This essay will address how organisations involved in further education, such as OFSTED (on a national level) and Sussex Downs College (on a local level) impact on the teaching roles and responsibilities of lecturers with respect to the delivery of their related courses through legislative measures and the introduction of internal policies. In order to examine the factors that impact on these roles and responsibilities, this essay will consider the LLUK Professional Standards for teachers in the Lifelong Learning Sector, government legislation (such as The Equality Act 2006 and The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974) and the contractual obligations of an FE teacher as defined by the workplace.
In recent years the role of a teacher has changed, as there has been a shift in thinking about what education is and how it should be delivered. Through the implementation of government legislation and educational research, there has been a push towards reducing discriminatory practice within the Lifelong Learning Sector (LLS). It is the responsibility of educational establishments, and the staff employed by them, to provide teaching and learning which accommodates these. It is important that the FE sector adopts these strategies and embeds them into their working practice as a whole, from their mission statement through to the classroom environment and the teaching that takes place there. The Equality and Human Rights Commission states that:
“The right to education is a universal human right set out by the United Nations. In the UK, that right is now seen as a right to an effective education. In other words, that doesn’t just mean having an opportunity to go to school. It means that education and training providers should take account of learners’ circumstances and needs in helping them to fulfill their potential. Under British anti-discrimination legislation, you also have the right not to be discriminated against when you are at school, college, university or any other place of learning or training.” (LSC, 2008)
As the above quote suggests, one area of responsibility is that of being aware of the individual needs and learning styles of learners, accommodating these needs and planning to create a safe environment to allow all learners to progress. The change in focus with regards the teacher and their role in the classroom is from the previous, more traditional model of teaching to one where learning has become more individualised to suit the individual requirements of each learner. This idea is supported by Reece and Walker (2003 p1) who suggest that the change is from the traditional role of the teacher as the purveyor of information and the fount of all knowledge, to that of a facilitator; a person who assists students to learn for themselves. The shift from a teacher centered, to a more learner-centered model has enabled the student to participate equally in the learning process and take control of their learning experiences. There is also now a greater demand for the teacher to be more accountable for their actions in the facilitation of learning and provide greater evidence as to how this learning takes place both in their students and themselves.
“Teachers in the lifelong learning sector value all learners individually and equally. They are committed to lifelong learning and professional development and strive for continuous improvement through reflective practice. The key purpose of the teacher is to create effective and stimulating opportunities for learning through high quality teaching that enables the development and progression of all learners.”
(Gravells, 2006 p3)
It is the responsibilities stated above that are the main focus of the teacher as stipulated by the professional standards council, the Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK), responsible for the professional development of staff working in the LLS. It is these standards that the teacher must...