Ill health retirement from teaching

Ill health retirement from teaching

I have had a serious relapse and I am currently unable to work due to balance, cognition, fatigue and sight issues. The council are looking at ill health retirement. Has anyone been through this and received the Total Incapacity Benefits Higher Level of retirement.

I am also interested in the Access to Work I live in a rural area and the school I teach in is 1hr by car with no direct public transport. Would they offer me a taxi service to let me attempt to access work or do they look at a redeployment to a closer secondary school.

I also teach in the Specialist Support Base and have students who have profound and multiple difficulties and they are stating I could not use any aids when in the Base due to the students needs, eg my walking sticks or zimmer frame.

I have a meeting next Tuesday with the Deputy and HR to see what they are willing to do and want to be ready for them either way.

I hope your union are attending the meeting with you. Be very cautious - I teach as well and in some schools they talk the talk about support but follow up is useless. I would at least speak to your union for advice before attending the meeting. Teacher Support Network (google them) are also meant to be very helpful. Hope this helps. xx

I am not in a union as I paid for years when teaching in England and they did nothing for me when I first had problems with MS and the council. In the end I had to resign as the council with the help of the head spent 2 years hounding me from my post until my doctors and specialists told me that the stress was too much.

Thanks for replying though. Try these then. I do believe a union will act for you immediately on joining but can understand your reluctance if you’ve had a bad experience. Best wishes. xx

Hi there, I hope you are feeling okay. I had to jump on this thread as I live 1 hour from school- 100 mile round trip and am very interested to hear about access to work. I have managed to get a referral to occupational health for the beginning of march, which i am hoping will answer this question. I will have been diagnosed 3 years in April. Sch are very supportive, but I still struggle and hate to appear ‘demanding’- i get a few comments from other colleagues - I currently work 3 days. I am finding it impossible to get a job closer to home. I moved to be nearer my husband’s work- he is a farmer, then year later got diagnosed. Couple that with being an RE teacher and no luck finding closer work! Plus I absolutely love my school! What is the process regarding access to work? Thanks, K x

Hi, From my experience (also a teacher) access to work are absolutely fantastic! They will really help you and let your school know what you need. It’s a self referral process, which if memory serves, is done online. They will then liaise with yourself and a ‘designated person’ at work. The amount of support given is to do with your specific needs and how you would usually expect to travel to work etc. they will them work out, what kind of support they can offer you. In context with ‘what would be reasonably expected’ from someone without disability. Seriously would recommend anyone who need it to contact them - it has made,a massive difference to me.

Thanks for you kind replies, I know how you feel I can do the job but not with the travelling I would change school but not happily if needs must. I am just not ready to throw it all in and be ‘retired’ I’m only 42 and still have teenage children and a husband retraining with 2 years left on his degree. I want support not pity or being condemned to the scrap heap.


I am sorry to hear of your situation.

Access to Work are definitely worth contacting, they are brilliant.

I’ve not heard of teacher support so I can’t pass any comment on them.

I would try a union again though, possibly a different one, although even the same one can vary hugely by area. At the worst case scenario if they do nothing you’ve only lost the subscription fee, however you are unlikely to be unlucky with them twice and they can be really helpful.

Good Luck!


I have contacted Access to Work and started the ball rolling I just wish I knew someone who has had this kind of help from Perth and Kinross, I cant be the only MS teacher they have on their workforce!

That is great news! I have found the right website now too and will begin the process. Let me know how you get on. Kx