Accessibility Policy

Mission Statement

At St. Thomas of Canterbury School we encourage in all members of the community a shared sense of awe and wonder as we grow closer to God. We foster creativity and inquiring minds, learning through collaboration and interdependence to become motivated, lifelong learners.

The following report provides information on how St Thomas of Canterbury School caters for the needs of those children identified as having Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). For further details on this, please refer to the school's SEND Policy.

Definition of special educational needs

In this policy, ‘special educational needs’ refers to a learning difficulty that requires special educational provision.

The SEN Code of Practice (DfES, 2001) says children have a learning difficulty if they:

  1. have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or
  2. have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local authority; and
  3. re under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would do so if special educational provision was not made for them.’

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

Definition of special educational provision

For children aged two years or older, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools and settings maintained by the LA, other than special schools, in the area.

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St Thomas of Canterbury has adopted this accessibility plan in line with the school’s special educational needs policy with the aim to ensure that our school is socially and academically inclusive, that all pupils have access to a full curriculum, and that all pupils are appropriately challenged.

Our special educational needs policy outlines the provision that our school has in place to support pupils with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and the school’s publication of equality information and objectives explains how we ensure equal opportunities for all our students. Increased access to the curriculum, physical access to the school, and access to information are particular to students with SEND, and this accessibility plan provides an outline of how the school will manage this part of the SEND provision.

Please refer to our special educational needs policy for an outline of the full provision that our school has in place to support pupils with SEND, which can be found on our school website.

Access to the curriculum, information and associated services

Pupils with SEND will be given access to the curriculum supported by the school’s specialist SEND provision and in line with the wishes of their parents and the needs of the individual.

Every effort will be made to educate pupils with SEND alongside their peers in a mainstream classroom setting. Where this is not possible, the SENCO will consult with the child’s parents for other flexible arrangements to be made.

The school curriculum is regularly reviewed by the Senior Leadership team (which includes the SENCO), to ensure that it is accessible to pupils of all levels and abilities, and supports the learning and progress of all pupils as individuals. This includes learning outside the classroom.

It is our aim to ensure that all resources and SEND provisions are being used effectively and efficiently within the school setting in order to support the taught curriculum and enable pupils to reach their full potential. The school does this by:

  • keeping staff fully informed of the special educational needs of any pupils in their charge including sharing progress reports, medical reports and teacher feedback
  • providing regular training and learning opportunities for staff in all departments on the subject of SEND and SEND teaching; school staff should be up to date with teaching methods that will aid the progress of all pupils including those with SEND
  • making use of all class facilities and space
  • using in-class provisions and support effectively to ensure that the curriculum is differentiated where necessary
  • making sure that individual or group tuition is available where it is felt that pupils would benefit from this provision
  • any decision to provide group teaching outside the classroom will involve the SENCO in providing a rationale and focus on flexible teaching. Parents will be made aware of any circumstances in which changes have been made
  • setting appropriate individual targets that motivate pupils to do their best, and celebrating achievements at all levels
  • listening to pupils’ views and taking them into account in all aspects of school life.

Sensory and physical needs

The school has the following adaptations in place to meet sensory and physical needs:

  • appropriate seating,
  • adaptations to the physical environment of the school
  • adaptations to school policies and procedures
  • access to alternative or augmented forms of communication
  • provision of tactile and kinaesthetic materials
  • access to vision aids
  • access to specialist aids, equipment or furniture
  • regular and frequent access to specialist support
  • ramps and paths to allow wheelchair access around school grounds
  • automatic doors (push pad)
  • disabled toilet
  • sluice with changing bed, disabled toilet, shower and hoist.

Reasonable adjustments

The school will also make reasonable adjustments for individual students who need extra provision than that which is already in place to make sure that all students are involved in every aspect of school life, and that all barriers to learning are removed. These may fall under the following headings:

The building and grounds:

  • audio-visual fire alarms
  • ramps and paths which are wheelchair friendly

Teaching and learning:

  • relevant classroom equipment to support learning (eg Numicon)
  • ICT software (eg Clicker 6)
  • Ipads and laptops
  • enlarged texts

Methods of communication:

  • specialist equipment such as ipads, and communication aids with relevant software
  • use of widgit symbols

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This accessibility plan will be evaluated annually to monitor its effectiveness and ensure that it covers all areas of accessibility that are needed in the school.

This policy will be reviewed annually
Next review: July 2016