Training to teach if you have a disability
Teachers with disabilities, make an important contribution to schools both in the classroom and in shaping the wider culture and ethos of the schools they work in. Schools value diversity and the unique contribution that all their staff and trainees bring. If you have a disability, you shouldn’t be dissuaded from applying – we’ve put together some information on the support available while you train to teach.
It’s a personal choice if you want to inform your school and/or university of your disability. The advantage of disclosure is that it enables support and reasonable adjustments to be put in place. In addition, specialist equipment, extra funding and support, can help you achieve your ambition of becoming a teacher.
The Equality Act 2010 and Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001, require teacher training providers to ensure they are not discriminating against applicants with disabilities or special educational needs (SEN).
The Equality Act 2010 also sets out that disability is a ‘protected characteristic’. This means your education provider or workplace has a duty to make reasonable adjustments. To note, schools aren’t subject to the reasonable adjustment duty as they must make the buildings accessible for their disabled pupils as part of their overall planning duties.
Common reasonable adjustments include:
- making modifications to buildings
- offering flexible working hours
- providing specialist equipment
Schools can also access the Access to Work grant. This can support:
- adaptations to the equipment
- travel costs
- disability awareness training
Any information provided about your disability, will be protected under the Equality Act 2010 and the Data Protection Act 1998.
Successful applicants offered a place on a teacher training course, may be asked to complete a fitness questionnaire prior to commencing the programme. Training providers shouldn’t ask all-encompassing health questions, but should ensure that they only ask targeted and relevant health-related questions, which are necessary to ensure that a person is able to teach.
Useful links and resources
To cover additional expenditure, a non-means tested and non-repayable financial support is available for disabled students while on a Higher Education course.
Provides further guidance on the Equality Act for schools and further and higher education institutions. The EHRC also has information on the Codes of Practice that relate to equal pay, race, disability and gender discrimination.
Provides specialist advice on the use of computers and communication technology for disabled people.
Helpful information for adjustments for disabled students while studying.
We recommend you register with us to receive more information about becoming a teacher.
17 April 2018 16:30
This event in Doncaster will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.
02 May 2018 16:30
This event in Derby will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.
24 May 2018 16:00
This event in London will give you the chance to ask experts about your teacher training options and what it’s like to teach.
22 March 2018 17:30
Whether you’re just getting started on your application, or are close to submitting it, you will find lots of help and support at our application workshops.