02.02 If I want my disabled child to have all the support they need in school, do I just rely on the special educational needs framework?
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- 1 No
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- 10 Nov 2022
No. There is some interface between the special educational needs framework (CFA2014 Part 3) and EqA2010 (Part 6), which both have a shared aim of removing barriers to learning but they are two separate legal frameworks and schools, families and carers need to navigate both if a child is disabled. This distinction was confirmed very recently in RB v Calderdale MBC (SEN)  UKUT 136 (AAC).
If a disabled pupil without special educational needs experiences a substantial disadvantage in relation to how the school is organised for a reason related to their disability the school has a duty to make reasonable adjustments.
For a disabled child who also has special educational needs (SEND), the substantial disadvantage experienced by a disabled pupil may be mitigated or avoided entirely by the support they receive under the SEN framework.
In other cases, a disabled pupil may need reasonable adjustments to be made as well as the SEP they receive. The extent to which a pupil is provided with SEN support under CFA 2014 (Part 3) is one of the factors to be taken into account [by the school] when considering what adjustments it is reasonable for a school to make.
Example: Not all disabled pupils will also be classified as having special educational needs and may not be receiving support via school-based SEN provision or have an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP). The schools’ duties under the EqA2010 are designed to sit alongside and not replace the duties of schools and local authorities under the CFA2014 to ensure that disabled pupils receive the support they require to fully participate in education irrespective of whether or not they are classified as having special educational needs.
More: Does a child need a “medical” diagnosis of a condition or disorder to satisfy the definition of disability in the Equality Act 2010?
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