Higher Education

New DDA Post-16 Education Regulations and Code of Practice

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) (Further and Higher Education) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/1721) (“the regulations”) will come into force on 1 September 2006. The regulations aim to implement the anti-discrimination requirements of the European Framework Directive (EU Council Directive 2000/78/EC of 27 November 2000) in respect of vocational education and training. The new duties will apply to most Further and Higher Education institutions. These changes have led to the Disability Rights Commission preparing a revised Code of Practice on Part 4 of the DDA for post-16 education (“the revised code”), which provides guidance on the interpretation of the new duties.

Production of the revised code has been contingent on publication of the said regulations by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES). The regulations were published in July 2006. Since then the DRC has liased closely with DfES, for the most part successfully, to ensure a common interpretation of the regulations.

Given the delay in finalising the regulations, the revised code does not yet have statutory force (which in effect would require courts to consider the code where relevant) at 1st September 2006 and the revised code will require ministerial and parliamentary approval before it has such force. Obtaining the necessary approvals in this regard is likely to take until December 2006. This should not present problems, since it is very unlikely that any individual cases concerning the new duties are heard by the Courts before this date. In the meantime, the revised code is available here to view as non-statutory guidance. Hard copies will be published when the revised code has statutory force.

In this section you can also find out more about how the duties of higher education providers under the Disability Discrimination Act apply in these areas:

Details about the DDA Part 4, and general information and resources for people interested in supporting disabled students can be found from the Disability Equality Partnership.