Under the old pension regulations teachers could be granted ill-health retirement if they no longer functioned efficiently.
Now they must prove they are permanently unable to teach.
Under the Education (Teacher) regulations 1993 schools should not continue to employ teachers who no longer have the necessary health or physical capacity for employment.
Governing bodies must follow the full dismissal procedure if they wish to consider terminating employment on health grounds.
Before dismissal on grounds of incapacity, teachers must be allowed to submit medical evidence and may be required to submit to medical examination.
There is no automatic entitlement to a period of paid sick leave if a teacher is clearly not going to be able to resume work as an effective member of staff.
Regulations introduced last autumn allow teachers over 50 to protect their pensions if they step down from high-pressure jobs for less demanding ones.