A new plan has been approved by Perth and Kinross Councillors, which will improve access to education for children with disabilities and Additional Support Needs.
The Accessibility Strategy Action Plan, was agreed at the Perth & Kinross Council’s Learning and Families Committee meeting last week. The plan will work to improve participation in the curriculum, access to school buildings, and communication with pupils and their families. Some of the actions set out in the plan include, improving classroom environments, ensuring the School Estate Strategy is future proofed to support the needs of children and young people with Additional Support Needs and disabilities, and developing new guidance for schools and nurseries to help them support children and young people with autism, sensory or communication processing needs.
Learning and Families Committee Depute Councillor Michelle Frampton said: “In Perth and Kinross we want every child to have the best start in life and take our responsibility to those with disabilities or Additional Support Needs extremely seriously.
“We are committed to helping them get the most out of their education.
“Whether that is making sure buildings are physically accessible, providing transport to those that need it or as happened during the pandemic, using clear face masks so those with hearing impairments can see mouths and facial expressions, we will do everything possible to make sure all our children and young people can participate fully in their education.”
The previous action plan saw a range of improvements made in Perth and Kinross including, increasing digital participation in classes and the relaunch of the Dyslexia Awareness Pathway which has helped to identify and support young people and children with the condition and all schools were suited to ensure they were complying with the Equality Act which meant that all new builds and adaptions of educational facilities had to be accessible for those with physical disabilities. All existing school buildings also had to be adapted so that they were accessible.
To further support those with dyslexia, an Assistive Technology Panel was established, which would give young people and children with the condition, access to appropriate hardware and software to help maximise their ability to communicate and/ or access the curriculum.
As part of the new plan, an Identification and Assessment Framework will be developed to help support school staff further develop how they meet the needs of those with Additional Support Needs.