On 16th January, OFSTED published their ‘Education Inspection Framework – Inspecting the Substance of Education’. Amongst other changes proposed, they state in their ‘Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Statement’ how they propose to fulfil the requirements of the Equality Act 2010.
There has been a lot in the press recently about some learners not having equal access to high quality education. Some schools, it was reported, were placing pressure on parents to remove low-attaining pupils from the school in order to protect examination results. Other establishments, nurseries in particular, had been refusing to take pupils with SEND.
In the review, OFSTED promises equal access to education for all learners. During their inspections they will be considering whether the education providers are inclusive of children with SEND, and looking into whether some schools are removing children from their rolls in order to improve their published outcomes.
Schools need to be doing all they can to ensure their pupils receive equal access to education. If they do not, they will be heavily penalised by OFSTED during an inspection. This starts with having a current and up-to-date Accessibility Plan in place.
There is no better time for schools to make sure they are fulfilling their obligations under the Equality Act 2010.