Help Allfie’s Research On School Accessibility Plans
Join our focus groups around the country
Accessibility Plans are intended to help Disabled children and young people to make best use of the education, benefits, facilities and services available to them. The Equality Act 2010 and the Equality Duty 2011 highlight schools’ responsibilities to produce Accessibility Plans. The aim is to improve the physical environment and enable Disabled children and young people to participate in the curriculum.
Yet ALLFIE’s initial research indicates that most local councils in England do not monitor how many schools have Accessibility Plans, as this is not a legal requirement. There is also no requirement for schools or academies to share this information with OFSTED. Therefore, there is no evidence to demonstrate how effective plans are for Disabled children and young people. It is also unclear how well parents are informed of the plans, or how much they have a say in them.
ALLFIE has funding from Disability Research on Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) to lead a project investigating the effectiveness of school Accessibility Plans. Dr Armineh Soorenian, the project researcher, has set up a project advisory group, received ethical approval from DRILL, conducted initial research using Freedom of Information data and begun running focus groups. The project will explore the stories and opinions that people share in these group discussions to understand any gaps emerging between the aims of the law, and the real-life experiences of people in schools. In each of four regions in England, there will be three focus groups: one for Disabled young people and children, one for parents of Disabled learners, and one for educators and professionals. The groups will be in October and November 2018.
If you are interested in getting involved in the focus groups, or would like more information about the project, please contact Armineh Soorenian at Armineh.Soorenian@allfie.org.uk.