Contents. Part One. Part Two. 1. Definition 2. Main Objectives 3. Principles 4. Provision 5. Delivery of the Curriculum 6. Physical Environment

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1 Contents Part One 1. Definition 2. Main Objectives 3. Principles 4. Provision 5. Delivery of the Curriculum 6. Physical Environment Part Two 1. Introduction 2. Approach and Car Parking 3. External Routes 4. Entrances 5. Reception Desk 6. Horizontal Circulation 7. Vertical Circulation 8. Doors 9. Toilets 10. Fixtures and Fittings 11. Information, Control and Environment 12. Means of Escape 1

2 Small Heath School & Sixth Form Centre Accessibility Plan Part One 1. Definition of Disability A person has a disability if he/she has physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities. 2. Main Objectives Equality Act 2010 To reduce and eliminate barriers to access to the curriculum To have full participation in the school community for pupils, prospective pupils and adult users with a disability. These objectives are in accordance with the school development plan. 3. Principles The plan has been produced in accordance with the Equality Act It uses the guidance set out in Accessible Schools: Planning to increase access to schools for disabled pupils, which was issued by DfE in July Compliance with the Equality Act 2010 is consistent with the school s aims, equal opportunities policy, and the operation of the school s SEN policy. The school recognises its duty under the Equality Act 2010 (as amended by the SENDA): Not to discriminate against disabled pupils in their admissions and exclusions, and provision of education and associated services. Not to treat disabled pupils less favourably. To take reasonable steps to avoid putting disabled pupils at a substantial disadvantage. To publish an Accessibility Plan In performing their duties, governors and staff will have regard to the DRC Code of Practice (2002). The school: Recognises and values parent s knowledge of their child s ability and its effect on his/her ability. Respects the parent s and child s right to confidentiality. 2

3 The school provides all pupils with a broad and balanced curriculum, differentiated and adjusted to meet the needs of individual pupils and their preferred learning style, by: Setting suitable learning challenges Responding to pupil s diverse learning needs Overcoming potential barriers to learning and assessment for individual and groups of pupils Endorsing the key principles in the National Curriculum Framework, which underpins the development of a more inclusive curriculum. The Teaching and Learning Policy will contribute to the review of the school improvement plan and to related school policies including the Equal Opportunities Policy. 4. Provision This section outlines the main provisions that Small Heath School has made and is planning to make, to achieve the key objectives. 5. Delivery of the Curriculum Staff receive training in making the curriculum accessible to all pupils and are aware of its importance. The school will continue to seek and follow advice of LA services, such as specialist teacher advisers and SEN inspectors/advisors and of appropriate health professional from the NHS Trusts. 6. Physical Environment The school will take account of the needs of pupils and visitors with physical difficulties and sensory impairments when planning and undertaking future improvements and refurbishments of the site and premises. Part Two Disability Access Plan 1. Introduction The School s policy is wherever practical to implement the full requirements of part M of the Building Regulations and the recommendations on BS8300, so far as funding permits. Some features, fittings and finishes of the existing buildings have to remain without change, not least because part of the school premises are a Listed Building, and other parts are shared with the Council, who have responsibilities in this regard as owners of the building. These situations impose some limitations on measures that can be taken to allow full accessibility. 3

4 Notwithstanding the above remarks all new buildings and alterations, so far as practical, are implemented to the full requirements of part M of the Building Regulations and the recommendations on BS Approach and Car Parking Approach: The school buildings are situated on separate sites. The upper school premises are shared with the Public Library and Leisure Centre and located in Muntz Street. The Lower School premises is a Grade II* Listed building on its own site in Waverley Road. Both sites have a barrier system for vehicles. The main visitor entrance to Upper School is on the corner of Wright Street and Muntz Street and is readily recognised by the large highly visible Concourse behind the visitor car parking. The main pupil entrance to Upper School is from Wright Street with two entrances for pupils. There are two single doors and a set of double doors into the main block for all pupils except sixth form students who have their own entrance, both of which have clear visible signage. Recently some kerbs have been eliminated and ramp gradients reduced. Further hazards with kerbs have been identified and require improvement. The main entrance to Lower School is from Waverley Road. Signage has been improved and an additional gate has been installed. Car Parking The space available for car parking is satisfactory. Two designated parking spaces for the disabled are provided at each site. These are identified with disabled car space signs and yellow lines and diagonal hatching to shared access space. Additional signs are to be provided to remind other drivers not to use the spaces. The car park surfaces are generally tarmac with gentle gradients. At the upper school the driveways between bays are in brick paviours, which continue to the school entrance doors. External lighting is provided on both sites. 3. External Routes: Routes to Main Entrance All routes to the public entrances are gently ramped and there are ramps sections within kerbs between the car park and the main entrance for visitors to the front entrance. There is generous width of access route available. The surfaces include drainage channels and gully gratings that are generally flush with the surface. 4

