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Teaching/Supply teaching and severe/brittle asthma

Hiya, I hope everyone is well - I know that this summer has been a tough one for us asthmatics!!

A bit of advice etc wanted really. I left my teaching job in July after work making life quite difficult with illness and absences due to being very brittle.

I haven't even looked for another permanent teaching job at the moment as the situation doesn't seem to be resolving any time soon. Though my respiratory team are working very hard, I am averaging at weekly severe hospital admissions.

I want to work. I love teaching. SO I have signed up for a supply agency, who seem keen to get me out to work due to the experiences I have. I haven't (and not intentionally) told them how severe my asthma is. One of the questions in the application form asked if you were asthmatic and if so what meds you're on, so I listed my pharmacy.

I just wanted to know really whether anyone has any experience with this? How should I approach it in schools? Should I tell the schools just incase I need 999 calling cos I have a sudden and severe attack? Should I take neb or contend with Ventolin and spacer? Should I make a point of saying to the agency?

Supply seems desirable to me at the moment, as I don't want to not work, but cannot commit to full time and regular hours as I don't realistically know whether I am going to be in or out of hospital.

Thanks for any replies :-)

Laura xxx

2 Replies

Hi Laurs

I am a primary teacher, who has done supply for a couple of terms in 2011/2012 for reasons very similar to yours, school being less than supportive, about my severe brittle asthma, although I am now back in a permanent part time teaching post in a fab school and have been since September 2012. I told my supply agency about my condition as I felt I needed to, they were incredibly supportive. I cancelled work a couple of times because I was ill but generally did day to day supply so if I woke up feeling yucky just didn't accept work that day. As I got more supply I was used by a couple of schools regularly one very regularly and I built up a great relationship with staff, I was working in that school more than 1 day a week and I talked to the head about my condition. She was thoroughly supportive and just asked for a copy of my treatment plan which they kept in the office. They were fab...luckily for me whilst I was working with them they did not need to use it. My current school are also fab, they have had to help me out on a couple of occasions. I have a neb in the school office and my head and school manager have both been trained to use it and everyone else is epi pen trained. My colleagues including my TA and job share partner (actually everybody!) are sooooooooooooo supportive. I have had some time off was in ITU a couple of times in June and July and the school renewed my contract to permanent during that time. So I guess I have been lucky this time. Also OH have been fab. Supply was great after many years full time it gave me freedom and flexibility, but I have to say I love having a class back...have rest of the week off but have really enjoyed last couple of days being back at school.


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