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Initial Teacher Training 2016/17 - Disability

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Initial Teacher Training 2016/17

Fields required from institutions in England


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valid entries
Short nameDISABLE

This field records the type of disability that a student has, on the basis of the student's own self-assessment.

Applicable toEngland

All students.

Valid entries and labels
00No known disability
02Blind/partially sighted
03Deaf/hearing impairment
04Wheelchair user/mobility difficulties
05Personal care support
06Mental health difficulties
07An unseen disability, e.g. diabetes, epilepsy, asthma
08Multiple disabilities
10Autistic Spectrum Disorder
11A specific learning difficulty e.g. dyslexia
51A specific learning difficulty such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or AD(H)D
53A social/communication impairment such as Asperger's syndrome/other autistic spectrum disorder
54A long standing illness or health condition such as cancer, HIV, diabetes, chronic heart disease, or epilepsy
55A mental health condition, such as depression, schizophrenia or anxiety disorder
56A physical impairment or mobility issues, such as difficulty using arms or using a wheelchair or crutches
57Deaf or a serious hearing impairment
58Blind or a serious visual impairment uncorrected by glasses
96A disability, impairment or medical condition that is not listed above
97Information refused
98Information not sought
99Not known

This field is identical to the Student.DISABLE field in the Student record.

With the introduction of the Disability Equality Duty, and on the recommendation of the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), HESA has introduced a version of the coding frame introduced by the Disability Rights Commission (DRC).

Disability is recorded on the basis of the student's own self-assessment.

Equality Challenge Unit (ECU) suggested question:

Under the Equality Act 2010, a person has a disability 'if they have a physical or mental impairment, and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his or her ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'. 'Substantial' is defined by the Act as 'more than minor or trivial'. An impairment is considered to have a long term effect if:

  • It has lasted for at least 12 months
  • it is likely to last for at least 12 months, or
  • it is likely to last for the rest of the life of the person.

Normal day-to-day activities are not defined in the Act, but in general they are things people do on a regular or daily basis. The definition has a very wide meaning as both work, study and non–work activities are covered e.g. communicating, reading, writing, using a computer as well as washing, walking and getting dressed. 'Normal' means normal for people generally, rather than for a particular individual.

Employment case law has highlighted that work activity does not have to be 'day-to-day' but covers activities that are required to participate in professional life e.g. activities used to select individuals for recruitment and promotion.

Only serious visual impairments are covered by the Equality Act 2010. For example, a person whose eyesight can be corrected through the use of prescription lenses is not covered by the Act; neither is an inability to distinguish between red and green.

The same logic does not apply to hearing aids. If someone needs to wear a hearing aid, then they are likely to be covered by the Act. However, both hearing and visual impairments have to have a substantial adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities in order for a person to be covered by the Act.

For more information see the Secretary of State's Revised Guidance on the definition of disability, The Disability Equality Duty.

Considering the above, do you have an impairment, health condition or learning difference?

The additional valid entries for entrants from 2010/11 onwards are 51 to 58.

Codes 51 and 53 are both types of learning disability/difficulty or cognitive impairment.

For 2010/11 entrants onwards there are no valid entry codes to replace 97 'Information refused', 98 'Information not sought' or 99 'Not known'.

HESA will continue to accept codes 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10, 11, 97, 98 and 99 for continuing students (where Instance.COMDATE is before 2010-08-01), so there will be no requirement for providers to resurvey or recode. However, providers are welcome to use the new codes for continuing students if they wish to do so.

Codes 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 10, 11, 97, 98 and 99 can only be used where Instance.COMDATE is before 2010-08-01.

If this field is coded 02-96 indicating that the student has a disability, then Instance.DISALL should be coded 4, 5 or 9.

Quality rules
Quality rules to follow
Reason required

To permit disability-based analysis; for monitoring levels and trends in participation by particular groups of people; to permit analysis based on type of disability.

Part of
Field length2
Minimum occurrences1
Maximum occurrences1
Schema components
Element: DISABLE
Date modified2017-05-09
Change management notesGuidance added to detail the purpose for this field being collected. Additional guidance added to inform users of further information on protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010.

Contact Liaison by email or on +44 (0)1242 388 531.