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The Equality Act and Accessible Schools

Page last updated: 03/02/2020

The Essex Accessibility Strategy for Schools 2019-2022 is now available. Please note that the introduction of Equality Act 2010 means that some references in this Strategy are no longer current but the requirements remain legal. Headteachers and school Governing Bodies should refer to the Equality Act guidance for schools shown below. For guidance in making ICT accessible for pupils with special educational needs, please see the Supplementary Guidance document and ICT for SEN. 



What teachers need to know and schools need to do, including responsibilities to disabled children and young people under the Children & Families Act 2014.

Planning to Improve access to schools for disabled people - DfES guidance for schools and LAs on fulfilling their duties, together with the Summary Guidance already issued to all schools in paper form.

The Equality Act 2010: guidance for schools and an example policy for schools.                                                                         


Other useful guidance                             

Accessibility for wheelchair users - questionnaire

A questionnaire that should be completed by all schools, to help in developing your own Accessibility Plan and to register needs in the LA’s Asset Management Plan. The AMP is the mechanism by which capital funding will be allocated to meet appropriate needs that also meet strategic objectives. In order to establish fair and equitable means of identifying relative needs and prioritising resource commitment, it is important that data on the accessibility of each school is included in the AMP. Your school could therefore be disadvantaged if you do not return this information. Please return by Monday 11 November 2002. Full guidance is provided in these pages, together with worked examples.



  • Access audit checklist - A checklist that you might find helpful; use is not mandatory.
  • Building Regulations Part M: Access to and use of buildings - Technical information. It is not necessary to have a detailed knowledge of these regulations, the hyperlink is provided as a reference source should you wish to know more. If you are undertaking access improvement works to your school’s buildings you are strongly advised to employ a professional building consultant. Your consultant should have a thorough knowledge of these regulations, and the consultancy has liability should any works be completed that do not meet standards. Note that Building Control officers (BCOs) can give consent to installations that are not fully compliant with Part M if a design is the only practical solution and benefits people with disabilities sufficiently to justify an exemption. Your professional consultant will handle issues of this kind in discussion with the BCO.
  • Means of escape in case of fire - Guidance on safe and correct evacuation measures for people with disabilities.
  • Professional access audits - Guidance for schools who wish to employ specialist auditors.
  • Frequently Asked Questions - The site includes a section for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and a list of contacts, taking you directly into e-mail communication with LA staff who can advise.
  • Disability access - the users' view - A presentation put together by school pupils