The Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference offers a safe space to explore key issues and challenges you face in your career, share experiences with other disabled members and contribute ideas for the future of your Union.

These events are FREE to eligible members and provide you with the opportunity to take part in seminars and workshops.

Booking details for events are listed below as they become available. Tap/click on the image(s) to find more details, including what you can expect from the event and how to book.

NASUWT conferences and events are strictly for adults only due to the nature of the content shared and no children will be permitted into any areas of the conference.

Visit the accessibility guide for the Hilton Metropole

Highlights of Disabled Teachers' Consultation Conference 2024

Where next for disabled teachers?

The 2024 Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference was held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel on Saturday 10 February under the theme ‘Where next for disability equality?’.

Chairing the Conference, NASUWT Junior Vice-President Wayne Broom welcomed Assistant General Secretary Maggie Bremner to give the keynote address.

Ms Bremner began by thanking members of the Disabled Members Advisory Committee for the consultative role they played in shaping the Conference.

Ms Bremner then took members through feedback captured from 1,209 disabled members in the 2023 Big Question Survey.

“Child deliberately shouted/whistled to disrupt my hearing aids. Another occasion hit me.” --- Big Question Survey 2023

She said, ‘There are five key areas where the responses from disabled teachers deviate considerably from the responses of other teachers in the survey.’

She outlined those as follows:

  1. Disabled teachers reported working 66 hours a week compared with an average of 52 hours a week for all teachers.

  2. Disabled teachers were, as a result of their work:

    • twice as likely to use antidepressants or take more antidepressants as a result of their work: 26.76% of disabled teachers reported this compared to 12.3% for all teachers;

    • almost three times as likely to use prescription drugs: 17.6% of disabled teachers reported this compared to 6.18% for all teachers;

    • three times as likely to have self-harmed: 7.8% of disabled teachers reported this compared to 2.36% of for all teachers.

  3. Disabled teachers were more likely to think their job has adversely affected their mental health: 88.5% of disabled teachers said their job had affected their mental health compared to 81.57% of all teachers.

  4. Disabled teachers were also more likely to say their job has adversely affected their physical health: 77.6% of disabled teachers said their job had adversely affected their physical health compared to 61.97% of all teachers.

  5. Disabled teachers were also more likely to be threatened with, or subject to, capability, performance or effective teaching procedures:

    • 13.5% of disabled teachers say they have been threatened with capability, performance or effective teaching procedures compared to 5.91% of all teachers.

    • 8.33% of disabled teachers say they have been subject to these procedures, compared to 3.81% of all teachers;

    • 6.78% of disabled teachers say they have been put on a support or informal capability programme compared to 3.59% of all teachers.

Ms Bremner’s keynote address at the 2024 Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conference

Two free text questions in the survey revealed experiences of:

  • physical assault at work;

  • abuse or violent behaviour directly connected to a disability;

  • abuse or violent behaviour exacerbating a disability;

  • misogynist behaviour;

  • reports of traumatic experiences; and

  • work-related stress exacerbating a disability.

Ms Bremner said, ‘The distressing testimonies from disabled members further amplify the importance of the NASUWT Better Deal for Teachers campaign and the need for a successful result in the consultative ballot on pay, workload, working hours and wellbeing.

‘We can see that we have a hill to climb, so where do we go next?’

Ms Bremner outlined the NASUWT’s campaigns and lobbying activity, including a delegation who will be taking the motion ‘Tackling ableism’ to the TUC Disabled Workers’ Conference in May calling for a national campaign.

She also pointed to the NASUWT’s own improved internal practices, using Access Able, who provide access information for conference venues, hotels and local areas, including Annual Conference, dedicated accessibility sections in our Conference Apps, and responding to individual accessibility requests.

“I have…had comments about my appearance/age from students, regularly had parents question my veracity/professionalism, twice had large male students push me...huge increase in toxic masculinity. It makes me feel anxious, tearful, stressed. I often have to force myself into work. I have been teaching for 38 years and never felt this stressed.” --- Big Question Survey 2023

And in schools and colleges, we are fighting disability discrimination through casework and negotiation.

Ms Bremner continued, ‘But real change comes from all of you if we are to achieve true representation: we need more members from this group to take up active roles, such as Workplace Rep.

‘We know there are barriers and we are committed to consulting you to address the issues you face, find out how you want to be active in the Union, what are the things you want to do, and what challenges you have faced.

‘We need to listen to you in order to strengthen this Union, build this Union and effect change for you and every disabled teacher.’

Ms Bremner closed by reminding members of the importance of voting in the consultative ballot in England on and her speech was followed by an open Q&A session.

Watch more on YouTube

Members also took part in interactive sessions held over the weekend:

  • Find Your Voice

    • Nick Elston, Mental Health and Wellbeing Coach and Founder of Forging People

  • An Introduction to Visual Awareness

    • Louise Connop, Thomas Pocklington Trust

  • Risk Assessments/Reasonable Adjustments/Access to Work

    • Kat Downs, Vice-chair of the Disabled Members Advisory Committee and Leeds Local Association

  • Stress, Mental Health and Suicide Awareness

    • Mick Burrows, NASUWT Mental Health awareness Trainer

  • Interactive Discussion: Polling Results and Influencing the Next Government

    • Jennifer Moses, NASUWT National Official (Equality and Training)

    • Claire Ward, Chair of NASUWT Equality Committee

    • Quinn Roache, TUC Policy Officer

    • Kat Downs, Vice-chair of the Disabled Members Advisory Committee and Leeds Local Association

    • Bernadetta Omundi, Disabled Members Advisory Committee member, Community Activist

    • Clive Bowles, Disabled Members Advisory Committee member, Northern Ireland

  • Campaign Update

    • Chris Weavers, NASUWT National Official (Campaigns and Communications)

  • How to Forge Ahead in 2024

    • Nick Elston, Mental Health and Wellbeing Coach and Founder of Forging People

Flickr Album

Member feedback

Next steps

The NASUWT is very proud to be a lay-led union and will continue to work with the Equal Opportunities Committee and the Disabled Members Advisory Committee to secure disability rights for our members. The information gathered today will be used to form a work plan to help and support our disabled members.

Don’t miss out

If you’re not yet a member but want to attend our Disabled Teachers’ Consultation Conferences, and get access to other exclusive member benefits, why not join today?

You can find out more about why you should join us or go straight to our Online Joining site to take full advantage of our wider programme of events, training and discount scheme.

Want more influence?

The NASUWT is a member-led Union, which means you getting actively involved in your Union to support your colleagues and fellow teachers at work.

Getting active in the Union can take a variety of forms and will mean you get access to FREE training, support, and personal and professional development: you can be proud in the knowledge that you are undertaking a role that helps teachers in their workplaces.

Find out more

Calculate your travel carbon footprint

As part of our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint, particularly at our conferences and events, we'd like to share a tool allowing you to understand the environmental impact of your journey and identifying low-carbon door-to-door travel plans that help you towards net-zero travel.

Try the You.Smart.Thing travel planner.


Your feedback

If you require a response from us, please DO NOT use this form. Please use our Contact Us page instead.

In our continued efforts to improve the website, we evaluate all the feedback you leave here because your insight is invaluable to us, but all your comments are processed anonymously and we are unable to respond to them directly.