NASUWT: Majority of disabled teachers face discrimination and bullying

The overwhelming majority of disabled teachers have faced discrimination and bullying in the workplace during their careers, a conference organized by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, has heard.

Disabled teachers from across the UK met in Birmingham for the NASUWT’s annual Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference, the largest such gathering in the country.

Participants took part in a real-time electronic poll which explored their views on a series of issues relating to their profession:

Among the results were:

87% said they had experienced bullying or harassment at some point in their career;
70% said they had experienced discrimination on the basis of their disability in their teaching career;
44% said they thought their school was not committed to supporting their needs as a disabled teacher;
80% said they thought the Government’s education policies were bad for disabled teachers and for pupils.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, said:

“Sadly these survey results, which highlight increasing levels of discrimination, harassment and bullying, come as no surprise, given the Coalition Government’s ideological attacks on equalities and on workers’ rights.

“We have seen a rise in the propensity of employers to discriminate against teachers with disabilities as a result of recent Government policy changes.

“Disabled teachers told us they are facing an unrelenting assault from the Government.

“This includes the discredited ATOS work capability assessments, cuts to the Disability Living Allowance and the disappearance of the independent living fund.”