Skip to content ↓

Disability & Accessibility​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Disability Equality Scheme and Accessibility Plan


Forest Oak School is committed to providing an environment that is accessible to all pupils, staff, parents and visitors.

Schools have a duty to carry out accessibility planning for pupils with a disability. These are the same duties as previously existed under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and which have been replicated in the Equality Act 2010:

  • To promote equality of opportunity for disabled people: pupils, staff, parents, carers and other people who use the school or may wish to; and
  • To prepare and publish a Disability Equality Scheme to show how they will meet these duties.

An Accessibility Plan forms part of the Disability Equality Scheme and sets out the proposals of the Governing Body of the school to increase access to education for disabled pupils in three areas:

  • increasing participation in the school curriculum;
  • improving the environment;
  • improving the information that the school provides in writing.
Purpose of equality and diversity scheme for our pupils

Forest Oak School is an all age special school, which specialises in catering for the needs pupils with moderate learning difficulties and/or Autism. Pupils often have difficulties with social interaction, communication, cognitive thinking and learning. The degree of the impact this has on pupils’ lives differs considerably. However, many of our pupils have additional needs/disabilities.

Our disability equality scheme and accessibility plan therefore aims to continue to develop the very good practices of inclusive education already in place and provide a framework for auditing, reviewing and improving our school in its widest sense.

In addition the National Curriculum Inclusion Statement reminds us that all teachers are required to follow three inclusive principles:

  • Setting suitable learning challenges, enabling all children to experience success and achieve as high a standard as possible through appropriate differentiation.
  • Responding to pupils’ diverse learning needs by:
  • creating effective learning environments;
  • securing their motivation and concentration;
  • providing equality of opportunity through teaching approaches;
  • using appropriate assessment approaches;
  • setting targets for learning.
  • Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils.
Information from data and analysis of need

The Disability Discrimination Act defines a disabled person as someone who has ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.

Physical or mental impairment includes sensory impairments and also hidden impairments. In the DDA ‘substantial’ means ‘more than minor or trivial’‘Long-term’ means has lasted or is likely to last more than 12 months.

The definition is broad and includes a wide range of impairments, including learning disabilities, dyslexia, diabetes or epilepsy where the effect of the impairment on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities is adverse, substantial and long-term.

The definition can include a wide range of impairments, including hidden impairments such as dyslexia, autism, speech and language impairments, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Impairment does not mean that a person is disabled. It is the effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities that has to be considered.

Entry to Forest Oak School can be at any age. Pupil attainment on entry is well below average in comparison to mainstream peers.

All pupils have a Statement of Special Educational Needs or an Education, Health and Care Plan.

Following an audit of needs we have concluded that a small proportion of staff would meet the above disability definition. A proportion of parents, siblings and grandparents would also meet these criteria.

Training for staff focuses on meeting the needs of pupils who can be from a very diverse group and have significant disabilities.

School trips and activities within school are planned to be accessible to all pupils, regardless of disability or difficulty.

The school adopts the Local Authority policy of guaranteeing an interview to job applicants with a disability, who meet the essential criteria.

Reviewing the Impact of our Policies and Practices

In line with our duties we review our policies and practices to ensure they plan for equality and diversity.


The school is committed to ensuring all staff, pupils, parents and visitors have equal access to our school environment.

The Action plan sets out how we intend to realise the above by ensuring:

  • All pupils regardless of their disability, difficulty or impairment can participate in the school curriculum;
  • Improvement of the physical environment of the school to increase the extent to which disabled pupils, staff, parents and others can access education and associated services;
  • Improvement of delivery to disabled people of information that is provided in writing for people who are not disabled. E.g. Newsletters, information to parents.

This Scheme should be looked at in conjunction with the following documents (available on request):

  • School Improvement Plan
  • Local offer – School and LA






Improve staff skills working with pupils with Autism

Staff training – AET Complex needs training

LA funded – SISS team to deliver


Ensure that students are able to achieve appropriate accredited courses

Review year 9 curriculum and introduce Entry level qualifications at earlier stage

Revise curriculum for KS4 accreditation

Review progress

Teacher meeting time


Enhance equipment to improve access to the curriculum for pupils with additional needs

Review pupil needs on entry and throughout the year.

Purchase seating, Dyslexia filters, weighted blankets etc



Improve pupils access to the curriculum by increasing their emotional health and well being

Identify interventions for individual pupils

  • Music therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Drawing & Talking therapy









Improve the range of equipment available at break times

Consult pupils and plan new equipment

Improve EYFS play area with outdoor learning equipment



Ensure that safe disabled parking is available for pupils with physical disabilities

Monitor car park

Reserve disabled places as appropriate



Improve access to swimming facilities

Introduce a swimming club so that pupils with physical disabilities can access this as a leisure opportunity









Increase pupils understanding of the written word

Review use of Makaton symbols in classes, Annual Reviews, on displays.

Increase availability of Makaton reading scheme



Offer written information in different formats

On website and newsletters identify access to different font size versions

On an individual basis