Disabilities and the Frontline programme

At Frontline, we believe that people with disabilities have an important contribution to make, with unique experiences that benefit the children and families that we serve.

Support and reasonable adjustments

If you have a long-term health condition (e.g. a mental health condition, diabetes, epilepsy etc.), disability or specific learning difficulty, you are entitled to ask for reasonable adjustments to be made both during the application process and whilst on the programme.

If you provide us with evidence of your disability (e.g. from a medical practitioner or other professional body), we will work with our partners to make arrangements for further assessments and for reasonable adjustments to be provided, where possible.

Examples of some of the reasonable adjustments that applicants with disabilities have received during the application process are:

  • Sending of materials in advance to applicants attending our attraction events – e.g. the slides.
  • British Sign Language interpreter support or live captioning on our events – e.g. our pre-assessment centre webinar.
  • Extra time to complete our video interview.
  • Extra time to complete tasks at our assessment centre – e.g. our written exercise.
  • Adjustments to tasks at the assessment centre – for example a separate room for reading tasks or providing a British Sign Language interpreter or scribe.
  • Provision of dyslexia friendly resources at our assessment centres – e.g. coloured overlays.

Examples of some of the reasonable adjustments that participants with disabilities have successfully received during the programme are:

  • Inclusive learning support plans
  • Accessibility-friendly teaching materials – e.g. digital coloured overlays, essential reading lists.
  • Specific learning difficulty support software – e.g. text-to-speech, dictation and audio recording software etc.
  • Physical adjustments at the residential summer institute – e.g. disability access friendly bedrooms and bathrooms.
  • Physical adjustments within the local authority – e.g. specialised chairs, designated work station.
  • Examination adjustments – e.g. private room, short breaks.
  • Counselling through an employee assistance programme.

Please note that the above adjustment examples are based on an individual’s needs and you may not need or be entitled to the adjustments listed.

For further information on the support that is available to you during the Frontline programme, as well as information on Disabled Students’ Allowance and Access to Work funding that you may be eligible for, please refer to Lancaster University’s Disability Service’s information for Frontline programme participants.

Adjustment limitations

Although we will always endeavour to put in reasonable adjustments for participants with disabilities, so that they can successfully complete the course, there are some elements of the programme that cannot be adjusted because they are essential for applicants to safely and effectively perform the duties of a Frontline programme participant. In such instances, the safety of the children and families that we serve will always take precedence.

Disclosing a disability

There are several points during Frontline’s application and suitability process where you will have the opportunity to disclose your disability to us. Although you are not obliged to share this information with us, we strongly recommend that you do so at the earliest opportunity. This allows us and our partners (Lancaster University’s Disability Service and your allocated local authority) to explore and implement reasonable adjustments that will enable you to work to the best of your abilities.

Where we are not made aware of a disability or health need, we will not be able to make an informed decision about your ability to complete the programme. This means we may not be able to provide you with the support and adjustments that you may require.

If your health needs change throughout the programme or an undisclosed issue proves a barrier to competing the programme, your suitability may need to be reassessed.

Our suitability process

Due to both the academic and professional focus of social work training, it is important you meet our baseline eligibility and suitability requirements.

If you are successful at the assessment centre and are made an offer of a place on the Frontline programme, this will be conditional to you meeting our suitability checks, which include:

  • A satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, including both children and adults barred lists.
  • A satisfactory health check by means of a self-declaration form and GP verified health form.
  • A satisfactory overseas police check (where necessary).
  • An occupational health assessment (where necessary).
  • Other relevant checks such as those related to: misconduct; disciplinary findings; sanctions; conduct-related matters during university, training, employment or professional practice; and contact with social work services.

Where there are complex cases that mean that an applicant may be unable to meet Social Work England’s professional standards, applicants will be asked to attend a suitability panel. During this panel, its members will come to an informed and considered decision as to your suitability on the programme. If the panel determines that a health condition or disability make it difficult or impossible for you to safely and effectively perform the duties of a Frontline programme participant (with or without reasonable adjustments), then we may be unable to progress with your conditional offer.

For further information relating to our suitability for professional training process, please refer to our Frontline programme policies page.