Career prospects of disabled teachers blighted by government policies

Disabled teachers are being held back in their careers, with the majority having experienced discrimination as a result of Government changes, according to a poll conducted today by the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union.

The majority of disabled teachers who took part in the NASUWT’s annual Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference, held today in Birmingham, said that the employment and career prospects of disabled teachers is likely to get worse over the next few years if government policies do not change.

More than three quarters of respondents (77%) reported having been discriminated on the basis of their disability and 73% said they had not been given fair and equal opportunities when applying for teaching jobs or promotion

Other results from the real-time interactive voting session included:

  •            81% said they had been bullied at some point in their teaching career;
  •            workload and lack of support from management were the top concerns for disabled teachers in the job currently;
  •            over half (53%) said their school have not taken seriously requests for reasonable adjustments for disabled staff.
  •            the vast majority (95%) felt the Government does not understand the daily realities of the classroom;

Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, who addressed the conference, the largest of the kind in the country, said:

“There can be no doubt that the disabled people have been some of those hit hardest by the Government’s policies.

“It is deeply disturbing that the professional knowledge, skills and creativity of disabled teachers are being wasted due to overt discrimination which is blighting careers and educational provision.

“Sadly, we have heard today from teachers of a consequent rise of employers who are singling out disabled teachers for bullying and discrimination.

“Recent Government reforms which have diluted or removed entirely the regulatory frameworks for schools have created the conditions where disability discrimination is set to flourish.”