Having a training session in a room only accessible by stairs would discriminate against a person with difficulty walking due to disability or age. Unnecessarily strict dress codes could discriminate against a person who wears a turban, hijab or sari.
In most cases, such inadvertent discrimination could be avoided by ensuring that full details of any requirements are obtained at registration.
It is vital that the reasonable adjustments required by the student are available right from the start, if possible without the student having to ask for them. This will enable that student to participate at the same level as their peers, without drawing specific attention to their additional requirements.
A teacher would also need to be on guard to ensure that no deliberate or accidental discrimination took place between students, such as sexism or racism, even in jest. One way of addressing this is to have the students themselves develop and agree to a code of conduct from the start.
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
This Act is concerned with securing the “health, safety and welfare of persons at work” (Health and Safety Act 1974) as well as protecting other people in connection with the activities of the person at work (for example, students).
Some examples of this might include:
Ensuring that electrical equipment is tested and safe before use Ensuring that there are no trailing wires which may cause a trip hazard Ensuring the teaching space is safe and suitable before the students arrive Checking any materials for possible hazards, such as risk of allergic reaction Carrying out and maintaining a risk assessment.
Other legislation and codes of conduct to be mindful of include: Child Protection Guidelines – although my area of interest is with teaching adults, it is feasible that I would come into contact with children under 16 professionally Data Protection Act 1998 – I would need to ensure that all personal data held on my students was stored accordingly Freedom of Information Act 2000 – this legislation may apply should I be employed by a public body Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 – for example, the use of photographs downloaded from the internet and used in training materials Specific codes of conduct issued by employers.
www.legislation.gov.uk Last accessed:12th May 2014
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