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Supporting Children in Kent with Special Educational Needs and Disability

Buildings & Equipment

Schools' Access Initiative

Sometimes schools need to have adaptations made to meet the access needs for children and young people with physical disability and complex medical needs.  STLS PD is able to support schools to identify and, if necessary, make adaptations to buildings through the following process:

  • children and young people in maintained, mainstream schools, who are known to the STLS PD team will have their needs identified for inclusion at school
  • before transition the specialist teacher with the occupation therapist and physiotherapist of the named student, will carry out an early identification access visit
  • a report is then written and shared with the Head Teacher and Head of SEN Assessment and Placement
  • the school may be eligible for Schools' Access Initiative funding, which is a pot of money ring-fenced for adaptations for students with SEND at the discretion of the local authority
  • KCC or the school will then commission a more detailed survey to be completed by a project manager and plans will be drawn up to be agreed by the school, education and health professionals involved with the student
  • with plans agreed it may be necessary to go through planning permission, if it is a significant build, or internal adaptions are often arranged to happen during the school holidays.  There are a number of considerations if a school is Voluntary Aided because the building and site are likely to be owned by the Diocese and special licences may need to be obtained before any work can go forwards.  There is a different funding pot for VA schools which is at the discretion of the Diocese.  Schools which are VC (Voluntary Contribution) are eligible for SIA funding, however, there may need to be special licences before work can go ahead.
  • once funding is secured there is a minimum contribution which schools are expected to make.  In Primary schools this is the first £7500 and in secondary schools it is £20,000.  Sometimes the cost of the works will fall within the minimum contribution and the school will not receive SIA funding.
  • When plans are drawn up and agreed the contractor will have a meeting with the school and the specialist teacher may be invited to attend.  Any works which are identified subsequent to the contract being drawn up and signed off by County will be from the school's budget, in addition to the initial contribution.
  • SIA funding cannot be  used for site  maintenance which would usually be the school's responsibility, eg levelling paths.
  • when the building work is complete the works school be inspected by the project manager, Head teacher and specialist teacher to ensure that all parties are happy with the works before  final payment is made to the contractor.