1 April 2018
Commenting after the debate on Motion 39, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the NUT section of the National Education Union, said:
“Disabled teachers should have the right to succeed in teaching alongside their peers. It is important we translate rights into reality for the thousands of teachers with mental or physical health conditions. Many teachers become disabled during their careers, and too many are lost to the profession, taking their experience, commitment and passion for their subject with them.
“As budgets decline, getting support right for disabled staff and ensuring building modifications and equipment are available becomes a challenge for many schools. We need better policy for support for disabled teachers across schools. It’s just one of the many reasons we need schools collaborating as a community and not competing like private companies.
“Schools work creatively to foster inclusion for disabled teachers and disabled children, and to show best practice, but Government policy is making it harder not easier. Schools focus on how best to include children in the face of competitive targets, severe under-funding and reductions in access to specialist services.
“Enabling professionals and special educational needs co-ordinators to have access to cutting edge- professional learning is a step that can’t be ignored if we want to move from rhetoric to rights.”