Best Practice

Inclusion, equality and the law

There are a range of statutory requirements that all schools must meet to ensure the inclusion of children and young people with disabilities and SEN. Navin Kikabhai looks at what the law requires and offers best practice advice

At ALLFIE – the Alliance for Inclusive Education – we are conducting research with Sheffield University this year on whether the school accessibility plans required by the Equality Act 2010 are actually making schools more accessible for disabled children.

This research, funded by DRILL (Disability Research into Independent Living and Learning) springs from our wider concern that disabled children’s right not to be discriminated against is being neglected due to funding cuts, structural disadvantages, legislative inconsistencies, lack of enforcement, the rhetoric of parental choice, and the drive for so-called excellence.

The language of SEN can obscure the fact that most, though not all, children with SEN fall under the protection from discrimination provided by the Equality Act 2010, and not just the Children and Families Act 2014 and SEND Code of Practice 2015.

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