Roles, responsibilities and relationships in the lifelong sector
1.1 Summarise key aspects of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice relating to own role and responsibilities
From the perspective of a Tutor in the lifelong sector there are in short 5 areas that are influenced or governed by official legislation in accordance with government, educational and professional bodies, these being Health and Safety - pertaining to that of the students and teachers, Child protection/Safeguarding/Data protection, IfL (Institute for Learning) codes of conduct, Equality and diversity and the regulations in relation to OfSTED.
Illustrated by the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974) the main responsibility to anyone in the role of a tutor is to be aware of all and any hazards that may affect themselves or students in the learning environment. According to this act tutors are expected to carry out risk assessments of which examples may be found at: Essentials of health and safety at work (Fourth edition) HSE Books 2006 ISBN 978 0 7176 6179 4. This is 5 step check list that allows the tutor to assess hazard, those at risk, evaluation, recording and evaluation. Using a set template is essential to formulating a thorough assessment. The value of this is a safe and comfortable environment for Student and teacher and avoiding the risk of infringing the numerous clauses in this act. On the contrary Health and Safety does seem to get more and more complex so it is of no surprise that numerous 'debunking' websites may be found with a simple search!
The importance of The Children Act 2004 is that it is the basis for most official administration considered helpful to children, it brings all local government functions of children's welfare and education under the statutory authority of local Directors of Children's Services and is therefore critical that it is understood by any tutor responsible for teaching children under the age of 18 and aims ensure the safety of all such students. The full act is found at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents. Closely linked to this is the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 which is also legal basis for the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) which merged with the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) to form the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) who manage the list of people barred from working with children and/or vulnerable adults. The value of this being the assurance that any tutor is free from a criminal past potentially detrimental to students in their care. Finally to be considered is the Data Protection Act 2003 which is important for any profession including that of teachers, who are responsible for potentially sensitive data. It is key that the type of data that may be collated, stored (how and for how long) and used is understood by the tutor.
Essential for any teaching professional, who are enrolled in the Institute of learning (IfL) is the code of conduct (2008) set out by that body. Found at http://www.ifl.ac.uk/membership/professional-standards/code-of-professional-practice , it sets out the expectations encompassing Integrity, respect, care, practice, disclosure and responsibility expected of learning professionals. A consequence of ignoring the expected behaviours of members may result in reprimand, suspension or even expulsion from the IfL. The usefulness of this code of conduct is that it provides a clear and concise guideline for those entering and already part of the teaching profession. In addition to the code of conduct, members of the IfL are encouraged to participate in 30 hours of CPD - Continuing professional development - to remain in good professional standing with the institute - encouraging personal growth.
Covered by the Equality act 2010 the areas of Equal opportunities and Diversity are defined. The culmination of many separate acts including Equal Pay Act 1970, the Sex Discrimination Act 1975, the Race Relations Act 1976 and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, it covers age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation all of which are issues that will face a tutor in his or her everyday work. The value of being familiar with this act is that it highlights (in some cases not often considered) exactly where discrimination is seen to be an issue. This act is situated on the web site: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2010/15/contents
It is a tutor's responsibility to be aware of regulation and recording of school performance which is done through The Office for Standards in Education - OfSTED which is the non-ministerial government department of Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools In England (HMCI). This body, in short inspects and reports on state schools, independent schools and teacher training providers, and colleges and learning and skills providers in England. It also covers some local services, childminding, child day care and children’s social care. Apart from the reporting on the performance and ratings OfSTED can see all records pertaining to the schools and institutions including the previously mentioned CRB lists. OfSTED information is found at their website http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/
Overall the 5 legislation areas discussed above all have bearing on the role of a tutor and in most cases it is essential to be aware of them to ensure the safety and security of learners and ensure a safe and comfortable environment for both students and teachers. However in all cases the boundaries of the role of teacher often mean that as important as it is to know as much about these legislations it is also important to know what the internal and external reference points are for issues pertaining to them.
1.3 Evaluate own role and responsibilities in lifelong learning Throughout the initial part of the PTLLS course the definitions and types of Roles and Responsibilities have been investigated and discussed, analysed and defined by a diverse group of around 20 adults. It has resulted in an agreed definition of Roles, their boundaries and the resulting responsibilities defined by the specific role. Generally it is agreed that a role is a position or part in the case of a tutor, that they play in a particular scenario or part of - in this case - the teaching cycle. On the other hand the responsibilities are the specific tasks or duties that members are expected to complete as a function of their roles. Linking these definitions in more detail to the teaching cycle there are some clear roles and responsibilities linked to each of the 5 stages, moreover many are shared between the different stages. Taking into account that we have already identified over 20 roles and responsibilities, the following closer look at the teaching cycle takes some of the more prominent ones into consideration: 1. Identifying the need. Here the roles relevant are that of interviewer, responsible for assessing the needs and abilities of a potential student, identifying learning styles and the skills and knowledge of that student. 2. Planning and designing learning. Involved in this part of the cycle common roles are resource maker, planner and organiser, the resulting responsibilities are those of planning the lessons in accordance to the needs of the students, organising the lessons using lesson planners to ensure all content is covered and resource is available. 3. Delivery. Foremost the main role is teacher (this however applies to every stage) then guider, explainer, giver of feedback with ensuing responsibilities such as keeping students engaged, tidying class (before and after) and supporting the students. Also using varieties of teaching (blended) methods and organisation are key responsibilities. 4. Assessment is an essential part of the learning process needing the roles of assessor, verifier and marker. Related responsibilities matching these roles are therefore using variety of assessing methods, assessing at appropriate points and using the correct (initial, formative and summative) types. 5. With evaluation being the final part of the teaching cycle, roles such as evaluator and diagnoser are valid carrying responsibilities such as evaluation of your sessions, managing change which could result from the feedback in the evaluation stage and acting on that feedback to provide continuous quality and improvement. For a comprehensive table of roles and responsibilities the use of Preparing to teach in the lifelong sector book by Gravells, A (London: learning matters 2012) has been consulted for this text.
3.2 Explain how to promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others Referring back again to the present course the first impression was the biggest. A room of strangers were asked to make a set of ground rules that were agreed as a group as an appropriate forms of conduct and behaviour in respect of each other that would promote a productive and comfortable working environment. The reason I refer to first impressions us that the setting of ground rules is very important - in fact essential and the way in which it was approached in our case as the first interactive exercise meant that it stuck! Ground rules are important in any situation where a group of people have to work together as they set boundaries, rules, conditions and expectations of each other. Before going into how they are compiled and agreed, some of the suggestions that were made: • Respect each other
• Be ready to learn
• Language (respectful)
• Get involved
• Everyone's opinion counts
• Mobile phone rules
• Be Tidy
• Be Positive
• Have FUN
Effective methods for arriving at these choices are pairs discussion, leading to snowballing in groups then class discussion where checklists are created and displayed clearly (and left for the duration of the course), penalties agreed then, to make it stick - everybody signs up! In summary the entire procedure relies one key activity - negotiation. After all agreeing to the rules adhering to these rules involves some degree of self policing and ownership and understanding how, if a problem arises what the penalties are, how to report and the escalation procedure for doing this.
Importantly and above all, keeping the rules on display, leaves no doubt if the issue of infringement arises.
Mirroring much of this section I found an article - also looking at the value of 'transparent' ground rules on the site - but basically it all comes down to respect! http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/ground_rules.htm