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Consultation on guidance on Accessibility Strategies under the Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils’ Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002
The Scottish Government would like views on revised guidance to support responsible bodies (education authorities, independent and grant-aided schools) to fulfill their duties under the Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils’ Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 to develop and publish Accessibility Strategies.
The guidance has been revised to take account of policy and legislative changes which have taken place since the development of the original legislation in 2002 (for example the Additional Support for Learning Act, the Equality Act, and Curriculum for Excellence).
Background to the Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils’ Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002
The Education (Disability Strategies and Pupils‘ Educational Records) (Scotland) Act 2002 is concerned with the school education of pupils who are disabled and the education of children under school age, outwith schools. The definition of disability can be found in the guidance.
Under the Act, there is a legal requirement for responsible bodies (education authorities, and those responsible for independent and grant-aided schools) to prepare and implement an accessibility strategy for all the schools they are responsible for. Accessibility strategies should cover a period of three years and be kept under review. Responsible bodies have a statutory duty under the Act to implement any strategies that have been prepared.
Responsible bodies are required to consider the need to allocate adequate resources for implementing the strategy. They are required to consult with disabled and non-disabled children and young people as well as their parents. The purpose of accessibility strategies is to, over the course of the 3 year period:
- increase disabled pupils’ participation in the curriculum;
- improve the physical environment of the school, or schools, to enable better access to education and associated services provided; and
- improve communication with disabled pupils.
The new guidance includes sections on
- The planning duties and main priorities for the accessibility strategy
- Procedures for local authorities
- Procedures for independent and grant aided schools
- Possible template for an Accessibility Strategy
The Scottish Government would welcome comments on the content, structure and clarity of the guidance. To provide your views, download the consultation paper from the Scottish Government website.