Disabled Schoolboy Told School Trip is Too 'Inaccessible' For Him

Person in wheelchair in hallway

A nine-year-old schoolboy from Stockport is left “annoyed and excluded” after being told he cannot attend a residential school trip with his friends to Wales due to the lack of facilities to cope with his disability.

Jacob O’Neill, a Year 5 pupil at Banks Lane Junior School, has a disability (spinal muscular atrophy) which requires him to use an electric wheelchair. He had been looking forward to attending a two-night residential trip to Wales with his school friends but was told the facilities were too ‘inaccessible’ for him.

Jacob’s family made a formal complaint with the school and say the decision to exclude him is discriminatory and that provisions should be made to accommodate him. The school responded saying that following an extensive risk assessment (which included an assessment of the activities, transport, locations and venue itself), they had come to the decision that the trip would cause problems for Jacob.

The pupil’s mother, however, said there were many components wrong in the risk assessment, such as the pavements being too narrow, a nearby pond, and it had recorded that the beach was inaccessible.

Jacob’s family have now made an official complaint and will continue to push for Jacob’s attendance on next year’s trip.

The Headteacher at Banks Lane Junior School said that the matter is subject to ongoing discussions, and that the school ensures that all children receive the best opportunities for learning in the classroom and beyond.

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