Health and Safety at Work Act (1974)
The Health and Safety at Work Act is the primary legislation relating to the safety of people at work. The act imposes responsibilities on all members of staff to care for the health and safety of themselves and others. A requirement is that a health and safety executive is appointed with the responsibility of enforcing the act. Before teaching a class it is important to review the safety of the teaching environment and remove any hazards before students are present. An aspect of the health and safety act affecting myself is to ensure that student workstations are configured for their correct posture to avoid injuries such as repetitive strain injury. I have an informal discussion with students and explain how workstations should be configured and why they should configure their workstation correctly.
Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act (2006)
The Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act controls who can work with and teach vulnerable people, such as children. The act makes use of the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to conduct criminal background checks on everyone working with vulnerable groups. The act prevents anyone deemed unsuitable from being employed to work with vulnerable groups. This could become a barrier to student learning as my course includes a helpdesk unit where students are employed and require a DBS check, if deemed unsuitable they would be unable to complete the practical aspect of the unit.
Data Protection Act (1998)
Educational establishments hold sensitive information, including student/staff details, qualifications/grades, payment details, etc. The Data Protection act ensures this confidential information is only accessible by authorised personnel and is not left unattended. An example of implementing this is to ensure I have a secure password on my computer and that I do not leave my computer logged in. This affects my teaching role as part of the course requires students to perform data entry for other departments; this means all students must complete a non-disclosure agreement. Obtaining a suitable non-disclosure agreement and ensuring that all students have completed it can be challenging, requiring a large amount of organisation and management.
The Education & Training Foundation
The Education & Training Foundation was set out to improve the standards of teaching and learning. To accomplish their goal, they have created a set of professional standards for teachers to follow, these standards include:
- set out clear expectations of effective practice in education and training;
- enable teachers, trainers and other practitioners to identify areas for their own professional development;
- support initial teacher education; and
- provide a national reference point that organisations can use to support the development of their staff
(The Education and Training Foundation, 2014)
To help teachers and trainers follow these standards the Education & Training Foundation supports teachers by providing a large quantity of guides and courses. This will assist the professional development of teachers in their professional values and attributes, professional knowledge, understanding and skills to ensure the best outcomes for learners.
The Education and Training Foundation, 2014. Professional Standards for Teachers and Trainers – England. [Online]