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Government urged to promote equality for disabled teachers

Disabled teachers are discriminated against, isolated and excluded at work, education union members have said.

The majority (65%) of delegates at the NASUWT consultation conference in Birmingham on Saturday said they have considered leaving their jobs - or the profession itself - because of the way they have been treated due to their disability.

Union members raised serious concerns about the lack of support for disabled teachers in the workplace, including a lack of access to reasonable adjustments and discriminatory attitudes from employers and colleagues in schools.

A poll of delegates found that 84% do not think they are treated fairly when looking for a job or promotion, while 52% said they have been discriminated against, isolated or excluded at work because of their disability.

Some 58% said they experienced difficulties when requesting reasonable adjustments at work, and 73% do not think the Government is making progress towards securing equality for disabled teachers.

NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said: " No teacher should be forced to hide their disabilities or struggle without the reasonable adjustments they need to be able to do their jobs.

"The experiences we have heard from disabled teachers today of the prejudice they have experienced at their schools and in their careers is completely unacceptable.

"Discrimination against disabled teachers is blighting careers and denying pupils the benefit of their creativity, knowledge and experience.

"The NASUWT will continue to challenge disability discrimination in individual schools and colleges and continue to press the Government on the need for strong regulatory frameworks to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality for disabled teachers in schools and colleges."

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