Primary school in Great Yarmouth submits plan to build lift to meet disability requirements

St Georges Infant and Nursery School on St Peters Road, Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass

St Georges Infant and Nursery School on St Peters Road, Great Yarmouth.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A school has submitted plans to build an external lift to meet disability access requirements.

St Georges Primary School in Great Yarmouth has four floors but no lift, making it difficult for children with disabilities.

While the school currently does not have any disabled children, in the past when there have been, class organisors have been forced into moving classes into different rooms to accomodate certain childrens' needs.

The school which only became a primary in September, have submitted the plans to Great Yarmouth Borough Council to comply with requirements set out by the 2010 Equality Act.

Headteacher Melanie Fearns said: 'In the past it has caused us great difficulty. We have had disabled children, people on crutches and there was a child with cerebal palsy and it was not nice for them as the whole system had to move around to fit their needs.

'Also if we were able to get them to a higher floor, we could have to consider how we would evacuate them from the building if the fire alarm went off.'

The Equality Act 2010 states that a education provider has a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' to make sure disabled students are not discriminated against which can include changes to physical features of the building.

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Mrs Fearns said that changes at the school have been in the pipeline for the past four years.

The school converted into a Primary School in September and that change has allowed the school to push forward with the plans and put capital priority funding behind it.

As well as an external lift, there will be a new entrance and works will be carried out on the toilets.

The work will be carried out on a part of the building which was recentley constructed as an extension to the main building.

Mrs Fearns said: 'The school's conversion into a primary has definitely helped us put together these plans and I am not sure we would have been able to do them at this point if we had not.

'We just await planning permission now but the lift would definitely prevent a lot of the problems we had in the past for disabled children, for those who are on crutches and also for people who have to carry heavy objects to higher floors.'

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