Disability Discrimination

Disability discrimination is when a person, here your child and/or young person, is treated less well or disadvantaged for a reason that relates to their disability, as set out in the Equality Act 2010.

An example of disability discrimination might be where a child requires reasonable adjustments in order to sit an exam but the school refuses to provide those reasonable adjustments (such as a reader, extra time and so forth).

The Equality Act prohibits discrimination against a child/young person on the ground of their:

  • Disability
  • Perceived disability
  • Their connection with someone who has a disability

It is permissible to treat a disabled person more favourably than an abled person.

In law, a disability is a physical or a mental condition which has a substantial and long-term impact on ability to carry out normal day to day activities. Progressive health conditions are covered by this law whether or not they have an effect on the ability to carry out normal day to day activities. In certain circumstances, past disabilities are also caught by the Equality Act.

The main types of disability discrimination are:

  • direct discrimination
  • indirect discrimination
  • failure to make reasonable adjustments
  • discrimination arising from disability
  • harassment
  • victimisation

In the context of Education Health and Care we would anticipate that discrimination is likely to take the form of a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

Disability discrimination claims, in relation to schools, are brought in the First Tier Tribunal (SENDIST). The Tribunal does not have the power to award compensation. The Tribunal has the power to make such order as it thinks fit and this power may be exercised with a view to obviating or reducing the adverse effect on the person of any matter to which the claim relates. The FTT has the power to make binding orders in a disability discrimination claim against a school. The FTT does not have a power to award compensation.

We are able to help with issues that arise around disability discrimination. Please contact us to discuss how we may be able to help.


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