DISABLED PUPILS AT CLAVERING
Having a child with a disability at Clavering Primary School is far more commonplace than many families might think.
Many children have a disability under the Equality Act 2010 – that is ‘…a physical or mental impairment which has a long-term and substantial adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
This definition provides a relatively low threshold and includes more children than many realise: ‘long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’ and ‘substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’. This definition includes sensory impairments such as those affecting sight or hearing, and long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes and epilepsy.
At Clavering, we appreciate that many children and young people with such conditions do not have special educational needs, but there is a significant overlap between disabled children and young people and those with SEN. Where a disabled child or young person requires special educational provision, they will also be covered by the SEN definition.
If a child has a disability, we plan and implement the reasonable adjustments that need to be made. This, of course, depends on the exact nature of the child’s disability and their individual needs. Children with a disability may require different levels of support for different reasons and the level and type of support may vary over time; for some this will be minimal, for others it may be substantial.
Example - a child with a visual impairment:
For example, for a child with a visual impairment we would:
- encourage the wearing of any glasses;
- carefully consider seating and grouping – this may apply particularly when a pupil is using additional technology to ensure they are not separated from their peers;
- use all pupils’ names and give more verbal feedback to compensate for the visually impaired child’s difficulty in seeing body language;
- back up visual information with verbal instructions or descriptions (e.g. reading out loud what is being written on the board);
- provide the pupil with his or her own copy of information;
- ensure that resources are well organised so that the pupil will have independent access;
- make sure that there is good lighting in work areas, with no glare (however, where pupils are photophobic (sensitive to light), they may be more comfortable in a shaded area of the room);
- ensure worksheets are clearly presented, uncluttered and produced in clear, large (standard case) typeface;
- use matt paper because shiny paper may cause glare;
- use specialist equipment (as appropriate) such as talking calculators, magnification aids and ICT;
- give short tasks rather than long ones as visually impaired pupils tire more easily;
- give extra time to complete work;
- liaise very closely with the child’s family and local Visual Impairment Service (note: Clavering currently works with Susan Coulton, Sharon Hull and Alison Brown from the VI Service, based in Middlesbrough).
Obviously, these adjustments are specific to a child with a visual impairment and would, in most cases, be irrelevant to a child who is, for example, asthmatic or epileptic.
Other issues worth highlighting:
Bullying: At the time of writing, we have no recorded evidence of children being bullied at Clavering Primary School because of any form of disability. However, the Clavering Policy for Behaviour and Bullying (available on the school website) makes specific reference to children with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
Emotional and Social Development: The Clavering Curriculum and the additional opportunities available at Clavering Primary School seek to develop all pupils emotionally and socially, including those with any form of disability. Where required, additional pastoral support is made available through access to an appropriate member of staff.
Extra-curricular provision: Clavering children with disabilities have excellent access to educational visits, extra-curricular activities and the school’s residentials in Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6. For example, 100% of pupils with disabilities participate in the school’s intra-school competitive sport programme and no pupil has been denied a place on a school residential because of a disability. In the case of residentials, where necessary, the school’s Residentials Leader meets with the child’s family and, where appropriate, child to discuss the child’s disability and any special arrangements that need to be made. Instructors who we work with in all three of our residentials are always informed of all children’s needs – including medical needs, physical needs, learning needs, dietary needs, etc.
Admissions: Information about admissions of disabled pupils can be found within the ‘Admissions’ webpage on our website.
Accessibility: The school’s current Accessibility Plan can be accessed by clicking here.