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Improving access to education

Councillors approved a new plan to improve accessibility to education for children with a disability or Additional Support Needs when Perth & Kinross Council's Learning and Families Committee met this week.

The Committee approved the Accessibility Strategy Action Plan, which sets out how the local authority can improve participation in the curriculum, access to school buildings and communication with pupils and their families.

The previous action plan, saw a range of improvements undertaken.

These included increasing digital participation and the relaunch of the Dyslexia Awareness Pathway to identify and support children and young people with the condition.

All schools in Perth and Kinross were audited to ensure their compliance with the Equality Act, and  access for those with physical disabilities was considered when planning all new builds and refurbishments. Adaptations to school buildings for pupils with disabilities have also been completed as required.

A suite of materials has also been created to support staff to help identify and support pupils with dyslexia.  An Assistive Technology Panel has been established to ensure eligible young people have access to appropriate hardware and software; maximising the learners' ability to communicate and / or access the curriculum.

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."

Actions set out in the new plan include continuing to improve 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 development of new guidance to help schools and nurseries support children and young people with autism, sensory or communication processing needs through appropriate images, signage and visual references.

An Identification and Assessment Framework will also be developed to support school staff so they can further develop how they meet the needs of children and young people with Additional Support Needs.

Last modified on 24 March 2023

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