Occupational Health - Reasonable Adjustment for a Teacher

Hi - this is my first post. I had a diagnosis of endometriosis in 2014 and since then have had two laparoscopies plus a life-threatening infection in 2015. Unfortunately, the endometriosis has reoccurred and I still have severe endometriosis plus now chronic fatigue on top of it. The endo is stuck to my bowel, so I'm avoiding further surgery at the moment.

I'm a primary school teacher in Key Stage 2 (juniors) and have had to take time off work due to this - mostly the horrendous fatigue. I've been to see Occupational Health and they say my illness comes under the 2010 Equality Act and is seen as a disability. That means work needs to make reasonable adjustments for my return to work.

Their reasonable adjustment is to move me from Key Stage Two, where I have taught for numerous years, to Key Stage 1 (infants) as they suggest the classes will be smaller and the workload will be lighter. I have since discovered that one of the Key Stage 2 classes will be substantially smaller than the others. Before I went off sick, I was doing 60-70 hours per week (apparently my own fault!) I am very daunted by this move - no idea about infants - and have sought Union advice but they haven't got back to me yet. I will also have a 4 week phased return.

Any suggestions or opinions please? Would you say this is a reasonable adjustment?

Thanks in advance...x

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If there is a genuinely good reason not to give you the small key stage 2 class and teaching and if learning a new key stage does not unreasonably add to burden of workload then probably.

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Thanks. No real reason for not having Key Stage 2 class (there's 2 actually in one year group) in fact, it's a supply teacher having one of them. Very daunted by new Key Stage to be honest and would be even if 100% fitness/health. But I'm not 100% - trying to deal with endo and fatigue - who needs change and a steep learning curve! 😳😱 Really difficult trying to balance health and workload! x

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Hi I'm also a teacher with endo. I've had recent surgery to remove endo from my bladder (as well as part if my bladder) and am awaiting surgery in August to remove endo from my bowel. I've worked in Early Years and KS1 for the past 18 years. I'm not sure a move to KS1 would make a huge difference to your work load. The class sizes might be a bit smaller and there might be less marking but there is still lot to plan, prepare and assess. I find working with younger children physically tiring, as I'm always on hands and knees, lifting activities and equipment out doors etc. Do you have classroom support as this could make a big difference? Also consider your PPA time. If it could be arranged for mid week and you were able to work from home it might help your fatigue. I'm lucky as all of the staff at my school and some of my parents are aware of my condition and extremely supportive. I don't do anything different but just having their support and understanding helps when I'm tired and in a lot of pain.

Hope the move goes well and you love KS1 😊

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Thank you. That's really helpful. I wanted to be fit for a September start but fatigue and pain don't choose to disappear during term time!

It's a good idea to speak to people about it. It's difficult sometimes with an invisible illness as people think you 'look fine' - so communication is vital. Good ideas re PPA, I'll see what can be done. ☺️

Very daunted to be honest - been in KS2 forever and even without the endo I would be worried! Such a big learning curve for me. Plus I'll need to move classrooms which is a nightmare! 😱

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