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Special Educational Needs And Disability Act 2001

Section 12: Meaning of “discrimination”

77.This section amends the DDA by inserting a new section 28B defining the meaning of discrimination. It works in the same way as the definition in section 5 of the DDA, except in the respects set out below. An explanation of section 5 of the DDA is set out in paragraph 30 of these Explanatory Notes.

78.The reasonable adjustments duty under section 13 is owed to pupils at large, unlike the duty owed to employees under section 6 of the DDA. For the parents of a pupil to bring proceedings, therefore, it is necessary for them to show not only that the general duty is breached but also that this breach was to the pupil's detriment. Provision is also made for responsible bodies not to be liable where they do not know (and could not reasonably be expected to know) of a pupil's or prospective pupil's disability, both in relation to the less favourable treatment duty and the reasonable adjustment duty. Although the anticipatory nature of the latter duty means that a responsible body would have to consider what reasonable adjustments it might make generally to meet the needs of disabled pupils whether or not it knew of an individual pupil’s needs, it may need to know that a particular pupil was disabled, for example, in order to apply a policy to him. In those circumstances, a responsible body would not be liable for failure to take a particular step where it did not know of the disability.

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Explanatory Notes

Text created by the government department responsible for the subject matter of the Act to explain what the Act sets out to achieve and to make the Act accessible to readers who are not legally qualified. Explanatory Notes were introduced in 1999 and accompany all Public Acts except Appropriation, Consolidated Fund, Finance and Consolidation Acts.


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