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A child who is disabled is automatically a ‘child in need’. A social worker must, if asked, carry out a child in need assessment. This is to see if the child and family need extra help. How much help children’s services can provide depends on local eligibility criteria. This applies to all children in need, including disabled children.
A disabled child may be assessed as needing help under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act 1970. If this is the case, they will have an absolute right to get that help.
Under the Equality Act 2010, it is against the law for schools to discriminate against disabled children.
Examples of discrimination could include:
- A school refusing to admit a disabled child because of their disability.
- A school stopping a disabled pupil going outside at break because it takes them longer to get there.
Schools must make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that children are not discriminated against. Examples of reasonable adjustments might be installing a ramp for wheelchair access or providing extra teaching support and specialist equipment.