Designing for disabled children and children with special

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Designing for disabled children and children with special

Transcript Of Designing for disabled children and children with special

Designing for disabled children and children with special educational needs
Guidance for mainstream and special schools

Designing for disabled children and children with special educational needs
Guidance for mainstream and special schools






Who this publication is for


How to use this publication


A Background and briefing

B The design approach

1 Understanding SEN and disability 10 3 Inclusive design principles


10 for schools


Special educational provision

11 Access


Children’s SEN and disabilities

12 Space


Meeting children’s needs

14 Sensory awareness


Enhancing learning


2 Planning building projects for

Flexibility and adaptability


children with SEN and disabilities

17 Health and well-being


The process

17 Safety and security


Briefing contents

20 Sustainability


4 Initial design strategies


Site development


Planning special school buildings



C Designing school spaces

D Detail development


Using Part C

36 11 Technical


a Building construction: elements,

5 Access and circulation – all schools 38

materials and finishes


Access, arrival and departure

38 b Environmental services and sustainability 149


41 c Warm water/hydrotherapy pools d Fire safety and evacuation

115568 B

6 Learning and social spaces

e Furniture, fittings and equipment


– early years

44 f Information and communication systems 167

Early years learning


Typical early years spaces


Inclusive early years provision


7 Learning and social spaces – primary Primary learning Typical primary learning and social spaces Inclusive primary mainstream schools Primary mainstream support facilities Primary special schools

E Case studies
47 47 Hollywater School 47 Heritage Park Community School 48 Baytree Community Special School 51 56

172 176 180

F 8 Learning and social spaces
– secondary


Annexes E


Secondary learning


Typical secondary learning and social spaces 72 A: Legal framework


Inclusive secondary mainstream schools

73 B: Education


Secondary mainstream support facilities

77 C: Special school provision


Secondary special schools

82 D: Planning for accessibility


E: Typical model schedules for

9 Learning and social spaces – post 16

104 F: Dspeescigianlinsgchfooor lcshildren’s needs – a checklist 119980 E

Post-16 learning


Typical post-16 spaces in special schools


10 Support spaces – all schools


a Medical, therapy and other support


b Staff accommodation


cd STotoilreatgseand changing facilities 112215 F

e Kitchen facilities




The publication was prepared by the following team:

Gill Hawkins John Jenkins Lucy Watson Val Foster Malcolm Ward Daniel Keeler

DCSF Haverstock Associates DCSF Val Foster Associates Malcolm Studio PB&R Design Services, Hampshire County Council

DCSF would like to thank the following for their help and advice:

Kathie Bull Steve Clow Brian Coapes Mike Collins Angela Duncan David Gardiner Susan Logan Lucy Naish Susan Peace Nick Peacey Sue Roberts Caroline Roaf Philippa Russell Steve Sands Jane Simpson Shirley Turner Richard Vaughan Terry Waller

Educational consultant PB&R Design Services, Hampshire County Council Centre for Healthcare Architecture and Design, NHS Estates NAS Headteacher, Meadows School, Sandwell HMI BRE RNIB Qequality – Promoting Quality Service for Disabled People SENJIT Headteacher, Cornfield School, West Sussex NASEN Council for Disabled Children Hunters Jane Simpson Access Ltd Education officer NDCS Becta

We are also grateful to the following schools and their architects for welcoming visitors and/or providing us with information:

Arbourthorne Community Primary - Sheffield Astley Sports College & Community High School - Tameside Baytree Community Special School - Somerset Beaconside CofE Infant School - Penrith Braidwood School for the Deaf - Birmingham Castlegreen Community School - Sunderland Columbia Grange School - Sunderland Cromwell Community High School - Tameside Filsham Valley - East Sussex Fox Hollies Special School - Birmingham Fulford School - York Greenfields School - Northampton Hazelwood School - Glasgow Heritage Park Community School - Sheffield Hollywater School - Hampshire

