franrm
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 weeks ago
#1
Hey, I've got an offer for a PGCE for next year. However, I'm a bit concerned about whether I'll be deemed fit to teach because of my mental health issues.

A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder by my GP. I took antidepressants for a while and did a course of CBT last summer. In November 2020, I was diagnosed with bulimia. I'm pretty sure the MADD was a side effect of the bulimia. I'm in recovery and am still undergoing treatment. I can function pretty well - do my uni work, make phone calls, go shopping, do (zoom) presentations, work as a student ambassador.

I'm obviously going to have to declare all this on my occupational health form and I'm expecting to have to have an assessment with them. Can anyone share their experiences? What are they likely to ask? Has anyone been deemed fit to teach in a similar situation or is it likely I'll be deemed unfit? Just want to be as prepared as I won't be so upset if the outcome isn't what I want.

(Also before anyone says, yes I'm aware that the PGCE is very challenging and stressful and I'm likely to struggle, but I'm confident in my ability to handle it and that I'll be a great teacher)
0
reply
SarcAndSpark
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 weeks ago
#2
(Original post by franrm)
Hey, I've got an offer for a PGCE for next year. However, I'm a bit concerned about whether I'll be deemed fit to teach because of my mental health issues.

A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder by my GP. I took antidepressants for a while and did a course of CBT last summer. In November 2020, I was diagnosed with bulimia. I'm pretty sure the MADD was a side effect of the bulimia. I'm in recovery and am still undergoing treatment. I can function pretty well - do my uni work, make phone calls, go shopping, do (zoom) presentations, work as a student ambassador.

I'm obviously going to have to declare all this on my occupational health form and I'm expecting to have to have an assessment with them. Can anyone share their experiences? What are they likely to ask? Has anyone been deemed fit to teach in a similar situation or is it likely I'll be deemed unfit? Just want to be as prepared as I won't be so upset if the outcome isn't what I want.

(Also before anyone says, yes I'm aware that the PGCE is very challenging and stressful and I'm likely to struggle, but I'm confident in my ability to handle it and that I'll be a great teacher)
Usually, fit to teach assessments aren't "pass/fail" but about putting the support you need in place in order to complete the course. There's very few mental or physical health conditions that are an automatic barrier to teaching, and none of your diagnoses should be barrier to teaching on their own. The fact that you are functioning well socially is a point in your favour, obviously.

However, my understanding is that sometimes, occupational health can be wary of a new diagnosis where you're still undergoing treatment. In this situation, I think they are more likely to recommend a deferral, rather than outright saying you're not fit to teach- but I think the newness of your diagnosis is more likely to be a problem, rather than the actual diagnosis.

All assessments are different, so it's hard to say what you will be asked, but it will most likely revolve around how you deal with stress/failure/difficult feedback. You might also be asked how you will avoid students finding out about your condition (you wouldn't be allowed to tell them about it) and how you might cope with situations where social eating with students may be required.
0
reply
Get into Teaching
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 weeks ago
#3
(Original post by franrm)
Hey, I've got an offer for a PGCE for next year. However, I'm a bit concerned about whether I'll be deemed fit to teach because of my mental health issues.

A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder by my GP. I took antidepressants for a while and did a course of CBT last summer. In November 2020, I was diagnosed with bulimia. I'm pretty sure the MADD was a side effect of the bulimia. I'm in recovery and am still undergoing treatment. I can function pretty well - do my uni work, make phone calls, go shopping, do (zoom) presentations, work as a student ambassador.

I'm obviously going to have to declare all this on my occupational health form and I'm expecting to have to have an assessment with them. Can anyone share their experiences? What are they likely to ask? Has anyone been deemed fit to teach in a similar situation or is it likely I'll be deemed unfit? Just want to be as prepared as I won't be so upset if the outcome isn't what I want.

(Also before anyone says, yes I'm aware that the PGCE is very challenging and stressful and I'm likely to struggle, but I'm confident in my ability to handle it and that I'll be a great teacher)
Many congratulations franrm on your offer of a place on a teacher training course!

The fitness to teach assessment is a safeguarding measure for yourself and for the children with whom you'll work, and will make recommendations for any additional support or reasonable adjustments you'd potentially need to be the best teacher you can be.

I would point out that at least 1 in 4 people have ill mental health in their lifetime, and as such, we can not deem aspiring teachers who've had or has mental health illness as unfit to teach!

Be honest, be kind to yourself and enjoy your course. It's a great feeling to really help young people learn, and keep striving to reap those rewards!

Wishing you all the best, Jane
0
reply
eduorclinpsych
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 weeks ago
#4
I had these same concerns too going into teaching.

Occupational Health Assessment: I found them to be very respectful of listening to my point of view/concerns/opinion on ability to manage. I just quite frankly told them that under high stress I can suffer this and this, however I do feel confident that I will be able to manage and know that I would need to communicate to my course provider, employer, GP if I feel I'm struggling.

They're not there to marginalise people, they're there to safeguard children.
1
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How do you prefer to get careers advice?

I like to speak to my friends and family (6)
9.84%
I like to do my own research online using careers specific websites (46)
75.41%
I like speaking to the careers advisors at school, college or uni (6)
9.84%
I prefer to listen watch videos or listen to podcasts of people in my chosen career (2)
3.28%
Something else (let us know in the thread) (1)
1.64%

Watched Threads

View All