In the UK we have a variety of legislative responsibilities that directly impact upon discrimination and equality in educational buildings. Three primary pieces of legislation have the most influence, namely, the Equality Act (EA), the Regulatory Reform Order (RRO) and the Special Educational Needs and Disability Act (SENDA) and to a limited degree, the Human Rights Act (HR).
The Equality Act requires reasonable measures, has an anticipatory duty and for educational buildings there are additional public sector duties. It provides protection for staff, students, parents, visitors and third party users. The legislative responsibilities are based upon a number of factors, including the ability to pay, reasonableness and for public bodies, the obligations of the public sector duty; this requires in undertaking their functions to have due regard to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation.
- advance equality of opportunity.
- and foster good relations.
It requires equality in service to the extent that a disabled person may need to be treated more favourably. There is also a requirement to review any policy in order to demonstrate due regard to the aims of the Equality Act.
Educational buildings are complex multi-functional spaces and with the improvements in medical procedures more children are surviving birth but often with profound and multiple disabilities. At JSA we can assist you through the process of ensuring that you meet the expectation of students and anticipated obligations of the legislation, taking into account demographics, site limitations and budget constraints.