Accessibility Planning and Covid-19
All education settings have a statutory duty under equalities legislation to make #ReasonableAdjustments for disabled children, staff and visitors. Due to Covid-19, it is arguably more important than ever for schools to ensure a safe and fully inclusive environment.
An Access Audit from Equality Act Audits will now include sections on Covid-19 and how to ensure your environment is fully inclusive.
To give some examples:
1. Schools should consider any challenging behaviours or social or emotional challenges arising as a response to the lockdown and offer additional support and phased returns where needed. Extra staff training should be considered.
2. If anyone at your school becomes ill during the day with Covid symptoms, does your school have an adequate area for isolation whilst they await to be collected? Adult supervision may be required, depending on the age and needs of the child.
3. Coronavirus is an easy virus to kill when it is on skin. This can be done with soap and water or hand sanitiser. It is so important that your school supports pupils, visitors and staff to clean their hands regularly, including on arrival, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms and before and after eating. Are your toilets clear from clutter? Do you have hand sanitisers at an accessible height?
4. The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important, so schools must ensure that they have enough tissues and bins available in the setting to support pupils and staff to follow this routine. Additional signage may also be recommended.
Above are some examples of areas we will consider during an #AccessAudit of your school. Our aim is not to create more work for you, but to help you support your staff, visitors and pupils and an uncertain time.
Please get in touch if you would like us to help you with your Accessibility Plan.