Into teaching promoting access for disabled people
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Into Teaching Promoting access for disabled people. Tony Stevens How do you make change happen? LINK Conference, Antwerp July 2011. Skill’s interest in teaching. Skill always received more enquiries about working in schools than any other careers related subject.

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Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

Into Teaching Promoting access for disabled people

Tony Stevens

How do you make change happen?

LINK Conference, Antwerp July 2011


Skill s interest in teaching

Skill’s interest in teaching

Skill always received more enquiries about working in schools than any other careers related subject.

It first produced the Into Teaching guide for disabled people in 1998 and the third edition was published in 2008.


Why is change needed

Why is change needed?

1. Basic fairness

It is important that disabled people have the opportunity to fulfil their potential in all areas of learning and work.

Teaching is an especially stimulating and rewarding profession, offering excellent career and development prospects.


Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

Why is change needed?

2. Under-representation

The percentage of disabled students on initial teacher training courses (6%) is lower than in higher education as a whole (8%).

The percentage of disabled teachers is even lower – the exact number is unclear as less than 1% of teachers actually disclose having a disability.


Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

Why is change needed?

3. Inspiring others

Disabled teachers can

help young people

raise their aspirations

and educate them about respecting diversity and individuality.


Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

Why is change needed?

4. Quality

Government emphasis on recruiting high quality trainees.

Maintaining the highest possible standards in schools depends on creating the widest possible pool of talent and attracting suitably skilled and qualified people from all backgrounds.


Partnership with the tda

Partnership with the TDA

The Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA) approached Skill to create a project to encourage and support people with disabilities into teaching.


Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

The Social Model

The person is seen

as a valued member of a

diverse society. It recognises

that a person’s impairment does

not make them less of a human being.

n this model it is the barriers in society

that are the problem. It suggests that a

person is not so much disabled by their

impairment as disabled by society.

The solution according to this model

is to bring about attitudinal,

environmental and organisational

changes within society.


Barriers to teaching

Barriers to teaching

We identified the potential barriers disabled people might face when:

  • making the decision to become a teacher

  • getting on a course and completing initial teacher training


Barriers making the decision to become a teacher

Barriers: Making the decision to become a teacher

  • Lack of positive images or role models

  • Fears about coping in the classroom

  • Other people’s fears and prejudices

  • Lack of knowledge about funding and support

  • Getting access to school visits, taster courses and work experience


Barriers getting on a course and completing initial teacher training

Barriers: Getting on a course and completinginitial teacher training

  • Fitness to Teach regulations

  • Finding placement schools

  • Lack of information about adjustments in the classroom

  • Getting information and advice if something goes wrong


Into teaching

Into Teaching

Project started January 2010

Three main elements:

  • Web resources and information

  • Teaching helpline

  • Ambassador scheme


Common questions

Common questions

I have a disability. Can I become a teacher?

Should I tell people about my disability?

Will the Fitness to Teach regulations stop me getting on a course?

How do I get support on the course?

How do I get support at work?

I have difficulty with English/Maths/Skills tests.

Is there a way round this?


Ambassador scheme

Ambassador Scheme

  • Small group of disabled teachers

  • Positive role models

  • Described first-hand what it is like to train and work in a school

  • Ambassadors attended events or shared their stories by email

  • Encouraged disabled people to take forward their interest - make an informed choice about a career in teaching


Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

Teaching Ambassadors

KirstenMandy Stuart

Henry Patrick Samantha


Quotes from enquirers

Quotes from Enquirers

  • “Thank you for being so understanding about my panic and stress. It has been very hard for me to find somebody who can answer my questions about disability.”

  • “After reading Kirsten's responses to your questions, it has only impassioned me even further.”

  • “It really is fantastic to know that there is advice specifically to help people with disabilities get into teaching.”


Web resources

Web resources

New teaching section in Skill website

  • Central source of information for disabled people interested in teaching, disabled trainees, ITT providers and schools

  • Case studies of disabled people enjoying a successful career in teaching

  • Answers to FAQs about becoming a teacher

  • Series of short films featuring disabled teachers


Web resources1

Web resources

New teaching section in Skill website

  • Central source of information for disabled people interested in teaching, disabled trainees, ITT providers and schools

  • Case studies of disabled people enjoying a successful career in teaching

  • Answers to FAQs about becoming a teacher

  • Series of short films featuring disabled teachers


Legacy

Legacy

  • Teaching section in Skill website

    www.skill.org.uk/teaching

  • Series of short films featuring disabled teachers

  • Teaching advocates now work for the TDA

  • Teaching Information Line disability specialists


Best practice for teacher training providers

Best practice for teacher training providers

  • Create an open and welcoming culture

  • Include disability information in course information packs and websites 

  • Encourage trainees to declare their disability

  • Develop clear policies regarding confidentiality and passing on information

  • Provide training for ITT staff on equality and disability

  • Meet regularly with partner schools to anticipate how the needs of trainees with a range of disabilities might be met

  • Properly plan placements and ensure that, with permission, sufficient information is shared about adjustments

  • Monitor and review progress of disabled trainees, and use this data to inform impact assessments and action

  • Ensure occupational health (OH) services operate in accordance with the institution’s legal duties under the DDA

  • Overall focus on adjustments rather than medical diagnosis 


Forces for good support for disabled trainees and teachers

Forces for good:Support for disabled trainees and teachers

  • Widening participation agenda

  • Flexible routes into teaching

  • Disability support services in higher education

  • Funding for extra disability support costs

    - Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)

    - Access to Work

  • Legal protection against discrimination


Into teaching promoting access for disabled people

Video Case Study

Stuart Newton


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