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Supporting Children in Kent with Special Educational Needs and Disability

Buildings & Equipment

Access and minor works for inclusion

Sometimes schools need to have adaptations made to meet the access needs for children and young people with physical disability and complex medical needs.  It is important to pay regard to The Equality Act, 2010. Schools are required not only to respond to the needs of disabled pupils, but to anticipate access needs of disabled people.  Once a school is aware that a pupil with access needs will be joining them, they should liaise with the nursery or primary school to initiate contact with STLS PD and therapists.  The following process applies to primary and secondary schools in Kent, nurseries are not for funded adaptations :

  • 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 the Area Education Officer 
  • The school may be eligible for Schools' Access Initiative (SAI) funding, which is a pot of money ring-fenced for adaptations for students with SEND at the discretion of the local authority (see next page Funding Access works)

  • The Area Education Officer will review the request and may then commission a more detailed survey to be completed by a project manager from the KCC Infrastructure Division.   In consultation with the Head teacher, plans will be drawn up to be agreed by the school and the AEO
  • With plans agreed, it may be necessary to go through planning permission, if it is a significant build which can affect the lead-in time.  Internal adaptions and minor works are often arranged to happen during the school holidays. 
  • There are a number of considerations if a school is Voluntary Aided (VA) 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.  
  • When plans are drawn up and agreed the contractor will have a meeting with the school and the project manager.  Any works which are identified after the contract being drawn up, and signed off, by County may have to come from the school's (DFC) budget
  • 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.