Manor Green Primary School - West Sussex North Lakes School - Cumbria The Meadows School - Birmingham The Michael Tippett School - Lambeth The Orchard School - Sandwell The Phoenix School - Grantham Osborne School - Hampshire Portland School - Sunderland Priestley Smith School - Birmingham Reignhead Primary School - Sheffield Shepherds Down Special School - Hampshire Springwell Dene School - Sunderland Stephen Hawking School - Tower Hamlets St Giles School - Retford Ullswater Community College - Cumbria



The Government’s aim is that by 2020 we want England to be the best place in the world to grow up. That includes providing every child and young person with learning opportunities and challenges which build their confidence and self esteem and set them on the road to a fulfilling future as a UK citizen.1
The Children Act 2004 provides the legal framework for the Government’s national change programme, Every Child Matters – Change for Children. It requires all partner agencies to work together to improve five key outcomes for all children and young people, including those with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities:
• Be healthy • Stay safe • Enjoy and achieve • Make a positive contribution • Achieve economic well-being
The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has a continuing commitment to improving provision for disabled children and children with SEN in mainstream schools and special schools. The Primary Capital Programme and Building Schools for the Future (BSF) are a unique opportunity to transform our schools and provide innovative learning environments that will support and inspire pupils to achieve. This includes improving special school provision, most of which will be re-built or refurbished by 2020.
Schools vary in the facilities and specialist services they offer. The needs of children with SEN and disabilities are met by schools working in partnership with parents, with other schools (sometimes as part of a co-located campus) and with the NHS and other children’s services.

Schools are a vital community resource. By 2010 all schools will be providing access to a range of extended services - childcare in primary schools, parenting support, swift and easy referral to targeted and specialist services, and wider community access to IT, sports and arts facilities, including adult learning. Designing for disabled children and those with SEN is an essential part of this extended community focus. New arrangements for 14–19 year olds require schools and other providers to work together in partnerships, many of which build on earlier collaborative arrangements. No institution acting alone will be able to provide the full 14–19 offer to their learners. Schools, colleges, training providers, employers and other stakeholders will have to collaborate, focusing on what they do best to deliver the curriculum. School design needs to take account of a school’s role in local partnership arrangements, the particular contribution that the school makes, the additional pupils who may be using school facilities and the extra movement between sites that may be involved. Children and young people need attractive, accessible school buildings. ‘Inclusive’ design can enable and empower those with SEN and disabilities to participate fully in life at school and in the wider community. This building bulletin draws together information to help everyone involved in designing these schools to work together to produce good quality, sustainable school premises that support the achievement of the five Every Child Matters outcomes, are inspiring and uplifting, and pleasant and convenient for everyone to use.

1. Refer to: The Children’s Plan: Building brighter futures DCSF 2007 – http://www.teachernet.


This publication sets out non-statutory guidance on planning and designing accommodation for new and existing schools in England – all of which will have at least some children or young people with SEN and disabilities. This building bulletin supersedes and replaces:
• Building Bulletin 77: Designing for
Pupils with Special Educational Needs, Special Schools 1992
• Building Bulletin 91: Access for
Disabled People to School Buildings 1999
• Building Bulletin 94: Inclusive School
Design 2001

Who this publication is for
This publication is for all local authorities (LAs), diocesan boards of education, governing bodies of schools and all other education providers. It has been written particularly for education advisers, architects and designers, and may also be useful to building contractors on school building projects, school/PRU managers, and managers in other children’s services.

Table 1: Definitions Special educational need (SEN) ‘A child has SEN if he (or she) has a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for him (or her).’ Section 312 of the Education Act 1996 Disability ‘A disabled person is someone who has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.’ Disability Discrimination Act 1995 NB A child may be covered by both the SEN and DDA definitions.

Terminology The term ‘children’ is used throughout this document to cover very young children in early years settings and pupils of statutory school age (5-16 years old) attending schools. ‘Young people’ is used for post-16 students. Current usage favours the phrasing ‘disabled children and children with special educational needs’. However, this guidance also uses ‘children with SEN and disabilities’.


