Commission to offer disabled staff better future

A body which represents adults in education in England and Wales has launched an examination of the recruitment, training, deployment and career progression of disabled staff in lifelong learning.

The Commission of Disabled Staff in Lifelong Learning, launched this week, is led by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) and is chaired by Leisha Fullick, pro-director at the Institute of Education, University of London.

The Commission has members from across the sector, including the DfES and the Learning and Skills Council and aims to use evidence provided by disabled workers, senior managers and HR departments to offer recommendations on the recruitment and retention of disabled staff in educational institutions.

Ms Fullick said: “It is very important that teaching and support staff in this sector reflect the communities they serve and that a sector that is so closely involved in promoting equality of opportunity for students is seen to promote equality of opportunity for its disabled staff.”

NIACE Health and Disability Development Officer, Christine Nightingale, said disabled workers continued to face discrimination and harassment at work with many being “too afraid to disclose their disabilities for fear of being disadvantaged”.

She said: “We want the Commission to uncover the successes and challenges for disabled staff in lifelong learning.

“All learners need to see disabled people working positively as good role models.”