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Ainu to think this is discrimination or am I being politically correct gone mad?!

(99 Posts)
Skinnywhippet Thu 17-Jan-13 17:30:33

This is listed as ESSENTIAL (not just desirable) attribute for a job advert for a teacher.

Must be physically fit to undertake
the duties of the role – lifting,
bending, stooping and carrying.

Surely that is discrimination. I have a disabled friend who is a teacher and it is no problem. Yes, teachers do lifting etc, but you can avoid these if necessary. What do you think?

OwlLady Thu 17-Jan-13 18:21:21

but it is discrimination, I can't see why a person with physical disabilities couldn't do a teaching job either and I don't think it makes any difference that it's an independent school. Sliding down a firemans pole doesn't happen everyday does it? unless the school is in pontypandy

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 18:22:11

clouds define reasonably physically able.

They are saying people have to be able to lift and stoop.
Nurses are allowed to practice without having to be able to do these things.

I am sure teachers can get by. Unless we have started getting rid of them once they hit their 50s. There are a lot of fit 50 year olds but there are an awful lot of them who have degenerative, common conditions.

There is no annual medical is there? <could be wrong>

eosmum Algeria Thu 17-Jan-13 18:23:06

It could be seen as discriminatory, I know someone who successfully had "full driving licence required" removed from a job advertisement, for a job that required travel around the country, as it was discriminatory towards those with visual impairment.

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 18:23:26

We have a pole thingy in our playground at work.

I have NEVER slid down it. I could, I just don't want to.

jeee Thu 17-Jan-13 18:26:12

My sister was a wheelchair user, a qualified physiotherapist and worked in a special school. She had an assistant to help with the stuff she was physically incapable of doing. I'm sure that you can teach from a wheelchair, even in the most outdoory type of school.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 18:28:00

Do you mean what bits of the job I do with children?

Well, off the top of my head, the things I already listed. But if I had to use a wheelchair I would probably find it very difficult to use the wooded area that my school has, I wouldn't be able to fit in the toilet cubicle to help children, like when they need help to wipe their bum, or change after an accident. I wouldn't be able to demonstrate some of the things we do in PE, or excercises that we use to help their physical development, or lift and carry the regularly changed boxes of toys or the bikes and scooters in and out of the cupboard.

I could go on, and I too can see that most of those things are environmental, and that there would be ways round all of them. They would just cost half the schools annual budget to implement!

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 18:28:04

We have teachers with disabilities in school - one in a wheelchair, one blind and two who use crutches, lots with mental health problems. Not an issue at all. It is discrimination.

Interestingly, with the raising of the retirement age it is likely that there will be a lot more teachers who find the more physical aspects of their jobs difficult. Not sure I'll feel up to a quarter of a mile uphill walk between lessons with no travelling time built into the day when I'm approaching 70.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 18:31:14

I've never slid down our children's firemens pole either MrsDeVere! grin at the thought!

But I have lifted children down from the top, and supported their weight while they learned, and done the same from the monkey bars, and climbed to the top to comfort an upset child, and lifted children who have fallen off the floor and carried them into the first aid room. Stuff like that happens all the time!

crashdoll Thu 17-Jan-13 18:32:11

Good thing not all employers think like CloudsandTrees eh?!

TidyDancer England Thu 17-Jan-13 18:32:23

Yes, it definitely sounds discriminatory. The OP has already countered the things I had thought of as being a reason as to why they had worded the advert the way they had.

I suspect the physically fit part would be easier to defend if they were challenged on this (not that I think it's defensible, but that excuses could be made for this), but I can't think of why the age point would be acceptable at all.

They are on shaky ground IMO.

crashdoll Thu 17-Jan-13 18:33:41

It's funny you know because people with disabilities are often very adaptable. Many, many wheelchair users manage parenting with all the lifting it entails.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 18:35:27

Please don't start this thing of making out I'm some disabilist nasty bitch, Im just discussing the issue.

It irritates me on a regular basis that people with disabilities are so often misjudged as being incapable of things they can do very very well, especially when the support needed would be minimal and very easy. I too know disabled teachers, although both of them work in secondary.

crashdoll Thu 17-Jan-13 18:37:13

I never called you those names and I would not, nor has it crossed my mind to call you disablist. I disagree with you though and think you are not thinking outside the box.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 18:41:44

No, I know you don't call me those things, but so often on MN people do get called disablist when they are really not, it's happened to me before so I guess I'm too defensive. Sorry (said in the nicest possible way) smile

A lot of what I do in my other job with people who have disabilities involves thinking way outside the box, and like I said, I can see ways round all of the issues I listed. But for those things to be put into practice in my school, the majority of the building would need to be redesigned. A child who was a wheelchair user could be accommodated relatively easily, but a member of KS1 or early years staff, not so easily.

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 18:46:08

actually clouds I am very surprised that your school has got away with it for so long.

I hate it when people go on about budgets as if it is the disabled person's fault the place is badly designed.

Its is only when someone with enough energy and back up to challenge it anyone tends to notice.

All those excluded previously have decided they just couldn't face the hassle.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 18:51:08

Got away with what?

Of course it's not anyone's fault that the place is badly designed, but we are in a building that was put up over 100 years ago. Believe me, I'd love it to be completely redesigned, but the money would have to come from somewhere. And as I work in a state school, it would come out of the education budget. So what's more important? Paying for more land and to redesign and rebuild the school, or paying to educate our children?

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 18:53:32

You don't have any accessible toilets?

MrsDeVere Thu 17-Jan-13 18:56:02

But Clouds you can comfort children in different ways. Disabled parents do it all the time.

The advert is discriminatory and the employers seem almost afraid of having to employ someone old or disabled.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 18:57:21

Yes, we have an accessible toilet. We are actually rated outstanding on the bit of the OFSTED report that talks about SEN. Like I said, a child could be accommodated fairly easily, but it would be more difficult (not impossible) for a member of staff.

WilsonFrickett Thu 17-Jan-13 18:57:47

It sounds to me like a previous member of staff has gone off sick with back issues and tried to sue - or indeed has invoked the DD or something like that and they're trying to stop that happening again. Doesn't mean it's not discriminatory though. And salary according to age is definitely off.

Ambrosiacreamedrice Thu 17-Jan-13 18:59:43

Life for a person with a disability is 'more difficult' so I'm sure the school could cope with doing something 'more difficult'. My own school goes back to the Elizabethan period, as do some of the buildings, and we have made the building accessible. Of course, the will has to be there.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 17-Jan-13 19:01:39

I agree that the advert is discriminatory about age.

So where is the line drawn with regards to discrimination? (Genuine question)

If the outcomes that both an able bodied person and a disabled person can provide are identical, but the disabled person is not considered for the job, then obviously that is discriminatory.

But if a person cannot achieve the same outcome despite reasonable adjustments because of their disability, is it still discrimination?

mrsjay Thu 17-Jan-13 19:02:38

Must be physically fit to undertake
the duties of the role – lifting,
bending, stooping and carrying.

well Im not fit enough for that job I have spina bifida I cant bend or carry heavy things so I dont see how it is discrimination, it is just showing what the job entails

mrsjay Thu 17-Jan-13 19:04:19

although i work with preschoolers and I dont lift any of the children or anything heavy, so I suppose confused

I am not sure why I mentioned the disability I have

mrsjay Thu 17-Jan-13 19:05:16

But if a person cannot achieve the same outcome despite reasonable adjustments because of their disability, is it still discrimination?

No it isn't imo you can positive discrimate against people ,

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