Equality Act 2010: reasonable adjustments

Know the rules your school must follow when providing reasonable adjustments for pupils, staff and parents with disabilities - including for school trips and after-school clubs.

Last reviewed on 11 May 2022
School types: All · School phases: All
Ref: 39220
  1. Definition of disability
  2. What are reasonable adjustments?
  3. Deciding what's ‘reasonable’ for pupils
  4. Deciding what's ‘reasonable’ for staff
  5. Deciding what's ‘reasonable’ for parents
  6. Using and providing auxiliary aids and services
  7. Reasonable adjustments at after-school clubs
  8. Reasonable adjustments for school trips
  9. Reasonable adjustments and accessibility planning

Disability is a ‘protected characteristic’ under the Equality Act 2010 and your school cannot legally discriminate against people with that characteristic.

As part of this, your school must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to minimise disadvantages to disabled pupils, staff and parents. If an adjustment is reasonable, the school must make it.

Definition of disability

Regulation 6 of the Equality Act 2010 says a person has a disability if:

  • They have a physical or mental impairment, and
  • The impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities

The Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) Code of Practice, which applies to maintained schools and academies, gives further guidance on this definition on page 16. It says that:

  • ‘Substantial’ is defined as ‘more than minor or trivial’
  • ‘Long-term’ is defined as ‘a year or more’

What are reasonable adjustments?

Pupils Schools have a duty to make 'reasonable