Legislation affecting schools Essay
Legislation affecting schools
Linked to the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights. Under this Act individuals in the UK have particular rights and freedoms however these have to balance against the rights and freedoms of others. Some articles which have a direct link to education/schools are: Article 2: The first protocol – the right to education (however this does not mean the right to a particular school). Article 8: The right to respect for private and family life. Article 10: The right to freedom of expression.
Restraints of pupils are permitted under the Act however each school has their own policy and procedure for this. All children have a right to an education.
Pupils have a freedom of expression.
Data Protection Act 1998
Means that schools need to keep and use information only for the purpose it was intended. It also needs to be kept securely on site, either locked away in a filing cabinet or on a password protected computer. If required to update and pupil information this should be done on site and not be taken off site to complete. All information about pupils should be considered confidential and must not be shared with others without parental consent. When discussing pupils with other members of staff you should make sure that only necessary information is shared The school is protected over personal information it holds
The school should issue a letter informing parents of how pupil data is protected. Schools must follow the act over how they handle data (password computers, locked cabinets). Staff need to be aware of this and reminded.
Freedom of Information Act 2000
Introduced in 2005 to promote transparency and accountability in the public sector. It is retrospective and information can be sought from any time in the past. Any person can request information for a school however this must be done in writing. Schools have a duty to provide assistance and advice to anyone who requests information but on the other hand they must evaluate the situation if they need to protect the information for confidentiality. The DCFS has produced guidance for schools and governing bodies to give advice about requesting information. Parents/students have the right to request information held by schools and local authorities. Information for information must be done in writing.
Equality of Opportunity
The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 makes it unlawful for education establishments to directly or indirectly discriminate pupils based on their sex, gender or sexual orientation. Admissions policies are available to be seen at hand. Local authorities are also under general duty to ensure that educational facilities and services are provided without sex discrimination. Many bodies can be held responsible for discrimination under the SDA.
The law states that all schools or colleges must not discriminate against people on the grounds of race in any of its policies or practices including admissions policies. All local educational authorities also have a legal duty not to discriminate. Local educational authorities have a duty to have a race equality policy and should take steps to discourage racial attacks. All schools should follow the local authority policies.
Disability Discrimination Act
To protect disable people from discrimination in the workplace and in the provisions. All schools have a duty to make adjustments that may be needed to ensure that the child is made welcome and is supported at all times. Schools must adhere to the Equality Act 2010.
Schools cannot discriminate against pupils because of their sex, sexual orientation or gender.
Children are taught about equality and diversity.
No sexist book or exams.
Toys that are accessible must be accessible to all.
Ensure they have a Racial Discrimination Act.
Have a duty to protect pupils against abuse or violence.
Must no discriminate against anyone because of their race
Relates to class rooms as well- all work displayed not discriminating.
Schools must adhere to inclusive education.
They cannot exclude on the grounds of disability or special needs.
The head teacher must seek advice if needed from local authorities.
Schools must have accessible resources.
Staff training days to update knowledge.
Special Educational Needs
Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Act
Special educational need also known as SENDA. It is unlawful for educational providers to treat disabled children “less favorably” than they would other children. institutions are required to make “adjustments” for example providing aids like ramps. LEAs and schools plan together to make the access easier for disabled children. All registered early years providers must have a written SEN policy and a SENCO. They should also make arrangements for staff to participate in any relevant training. All pupils must not be excluded from any aspects of school due to the disability. Legislation will affect how the schools are run as they will need to comply fully with legal requirements. Schools may need to ask advice and guidance if and when needed this will usually be through the governing bodies.
Special Educational Needs Code of Practice
SEN code of practice, parents and SEN children have an increased right to a mainstream education. This may have an impact on the number of children who have SEN being included in mainstream schools and on the number of individual support assistants who will support them. Training and implications have been put in to place in order to support individuals and schools must now manage pupils with a more diverse range of need. Schools need to ensure they make reasonable provisions to ensure people with SEN are provided with the same opportunities as those who are not disabled. Could be through 1:1 support or building adaptions e.g. disabled toilets, ramps and sensory rooms.
The school must make the best decisions to provide best values for the child with special needs. For example: a child may receive a considerable amount of IPS (Individual pupil funding) and the school must decide the best way to use this support for the child’s needs.