Medical conditions - apply for a new role

Hotline advice expressed here, and in calls to us, is made in good faith to our members. Schools and colleges should always take formal HR or legal advice from their indemnified provider before acting.


ASCL members concerned about leadership issues should call the Hotline on 0116 299 1122 or email
Q: I’m a business manager and I’m considering applying for a new post. I have a medical condition that does require me to attend hospital appointments and to have occasional treatment during the working day. It does count as a disability. How much should I declare on my application form or at interview?

A: The relevant guidance here, Keeping Children Safe in Education, includes a section on pre-recruitment vetting and pre-appointment checks. Two of those checks include:
  • obtaining a separate barred list check if an individual will start work in regulated activity before the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) certificate is available
  • verifying the candidate’s mental and physical fitness to carry out their work responsibilities. A job applicant can be asked relevant questions about disability and health in order to establish whether they have the physical and mental capacity for the specific role.
Your disability gives you certain protections under the Equality Act, however, you may wish to consider carefully whether you wish to declare your disability prior to any offer of employment. Prospective employers are prohibited from asking job applicants questions about health, other than in the circumstances outlined above or insofar as is required to make adjustments to allow the candidate to participate in recruitment exercises. It is unlawful for a prospective employer to discriminate against you because of your disability or something arising from it.