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discrimination in higher education - help in scotland?

elinelin Posts: 2Member Listener
Who do I go to in north Scotland if I think I have been discriminated against as a student in higher education?  

Replies

  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 6,638Administrator Scope community team
    Hi @elin Have you spoken to someone at your college/uni? Do they have a student advisor you can speak to?

    This information is from the CAB website:

    Discrimination in education

    Providers of education must not discriminate against disabled students, or disabled people applying to be students. Providers of education include providers of further education, higher education, adult and community education.

    Providers of education must not discriminate against students or applicants in the following ways:

    Less favourable treatment

    Providers of education must not discriminate against students or applicants by treating them less favourably than students who are not disabled, unless they can justify this treatment. This means that education providers must not:

    • refuse to offer a disabled student a place because they are disabled, or offer them a place on less favourable terms than a student who is not disabled
    • treat a disabled student less favourably in any aspect of educational life including trips, excursions and extra-curricular activities
    • exclude a disabled student from school because of their disability

    For example, if a school refuses to take a child who suffers from epilepsy unless she stops having fits, this will count as discrimination.

    In some cases, an education provider can treat a disabled student less favourably if it can justify this.

    A school can justify less favourable treatment if it is because of a permitted form of selection. For example, a child with learning disabilities applies to a school that selects its intake on the basis of academic ability and the child fails the school's entrance exam. In these circumstances, the school would be able to justify not offering the child a place.

    Making reasonable adjustments

    Providers of education must not discriminate against disabled students or applicants by failing to make reasonable adjustments to allow for their disability. If this places a disabled student at a substantial disadvantage compared with students who are not disabled, this will be regarded as discrimination. For example, a deaf pupil who lip-reads is at a disadvantage if teachers continue to speak while facing away to write on a whiteboard.

    Making reasonable adjustments includes providing special aids such as equipment and sign language interpreters.

    There are some circumstances in which an education provider may be able to justify not making an adjustment for a student's disability.

    Schools do not have to make reasonable adjustments to buildings and the physical environment of the school. However, all local education authorities must have plans to make their schools more accessible to disabled pupils. Maintained schools, independent schools, and non-maintained special schools must produce their own accessibility plans. The plans must be in writing and publicly available.

    Providers of further and higher education do have to make reasonable adjustments to their premises to allow better access for disabled students. However, issues such as cost can be taken into account when they decide whether an adjustment is reasonable.

    For more information about the rights of disabled students at school or in post-16 education, see the Equality and Human Rights Commission website.

    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • elinelin Posts: 2Member Listener
    Thanks Sam, I'll take that list with me. Yeah I have contacted the disability service and it's going to come down to a (terrifying) meeting with all the 'involved parties' plus the head of disability. I think it's going to be pretty confrontational and as well as discussing the staff's behaviour it seems like they'll make a decision on how I'm allowed to carry on studying since they basically have changed the rules since last year. I think I could end up kicked off my course if I don't meet the new rules, which seem to be 100% attendance or very close, which is going to be impossible for me. So I just wanted to see if I could get some outside uni advice from a charity or maybe even take someone to the meeting. But I can't find anyone near me. 
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 6,638Administrator Scope community team
    Oh that sounds so stressful! @melaniethorley do you have any advice?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Posts: 6,638Administrator Scope community team
    Melanie is away at the moment so wont be able to answer.

    It might be worth chatting with the helpline on 0808 800 3333?
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
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