Grammar test

4th February 2005 at 00:00
Q My daughter is blind. We live in an area where there is a grammar school and would like to apply for her to go there.

The grammar school's selection arrangements include a written test. Because of my daughter's disability, she will need a reader or special equipment to take the test, but the school has not agreed to this. What can I do?

A Since September 2002, the Disability Discrimination Act has required schools and colleges to comply with anti-discrimination procedures in respect of disabled students.

Broadly, schools are required not to treat a disabled pupil or applicant for a place less favourably for a reason relating to their disability without justification, and also to make reasonable adjustments to policies, practices and procedures.

While the law does not require the school to amend its standards for admission, it is required to make reasonable adjustments to the way in which it decides whether a prospective pupil meets those standards.

In your daughter's case, it seems such an adjustment is reasonable. Unless the school agrees to make changes for her, it is likely to be in breach of the Disability Discrimination Act.

David Ruebain is a partner specialising in education and disability discrimination at the law firm Levenes. www.levenes.co.uk

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