Why should we review our current practice?

The Government has a strategy to increase the number of those with a disability in work by one million over the next ten years.  The sector is short of recruits and must seek to attract individuals from more diverse backgrounds.

We should look at the types of adjustment(s) that could be made and also be confident in our judgements when we have to withdraw an offer on the grounds of health and physical capacity.

The Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) guidance on Fitness to Practise states [ITT] providers have a duty:

  • to ensure that students on a professional course are fit to practise in that profession, or will be when they complete the course;
  • to protect present or future patients, clients, service users and members of the public;
  • to safeguard public confidence in the profession;
  • to comply with the requirements of professional/regulatory bodies; and
  • to ensure that students are not awarded a qualification that permits them to practise a profession if they are not fit to do so.

In the information for applicants, the OIA also advises:

In some cases, a provider may be able to give a disabled student more support than might be available in the workplace.  This might mean that the provider can support the student to achieve the necessary professional and academic standards, but that they might not be able to practise because their support needs cannot be met in the workplace.  If the provider knows this might be an issue, it should explain to the student at the application stage that there is a risk they may not be able to practise their profession so that they can make an informed choice about whether to begin their studies.

The Equality, diversity and inclusion statement (27 January 2020) accompanying Ofsted’s draft ITE inspection framework considers Eliminating discrimination and advancing equality of opportunity and states:

The new draft ITE framework is intended to contribute to these aspects of the duty in the following ways.

Our framework makes clear that there is an expectation that all trainee teachers are entitled to receive high-quality, ambitious education and training.  This should be the case for all individuals, including those with protected characteristics.  For this reason in particular, we consider that all protected characteristics are relevant considerations of our new framework.  As part of the initial evidence-gathering process, inspectors will ask for evidence from the ITE partnership that demonstrates how it promotes equality and diversity.

The leadership and management judgement in the proposed framework includes criteria that emphasises the importance for an ITE partnership to ensure that the training respects and teaches knowledge and application of the Equality Act 2010.