Adjustments and provision of equipment for individual children.
The Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Code of Practice: 0 to 25 years (January 2015) Section 6.9 states that:
"All schools have duties under the Equality Act 2010 towards individual disabled children and young people. They must (by law) make reasonable adjustments, including the provision of auxiliary aids and services for disabled children, to prevent them being put at a substantial disadvantage. These duties are anticipatory - they require thought to be given in advance to what disabled children and young people might require and what adjustments might need to be made to prevent that disadvantage."
(CoP SEND 2015 - 6.9)
The reasonable adjustments duty is "to take such steps as it is reasonable to have to take to avoid the substantial disadvantage" to a person with a disability caused by a provision, criterion or practice applied by or on behalf of a school, or by the absence of an auxiliary aid or service.
The majority of children with special educational needs will have their needs met through the development of each school's access plan. A school's duty to make reasonable adjustments is an anticipatory one owed to pupils with disabilities generally, and therefore schools need to think in advance about what pupils with disabilities might require and what adjustments might need to be made for them. Schools should ensure that appropriate funding is allocated within their budget share to meet the needs of all pupils covered by the Special Needs and Disability Act (2010).
It is recognised however, that some specialist customised equipment may need to be provided centrally to ensure that pupils with low incidence, high needs have access to appropriate specialist aids and equipment. We provide funding for an individual children's equipment budget to meet these needs.
Scope of the budget
To provide funding for equipment to support children in mainstream schools and settings, enhanced resource facilities, specialist nurseries, other early years settings, academies and special schools.
Requests are considered through discussion with by an assistant education officer and representatives of our specialist advisory teaching services. Consideration will be given to requests from schools, settings, parents, local authority support services health and social services when evidence of need is supplied or recommendations are made or supported by a member of the sensory and physical support service.
Transport and maintenance of equipment will also be considered as will joint funding proposals with health and social services.
- Other local authorities: requests from other local authorities will be considered for children who are Derbyshire residents.
- Independent schools: Requests from independent non maintained special schools will not be considered at this panel unless under exceptional circumstances. It is our expectation that equipment will be included in the placement fees and outlined in the contract.
- Special schools have a delegated budget to fund aids and equipment. Only highly customised specialist seating requests and augmentative alternative communication equipment (AAC) will be considered from special schools.
- Consumables: Derbyshire apportions funding to schools to pay for these items, for example, disposable items in dealing with incontinent pupils. However, we will continue to fund hygiene units.
- Our expectations: It is the expectation that schools will provide for pupils with high incidence special educational needs requiring low cost non customised equipment funded from their normally available resources (for example, non customised ICT equipment) up to £300.