3. Education

Under the Equality Act 2010, it’s against the law for schools and other education providers to discriminate against disabled children.

For example:

  • a school can’t refuse admission to disabled children just because of their disability
  • a school can’t stop a disabled pupil going outside at break time because it takes them longer to get there
  • a teacher can’t shout at a disabled child if their disability means they have trouble concentrating

Contact the Equality Advisory Support Service if you think your child has been discriminated against because of their disability.

Making ‘reasonable adjustments’

Schools have to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ for disabled children. These can include:

  • changes to physical features, eg adding a ramp
  • changes to how learners are assessed
  • providing extra support and aids, eg specialist teachers or equipment

Special educational needs

Some children may have special educational needs because their disabilities affect their ability to learn.

You can ask your council to carry out a special educational needs assessment for your child. They may get a statement of special educational needs afterwards.

If your child has a statement of special educational needs, your local educational authority has to provide support as they approach leaving school.

Ask to see a school’s policy on special educational needs so you know what support they can offer.

Contact your local Parent Partnership Service for impartial advice about special educational needs.