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Key aspects of legislation Essay

Summarise key aspects of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice relating to own role and responsibilities. (7.1.1) The BTEC PTLLS award is necessary before a person can teach at a Further Education institution such as Aylesbury College. To support this qualification Lifelong Learning UK has published a new set of overarching professional standards 1 that any teachers in this sector will need to adhere to. This describes in generic terms, the skills knowledge and attributes for those that perform roles in this sector. It is disconcerting to hear that the qualification will soon be replaced following the Lingfield review. Other areas of legislation, that is important in the teaching context is the Health and Safety at Work act 1974, which states how all employers and employees need to take responsibility for their own safety needs.

Key legislation that also needs to be considered for the learning environment is the Data Protection Act 1998. The collection and analysis of personal data is intrinsic to any learning institution and this act defines UK law on the processing of data on identifiable living people. It is the main piece of legislation that governs the protection of personal data in the UK and in practice it provides a way for individuals to control information about themselves.

It is not just in the IT area but for all systems and paperwork when dealing with personal data, within the IT area it is especially important to consider when teaching the design of systems security and access procedures. Another area relevant to teaching IT are the Display Screen Regulations 1992/2002 which is an amendment to the Health and Safety act, this requires all employers who require their employees to use display screens to ensure that the seating position and lighting is properly adjusted and that the employee can take regular breaks from the screen. Other blanket legislation that applies in the workplace but not specifically to a learning institution are:

* Race Relations Act 2000.
* Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and 2005 (DDA).
* Equality Act 2010. This brought together the numerous array of Acts and Regulations, which formed the basis of anti-discrimination law in Great Britain. This was, primarily, the Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and three major statutory instruments protecting discrimination in employment on grounds of religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.

Regulations more specific to the teaching environment are the following: * Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001. The act required education providers to make reasonable provisions to ensure people with disabilities or special needs were provided with the same opportunities as those who were not disabled. * Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. A key point here is that only about 10% of any published document can be copied and circulated for educational purposes before copyright is infringed. * IfL Code of Practice for Teachers (2008). This is a straightforward code of practice for teachers to gives boundaries on their professional integrity, behaviour etc. * Safer practice, safer learning (2007) – responsibilities for safeguarding vulnerable adults in the learning and skills sector – published by NIACE and DES.

Analyse own responsibilities for promoting equality and valuing diversity. (7.1.2) In the class discussion on this topic, we discussed that equality is not treating everyone the same, it is rather treating everyone as unique to enable them as far as possible to have equal opportunities to learn, this is what myself as a teacher will have to work to achieve. Promoting equality should remove discrimination in all of the areas covered by the Equality act. Bullying, harassment and victimization are also considered as equality and diversity issues. Diversity aims to recognise, respect and value people’s differences, and their ability to contribute. A teacher should aim to help them reach their full potential by promoting an inclusive culture for all students (and staff).

Equality and diversity is becoming more important in all aspects of our lives and work for a number of reasons. Where I was previously working, the employees were recruited globally and could be posted anywhere, they were selected because they showed potential. Inclusivity and diversity was heavily promoted as it was recognised that having a diverse workforce enhanced the company commercially. People with different backgrounds bring different approaches to solving problems or commercial negotiations which is reflected in the company’s performance. In a college, recognising, embracing and valuing difference will lead to improvements for everyone, including: * A more vibrant staff and student population;

* A better working and studying environment;
* Attracting and retaining the very best staff and students; As a teacher I can promote equality and diversity by:
* Treating all learners fairly.
* Creating an inclusive culture for all learners.
* Ensuring equal access to opportunities to enable learners to fully participate in the learning process.
* Enabling the learners to develop to their full potential. * Equipping learners with the skills to challenge inequality and discrimination in their work/study environment * Making certain that any learning materials do not discriminate against any individuals or groups * Ensuring sure policies, procedures and processes don’t discriminate It was discussed in class that equality can be promoted in different ways, such as discussing privately with a student if they have problems with dyslexia, which could be helped by the simple use of different coloured backgrounds to the powerpoints or handouts.

A teacher must be aware of continually promoting inclusivity in all the course material and class discussions, some actions that can be positive are for instance, prior to the class, check the names, ages and any other details of the learners and if possible try to find photos or material that will hopefully be more relevant to their background. Although this shouldn’t be done to such an extreme to alienate others, it’s a fine balance. Also it is good to make sure that different types of learners are covered in the lesson plan by differentiating for learning styles.

This also helps to keep the lesson interesting as one form of lesson delivery could get fairly dull. One key point would be to be careful of my language, jokes about stereotypes and casual comments could easily cause alienation. It is also necessary to have a plan on how to deal with inappropriate remarks and behaviour by the learners. Within a college there will also be other internal organisations available to meet the potential needs of learners such as : * Student services / welfare / financial aid / student support

* Careers services / advice and guidance
* Learning mentors / teaching assistants
* Learning difficulties and disabilities assessment and support
* International office for overseas learners
* Chaplaincy or medical services including sexual and mental health Tutors will be the main point of contact for anything for a learner so it is important to understand how to get in touch with the various people working in the roles for my organisation.

Evaluate your own responsibilities in lifelong learning (7.1.3) In class we discussed the role and responsibilities of a tutor in lifelong learning, a number of key roles were identified, such as a tutor needs to be knowledgeable about the subject, but not necessarily an expert, they need to be confident and communicate their points well, they need to be well organised with planned lessons and good timekeeping. The tutor must set an example with their behaviour, and direct the learners, but in further education, as opposed to compulsory education, you will not be acting as a leader and counsellor, rather a facilitator. Of key importance is establishing a contract with the learners at the start of the course, so that they understand the boundaries that are set and what my expectations of them are.

In the FE sector this is more important with young adults (16-18 years) than in adult education. Bearing in mind that all learners will be slightly different and work at different levels and may have different needs, it is important for me as a tutor to understand this and if necessary give additional help and guidance as required. Without regurgitating the full list of responsibilities, some key ones to additionally pick out are: * Keeping up to date with developments in the core subject as well as keeping up to date with any new teaching guidelines or changes to the curriculum. * Encouraging the learners to progress and develop their careers by giving constructive feedback. * Continually reflect on my teaching performance and evaluate each session taught and change if necessary.

Review own role and responsibilities in identifying and meeting the needs of learners. (7.1.4) A key responsibility would be to get to know the learners in the class as individuals, and to understand their different abilities and learning styles. The techniques already used in the first lesson would be a very good start, such as the learning styles questionnaire (although interpretation of the results is very subjective.), the basic skills testing, and the group introductions. The group introductions and the personal interview prior to starting the course was a way of understanding the motivation of the learners, and why they are undertaking the training.

With this knowledge the tutor can aim to ensure that the lesson delivery is varied to suit the different needs of the learners and give personal help if necessary. These activities are part of the ‘Identifying Needs’ stage of the Teaching and Leaning Cycle and are documented by Gravells 2, although she has the roles and responsibilities a little confused. As the course progresses, the tutors understanding of the needs of the individual learners will become clearer as they get to know them, changes and adjustments can be made to the lesson delivery. This is an application of Kolb’s Reflective Cycle, to put it simply – Planning, Doing, Reviewing, Learning and back to planning.

References
1 Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) New overarching professional standards for teachers, tutors and trainers in the lifelong learning sector. 2 Gravells, A., (2011) Preparing to teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector

Websites
www.excellencegateway.org
www.ptllsresource.co.uk
http://www.manchester.ac.uk/aboutus/equalityanddiversity/


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