School Accessibility Plans: Our Research

Schools have a duty to create accessibility plans – but is this happening in practice, and how well is it working? ALLFIE has been finding out.

Two boys talking in a classroom, one in a wheelchair, one standingBy law, schools should make Accessibility Plans to enable Disabled children and young people to access school facilities and make the most of their education.

However, there have been no studies to find out if Accessibility Plans help Disabled pupils to feel included and part of their school communities.

ALLFIE has received funding from the Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) grants programme to lead a project on the effectiveness of schools’ Accessibility Plans.

We’ve been holding focus groups for the project in four regions in England.  In each location we held discussions with different groups:  Disabled young people and children, parents of Disabled learners, and educators and professionals.

The focus groups began in November 2018, starting in the North East, with further groups in the other regions through autumn and winter.  Through these discussions we’ve been finding out about gaps between what the law says and people’s real-life experiences in schools.

For those unable to make it to a focus group, we also conducted a survey for parents and one for teachers and other education professionals. We had a great response to these – thank you so much to everyone who took part.

We’re now putting together all the stories and data we collected and we’ll be publishing our findings in autumn 2019.

For more information about the project, please contact Dr Armineh Soorenian at:

logos for the DRILL project and National Lottery community Fund