Best Practice

Discrimination and disability duties

Philippa Stobbs explains key aspects of disability law and how they apply to school

The Children and Families Act became law in September 2014 and with it came a shake-up of how schools are required to treat pupils with SEN. There is a focus on outcomes and a requirement to include parents, carers and young people in decision-making. Key was the replacement of Statements with Education, Health and Care Plans. Schools are expected to have a more integrated approach to meeting SEN duties under the Children and Families Act and disability duties under the Equality Act.

Every year there are 100 to 150 claims against schools for disability discrimination and about half of them decide that schools have acted unlawfully. The claims can be made by parents or young people within six months of the discriminatory action.

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