Disability Discrimination Claims
The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (ASNTS) can consider and decide claims of disability discrimination relating to pupils in school education in Scotland under the terms of the Equality Act 2010, Schedule 17, Part 3. It can consider appeals (claims) made by the parent or the person, where they have the capacity to make the claim, against the responsible body that has discriminated against the person because of a disability.
Schools must not treat disabled pupils less favorably because of their disability. Discrimination can also occur when a disabled pupil is placed at substantial disadvantage because reasonable adjustments have not been made to account for their disability.
ASNTS will hear disability discrimination claims against the responsible body, from the person's parent or where the person has capacity to make a claim, the person. The Equality Act 2010, section 6 defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities.
The ASNTS can hear claims of disability discrimination when this happens in an education setting in Scotland. This includes a school managed by an education authority, an independent school or grant aided school. A disability discrimination claim may be made in the following circumstances. It is unlawful for a school to discriminate against a disabled applicant or pupil in relation to:
the provision of education
access to any benefit, facility or service (this and provision of education covers all aspects of school life and the teaching of disabled pupils)
any other detriment
The responsible body has a duty to make reasonable adjustments to support disabled pupils and to prevent them from being discriminated against.
It is also unlawful for a school to harass or victimise an applicant or pupil.
The procedures of the ASNTS in disabilty discrimination claims are governed by The Additional Support Needs Tribunals for Scotland (Disability Claims Procedure) Rules 2011.
What's involved for Claimants
A parent or disabled pupil, who has the capacity to make a claim, may do so by completing the claim form which asks for the information necessary to make a valid claim. A child aged 12 or over is presumed to have legal capacity, unless the contrary is proven.
The claim form can be downloaded or completed online and sent electronically to ASNTSAdmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk. A claim submitted electronically will normally be accepted without the claimant's signature.
The President has produced an Information Note No 01/2015 on making a disability discrimination claim.