My role in lifelong learning is to ensure my knowledge, skills and ability to deliver the required information is as up to date and relevant to my learners as is possible to ensure I am always providing appropriate information in a professional manner. A particularly important aspect or remaining up to date is ensuring my knowledge of legislation, regulatory requirements and codes of practice are all up to date, primarily the legislation that directly affect me and my practices are those of health and safety, equality and diversity, safeguarding and data protection.
These broad headlines can also be broken down into sub-categories all of which must be properly understood to ensure that I am not at any point in conflict with those regulations that protect the rights of my learners. With regard to Health and Safety regulations as set out by the HSE (Health & Safety Executive) the specific sector I work in is education for which the main legislation is the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Health & Safety Executive. [Online]http://www. hse. gov. uk/services/education/faqs. tm [Accessed 04 Dec 2012]
This act is in place to ensure that employers ensure health and safety of their employees and non-employees such as learners, tradesmen and delivery drivers are given careful consideration with all reasonably practicable problems addressed. Within this act are requirements for those operating according to these rules including myself to ensure thorough risk assessments are performed regarding the premises and practices to be engaged in ensuring a pro-active approach to maintaining hazard free environments and working practices.
With regard to risk assessment employers also have their own risk assessment responsibilities as specified in the Management of Health and Safety Regulations 1999 ensuring significant controls are in place to minimize the risks at their establishment. When delivering teaching sessions I have found the following document produced by the HSE to be extremely useful in ascertaining whether or not a classroom is suitable as a classroom so that amendments can be made or alternative arrangements to ensure the safety of learners.
Health & Safety Executive [Online] http://www. hse. gov. uk/risk/classroom-checklist. pdf [Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1. 0. ] [Accessed 04 Dec 2012] Equality and Diversity is always an essential consideration when dealing with learners and for this reason a sound knowledge of the associated rules and regulations is a necessity, the HSE regulates Equality and Diversity by means of the Equality Act which came into force on October 1st 2010. Health & Safety Executive] [Online] http://www. hse. gov. uk/equality-duty/equality-act-2010. htm [Accessed 04/04/12] The Equality and Hunan Rights Commission have a statutory remit to ensure regulations are in place to ensure human rights and to promote and monitor the nine protected grounds including age, disability, gender, religion and belief systems, race, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnerships, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
[Equality & Human Rights Commission] [Online] http://www. equalityhumanrights. om/about-us/ [Accessed: 04/12/12] It is important to note that these regulations are prone to change on a regular basis and therefore keeping up to date is an essential process in maintaining one’s own responsibilities in Lifelong Learning. For example new extensions came into force October 1st 2012 extending a ban on age discrimination with regard to cover services, public functions and private clubs and whilst these may not have direct repercussions within the education sector it is a clear example of the ever-changing and evolving nature of these regulations. Equality & Human Rights Commission] [Online] http://www. equalityhumanrights. com/advice-and-guidance/your-rights/age/new-law-to-ban-age-discrimination-in-services-public-functions-and-associations-with-exceptions/ [Accessed: 04/12/12] With regard to Safeguarding the basic tenets I understand to be that a teacher has rights and responsibilities heavily regulated which must be adhered to ensuring that any abuses or mistreatment is dutifully reported as dictated under legislation whether reported to them or experienced by themselves.
On researching this subject further I find that Safeguarding is now to be incorporated into a new Common Inspection Framework (C. I. F) alongside Equality and Discrimination under the heading of Leadership and Management however the fundamental principles appear to be remaining the same. [Ofsted. gov. uk] http://www. ofsted. gov. uk/resources/common-inspection-framework-2012 [Accessed: Common Inspection Framework 2012 PDF – 04/12/12] When dealing