How to use this publication
The publication is structured so that it can be used for designing and building for any phase of education, mainstream or special. For mainstream schools the guidance should be read in conjunction with Building Bulletins 98 and 992. If you are improving or remodelling existing buildings, you will find it a useful guide for bringing accommodation up to current standards. It can also be used to inform the development of school accessibility plans and disability equality schemes, to plan to improve access for disabled people to schools over time. It is not meant to be prescriptive but instead to offer guidelines that will result in inclusive environments for all children with SEN and disabilities. Designs should always evolve through close consultation with schools, SEN experts and local authorities, based on local need. The bulletin is divided into six parts, which should each inform the design and build:
Part A: Background and briefing – sets out the essential information underpinning design for children and young people with SEN and disabilities:
• the context and special educational
• children’s SEN and disabilities • meeting children’s needs • planning building projects, including
the process and the briefing contents

Part B: The design approach – addresses whole school design issues and ‘inclusive’ design principles which should underpin all elements of design for children with SEN and disabilities. These principles should be used as a reference for any project of this kind.
Part C: Designing school spaces – looks in more detail at specific spaces and covers:
• what needs to be included in designs
for children with SEN and disabilities
• key design points • charts showing area guidelines
NB The middle section of Part C is divided by phase of education. The guidance in these pages can be put together to suit the age range of any school.
Part D: Detail development – focuses on what is relevant for school building projects for children with SEN and disabilities, including:
• building construction • environmental services • furniture, fittings and equipment
(FF&E) and ICT
Part E: Case studies – the case studies illustrate many of the points raised in other sections of this book and show some of the wide range of approaches to meeting the needs of children with SEN and disabilities.
Part F: Annexes – sets out further detailed information on legal aspects, education accessibility, as well as typical model schedules of accommodation for special schools.

2. Refer to: Building Bulletin 98: Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects and Building Bulletin 99, Briefing Framework for Primary School Projects – http://www.teachernet.


A Background and briefing A
1 Understanding SEN and disability
2 Planning building projects for children with
SEN and disabilities
This part looks first at the needs of children with SEN and diabilities – crucial for designers and specifiers to understand from the outset. It goes on to examine the initial process for a school building project and
developing a brief.

A Background and briefing

1. Refer to: Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit report, Improving the Life Chances of Disabled People, 2005 – http://www.cabinetoffice. areas/disability.aspx
2. Refer to: http:// www.everychildmatters.

1. Understanding SEN and disability

Almost a fifth of children in Britain are identified as having special educational needs (SEN). It is estimated that around 7 per cent of children are disabled and a significant number of children have both SEN and a disability1. Most children with SEN and disabilities are educated in mainstream schools. Around one per cent of the total school population is educated in special schools. The Government wants to ensure that every child with SEN and disabilities gets an education that allows them to achieve their full potential. Where a child has SEN, a school’s statutory duties include doing its best to ensure that the necessary provision is made for them and that they join in school activities with other pupils as much as possible. Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended by the Disability Discrimination Act 2005) (DDA), every local authority and school must:
• not discriminate against disabled
pupils – they must not treat them ‘less favourably’ and must actively make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to ensure that they are not at a substantial disadvantage

• plan strategically to increase
access for disabled pupils to the curriculum, improving the physical environment so that disabled pupils can take advantage of the education and services offered, and improving information for disabled pupils – they need to show in their accessibility plans how they will do this. (See Annex A, Legal framework.)
• promote equality of opportunity for
disabled people
Local authorities (LAs) are required to produce a Children and Young People’s Plan, which is a single, strategic, overarching plan for all services affecting children and young people2.
When they are proposing any change to provision for children with SEN, LAs (and others) must demonstrate their application of the SEN Improvement Test to parents, the local community and decision makers, showing how the proposed alternative arrangements are likely to lead to improvements in the standard, quality and/or range of educational provision for children with special educational needs.