An Investigation of the Recruitment, Professional Training and Retention of Disabled Teachers

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The Training and Development Agency for schools in the UK (TDA) has commissioned this research by Durham University School of Education as part of its plans to increase diversity and encourage more teachers with disabilities to join the teaching profession. This research examines barriers that currently exist for people with disabilities in the recruitment and professional qualification process for teaching and considers examples of good policy and practice. Three online national surveys were carried out, one for disabled trainee teachers, one for disabled newly qualified teachers and one for teacher training providers.In addition interviews and site visits involving training providers and schools were carried out. The study aimed to address the following key research questions:

•What are the main factors affecting recruitment to teacher preparation courses for people with disabilities?

•What are the influences on the decisions of people with a disability to choose or reject teaching as a career?

•What strategies have proved successful in encouraging recruitment of trainees with a disability onto teacher preparation courses, and in persuading newly qualified teachers to enter teaching on completing their preparation and registration courses?

•What barriers inhibit those with a disability from applying for teacher preparation courses?

•What do databases of the numbers of those with a disability applying for ITT tell us about patterns of recruitment over recent years?

•What strategies can be recommended to national government and training institutions for consideration in their drive to increase the number of disabled applicants to initial teacher training?

•Which teacher training providers have effective support strategies for applicants and trainees with disabilities?

•What is the availability and quality of school experience and placements for disabled trainees and how do these affect recruitment and retention?

At a global level many countries are grappling with both an inclusion and a standards agenda and have to attend to these when formulating policy and practice in relation to disabled teachers. In reporting the outcomes of this research we will consider its relevance to policy and practice internationally with a particualr focus on the USA.


Keywords: Disabled Teachers, Teacher Trainers, Teachers with Disabilities
Stream: Adult, Vocational, Tertiary and Professional Learning
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.


Dr. Barbara Riddick

Director of Students in Thesis, School of Education, Durham University
Durham, Durham, UK

Full time senior lecturer and Director of Students in Thesis at the School of Education, Durham University. Lecture on EdD, Masters and undergraduate courses in Durham and abroad Research and publish in the area of inclusion, diversity and special educational needs with 5 books and numerous papers in academic and professional journals. Carried out previous research on disabled teachers and trainee teachers which has been covered in the TES (Times Educuational Suppliment)and on BBC Radio. Visiting scholar at Edith Cowan University, Perth, Western Australia 2005. Also a qualified consultant clinical psychologist with a particualr interest in children with severe learning disabilities and autisitc spectrum disorders. Taught children with SENs in the past.

Dr. Sue Beverton

Undergraduate Divisional Director, School of Education, Durham University
Durham, Durham, UK

Full time senior lecturer and Undergraduate Divisional Director in the School of Education, Durham University. Responsible for implementation and management of undergraduate policy and practice in the department. Research interests include literacy policy and practice and aspects of school effectiveness. Carried out a recent EPPI review of grammar teaching, and a funded study of primary schools relative effectiveness in literacy and mathematics. Currently researching how literacy resources in primary schools are allocated.

Ref: L08P0219