5 The rear entrance to the Upper School site has been refurbished to link the main building to the B Block and the steps have been removed and replaced with a ramped access. All existing entrances to the Lower School are ramped. External lighting will be maintained and improved where necessary, but is generally good. 4. Entrances Main Entrance The main entrance doors to the school are generally hinged, with self-closing devices. A programme of improvements to improve access by fitting an automatic opening facility has not been implemented for reasons of security. The existing doors provide adequate widths, but any replacement doors will be made wider. The entrances are all generally well lit by overhead lighting. Glazed screens and doors are easily identified. The entrance lobbies include entrance matting and generally this is flush. Any trip hazards have been eliminated. Remote control locking devices, alert staff that visitors have arrived, to both entrances. Other Entrances Fire exits and other external doors have a minimum clear opening of 800mm. Fire exits include panic bar or other appropriate ironmongery. 5. Reception Desk The reception desks at both sites include surfaces at two levels to provide for standing and wheel chair bound or smaller persons. A facility is included to enable staff to give aid to persons if required. The desk does not include an induction loop and a portable facility is to be purchased for both sites for staff use if required. There is reasonable circulation space both in front of and behind the reception desk. The reception desks are located in the Concourse to Upper school and the Reception Room at Lower school. Improvements to signage will be provided in Title style in contrasting colour to help the Disabled locate the facilities. Lighting within the proximity of the desks is good to help visitors orient themselves towards the desk. 6. Horizontal Circulation Corridors The existing corridors throughout the school on both sites are generally very wide and enough to permit satisfactory circulation. Corridor widths in some locations are narrower than ideal. This is largely determined by the existing structure and wherever possible improvements will be made when carrying out refurbishments 5

6 Lobbies The existing premises have spacious lobby areas providing good access. Improvements to signage are planned. 7. Vertical Circulation Lifts No passenger lifts are installed to give access to the first floors of the upper school. Their provision is under review and if necessary funding will have to be identified for installation to take place. A suitable location can be identified. At Lower school there are three upper floor classrooms which cannot practically be provided with Lift access and should the absence of a lift cause difficulties alternative arrangements will be found to make use of ground floor facilities instead. There are two ground floor rooms, down steps to IT 2 & 3 which cannot be accessed by wheelchair from inside. At the moment the only way to access these rooms is by going around the outside of the building and entering through the rear entrance door. This matter will be addressed as the need arises. Stairs Existing stairs are generally of ample width and are at an acceptable gradient. Handrails and guardings do not always meet all the guide lines set out in BS8300 or Part M of the building regulations in that they are not provided both sides of the flights and do not extend 300 beyond the bottom step. A programme of improvements to these arrangements is planned. Improvements have already taken place to highlight the edges of steps and these will continue with other aspects of the Building Regulations providing guidance for all other improvements that are required in the matter. 8. Doors Planning There are many doors to circulation areas, which make circulation less easy, but they are required to contain fire and smoke. So whilst eliminating as many doors as possible would be ideal this is not possible, particularly as serving the security requirements of the building also needs to be maintained. Internal Doors: Doors generally provide for a minimum clear opening of 800. Disabled toilet doors are 1000 wide door sets. Where doors are required in corridors these have been improved by installation of hold open devices 6

7 linked to the fire alarm, except where they are required for security and separation of the parts of the building. Vision panels in doors are being replaced so that they are suitable for wheel chair bound and standing persons. Existing doors where not glazed will be replaced where possible with vision panels, to improve access and safety for all users. Clear identification of the doors is being taken into account when considering the colour schemes and reflective gloss paint surfaces are being changed to eggshell to assist the partially sighted. Door lever handles are being replaced with pull handles to assist opening and reduce hazards for all. Door frames are being painted in contrasting colours and doors in colours that contrast with handles. 9. Toilets: Disabled Toilets: Disabled persons toilets are provided at each site. Facilities are provided in accordance with the Approved Document M of the Building Regulations, at the time of construction but the school need to plan for refurbishment and improvement of facilities. 10. Fixture and Fittings: Desks: Service desks generally are suitable for wheel chair bound persons. Certain classrooms are already provided with enhanced facilities for the hearing impaired, and further facilities will be implemented where necessary. Generally desks are moveable and therefore their use by ambulant or disabled persons can be accommodated. Adjustable blinds are also provided. Any particular needs will be addressed as the need arises. Specific Areas: Hearing Impaired Resource Base (HIRB): There is a base on both sites for hearing impaired pupils. Lower School s based is accessed via a staircase. The Upper School is sited on the first floor. Learning Zone: Is located on the Lower School site in the refurbished caretaker s two storey house. 7

8 Leaflet Display: Leaflet display points will be re-positioned at height to make them accessible for able bodied and wheel chair bound persons. 11. Information, Controls and Environment: Signage: Signage generally will be Title style raised letters on a contrasting background. Tactile and Braille signs will be provided where appropriate Signage will include graphics and logos to aid recognition. Lighting: Lighting fittings are being replaced throughout the school and new fittings will provide for good levels of illumination while minimising glare. Flashing lights are fitted in the HIRB rooms, toilets and other significant areas for the visually impaired pupils. Acoustic Control: Acoustic panelling will be provided to alteration works to comply with the requirements of the Building regulations. Carpeting is already provided to most areas except for toilet, Art, Science, Technology rooms to help improve reverberation times. Its use will be extended where appropriate to usage. Standard wheelchair access is not hindered by manoeuvring from floor to carpet and vice versa. Ceilings to critical classrooms have already been replaced with acoustic tiles and this improvement will continue to those rooms where the need arises. 12. Means of Escape: Compartmentation: To aid containment of fire and increase the time available for escape the buildings are divided into compartments. Maintenance and improvements to these arrangements form an important aspect of the ongoing maintenance works. 8

9 Refuges: Landings to the staircases are large in area and allow space for refuges for the disabled. Refuge signs will in included if Lifts are installed. Evacuation Strategy: An evacuation strategy is already in place and is managed by the staff. This includes for the evacuation of persons with disabilities. Alternative arrangements will be made in the case of temporary access changes. Provision of Information in other Formats: The school is aware of local services, including those provided through the L.A. for providing information in alternative formats when required or requested. The plan is available on request to the Headteacher. The plan would be submitted for approval by the Full Governing Body - December Facilities/H & S/revised

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