Schools in England (as elsewhere in Europe) have a duty to promote equality for disabled people and make reasonable adjustments for disabled children. There is, however, a degree of uncertainty about how well-placed parents are addressed to use the legislation to ensure their child’s needs. This paper presents data drawn from a national questionnaire designed for schools to use to identify their disabled pupils and examines, in detail, parental responses to a question on the kinds of support their child finds helpful in offsetting any difficulties they experience. It illustrates the complex and varied nature of the ‘reasonable adjustments’ that are required and an overriding sense that need to be underpinned by the values of a responsive child-centred approach, one that recognises that parents’ knowledge and understanding of their child are important. Schools need to have in place the two-way communication process that supports them in ‘knowing’ about the visible and invisible challenges that pupils with difficulties and disabilities face in participating in school life.
- disabled pupils