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Infirm Teachers' Rights

Discussion in 'Scotland - education news' started by morrisseyritual, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. morrisseyritual

    morrisseyritual Occasional commenter

    Hi all. A female colleague has recently returned to work after the Summer following a stroke. I've heavily disguised details here so as she is not recognised.
    She has lost dexterity parts of her body and colleagues help her from her car into school and with eating lunch etc.
    A highly sensitive matter you might imagine.
    What I can only describe as "compassion fatigue" seems to have set in with some colleagues eating lunch separately from her so that they seemingly need not help her unscrew lids, unpack lunch etc while only a handful of colleagues aid her mobility.
    One of her friends suggests she was "forced to return to work and passed fit for work by the local authority" However the lady in question seemed to want to return.
    My question is how to broach this subject in terms of, without sounding like a complete b******, her return to work becoming practically untenable.
    This is a minefield of a situation, one I've never come across in a school before - a great deal of time expended by a minority of colleagues on essentially providing care for the colleague.
  2. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Lead commenter

    I'm not an employment lawyer, but it sounds like your colleague has a disability but is able to do her job with what legislation calls "reasonable adjustment". Your employer should be responsible for making, and indeed funding, any reasonable adjustments to her working patterns, including providing an enabler if that's deemed reasonable. Relying on the goodwill of colleagues doesn't sound like they're fulfilling their legal obligation. I couldn't say how this applies to dealing with food, however. How does she manage this at home?
  3. Greendams

    Greendams New commenter

    It does not sound an ideal situation for the teacher or her colleagues. It maybe that she will need to take ill health retirement at some point. The SPPA can require the local authority to try reasonable adjustments, part time work and even redeployment before they will accept that she cannot be expected to continue teaching until normal retirement age. The authority will be cautious about dismissing her as under the equality act this is probably a protected condition. For the dismissal to be fair they would need to be seen to make reasonable adjustments such as giving her a parking place close to the door, longer to move around the building etc.With the raising retirement age these are going to be increasingly common issues in schools.
  4. missormizz

    missormizz New commenter

    If management from LA to the person's direct line manager are not addressing this and the infirm lady has difficulties with this she needs to speak to her union pronto. This is one of the few scenarios where they can help. However, Morrisseyritual, any of her colleagues moving away from her or not offering some help could be construed as "freezing out" the colleague which is bullying in the workplace and of a disabled person.
  5. davieee

    davieee Occasional commenter

    The local authority have a duty of care to all employees and that includes her.

    The OP mentioned "compassion fatigue" but what if the people who help her get called to a meeting or are out of school, how does she cope?

    If the teacher in question wants to work she should be fully supported but if she is medically / physically not able then, for her sake at least, someone should be having a discussion with her
  6. Freddie92

    Freddie92 Occasional commenter

    Interested in this, as a colleague of mine had a wife who had issues with walking after a knee problem. She was basically hounded out the door, as they did not seem to accommodate her very well.

    Now I don't know the full story, so it could obviously be exaggerated and hyperbole. But if schools do not look after the welfare of their staff then the game is up.
  7. subman68

    subman68 Occasional commenter

    Schools do not care about staff. I have never worked in an industry that treats its people so badly. You are not even a number, you could be got rid of and no one would care. Some individuals might but as an organisation the LA's and schools treat teachers like S**t.

    Schools can be very isolating, you spend the majority of your time with kids and when it is time to interact with adults the SLT/SMT show very little in the way of people skills. I am sure part of the SQH is a module on divide and conquer staff.
  8. Effinbankers

    Effinbankers Lead commenter

    Totally agree.

    Most headteachers today couldn't manage a fish supper. Sitting in an office, firing out emails, not talking to or backing up staff and licking the a r s e of QIOs does not make a good school.
  9. bigjimmy2

    bigjimmy2 Lead commenter

    Subby and Effin - couldn't agree with you more.
    There's an awfy lot of school "management" these days who are utterly incompetent at "managing", especially people. You know who I mean. They've spent their entire working lives speaking to children and talk/treat you like you're a 12-year-old yourself.
    For example, our young, teaching-for-five-minutes, Drama/Music/etc FH thinks that sending out a kazillion daily emails about the upcoming school show, this weekend's packing at a local supermarket, and, generally, how wonderful thou art is the way to demonstrate good management. I'll tell you, madam, nearly all of us couldn't give a Father Ted about your "important contributions" to the school.

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