regimes established by:

  • The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • The Data Protection Act (DPA)
  • The Disability Discrimination Act
  • The Equality Act (2010)
  • Other legislation that provides a right of access

In addition the school has its own policy on data protection and Information.  Principal features of Hethersett Academy in this area are:

  • Responses to requests for information. Relevant documents will be posted on and may be downloaded from the school’s website or hard copies can be requested for a small charge.
  • Freedom of Information requests will be directed to the Trust's head of communications.
  • For pupil specific information:
    • Parents/students may request copies of student record files including paper and electronic files. A small charge will be levied for administration and photocopying charges.
    • Parents/students may not be given access to records which contain information on other staff/students which would breach the school’s data protection policy and/or the Data Protection Act.

Information provided by the school

Students will have access to information via:

  • The regular reporting of students’ progress via written reports from teachers
  • Feedback from their subject teachers (verbal and written) relating to their work completed in class including at parents’ evenings
  • Reviews from enhanced monitoring such as feedback from Curriculum Lead, 1:1 support, mentors, SENCO
  • The SEND review process
  • Representation on/by the school council

Parents have access to information via:

  • The regular reporting of their child’s targets and progress from teachers
  • Teachers’ written comments in students’ books, letters and emails to parents, telephone conversations
  • Talking to teachers at parents’ evenings
  • SLT/Curriculum Leads' contacts with parents
  • The school’s website
  • Open evenings for parents
  • By prior appointment to visit the school
  • Specific requests for information (see above)
  • The school prospectus
  • SEND information to parents at formal annual reviews, from relevant professionals outside school supporting the work of the school, and informal SEND coffee mornings/feedback sessions

Visitors/external agencies/individuals will have access to information (on a need-to-know basis only) by:

  • The school’s website
  • Contact with professionals within the school
  • By written request to the Principal

Accessibility of information

The school will aim to provide information in an accessible format and will respond to individual needs and requests as they arise.  For example:

  • The school will seek support from outside agencies to provide information in simple language, symbols, large print, audiotape or Braille for students, prospective students, or parents who have difficulty with standard forms of printed information.
  • The school will also make information for parents available in a range of different formats, should the need arise, and be aware of font size and legibility when producing written information, during parents’ evenings and review meetings of children’s performance in school.
  • The school will, if the need arises, aim to provide translation or interpreter services to ensure all parents/students can access information.