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Quality procedures in life long learning

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As Tummons (2007, pg 16) suggests ‘Audit, inspection and observation are all components of a far reaching quality assurance process that seeks to reassure all those concerned that taxpayers money is being well spent and that the provision that pays for it is fit for purpose.’ In both Day Opportunities and the Training Department of South Tyneside Council they strive to ensure they provide a quality service for what is now known as their ‘consumers’. At present the Care Quality Commission (CQC) have sole responsibility for inspecting Adult Social Care. Regulations permit the CQC to inspect any adult social care service at any time, as long as every service is inspected at least once in three years.

However, in Day Opportunities there is no current quality assurance programme in place and in the five year period in which I have worked for the authority only one audit and inspection has taken place, this being an internal audit. (Evidence can be seen in the appendix). Consequently I do agree with Tummons and the fact audit, inspection and observation should take place alongside continuing personal and professional development and should be on a regular basis to ensure the service provision is fit for purpose and has the needs of our students/service users at the forefront.

The legal framework for the social care sector has changed considerably since 2000, and there are now specific minimum requirements for qualifications and training in all areas. National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) were introduced in this country in 1986 to try and energise vocational training. Much funding in the recent years has been given towards the completion of them, including European Social Funding. An NVQ level 2 in care is a minimum requirement; the qualification has specific criteria that is covered and include skills as well as knowledge. The Commission of Social Care Inspection (CSCI), which has now been replaced by The Care Quality Commission (CQC), stated in 2008 that 50 % of the workforce must hold a level 2 qualification or above.

Current legal requirements for training in social care stem from the introduction of the Care Standards Act 2000. It was introduced in response to many concerns about the quality of care being provided in all types of organisations. Within in the remit of NVQ level 2, candidates have to complete key skills if they have not already attained them. The implementation of NVQ’s and Key Skills within the social care sector has vastly improved the quality of staff working within the arena.

I am currently teaching Disability Awareness to compliment NVQ’s in Care and to give basic awareness to authority employees and trainee social workers. In September 2007, new qualification requirements for teaching and supporting learning in the lifelong learning sector were launched and a new ‘Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills’ (QTLS) status was introduced. As identified by talent.ac.uk, ‘…teachers in a full teaching role need to hold or be working towards a recognised teaching qualification, for example the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS), Professional Graduate / Certificate in Education (PGCE or Cert Ed) or Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).’ Tummons (2007, pg 16) identifies that ‘Teacher and trainers must have up to date qualifications and experience.’ The staff development officer of South Tyneside Council ensured I had my correct qualifications and my resources were effective before I commenced delivering training.

Therefore quality was assured. However, I have yet to be observed by another member of staff to ensure my delivery style reaches all of my students. This is something that could be identified within my CPD. All trainers must also be registered with the Institute for Learning (IfL), within their code there is an obligation for tutors to complete professional practice in the remit of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The online record will provide evidence that the tutor is coping positively with change by constantly updating their skill set, thus, the tutor shall be more productive and efficient. The expectation is that all teachers registered with the IfL shall carry out at least 30 hours a year of CPD. Being more productive and efficient can enhance a tutor’s teaching abilities and will therefore be passed onto the student. The IfL identify that ‘…we ask our members to be able to demonstrate that they remain in ‘good professional standing’ by engaging in CPD activities.’

In 1919, a report produced by the Adult Education Committee of the British Ministry of Reconstruction concluded ‘….adult education is a permanent national necessity, an inseparable aspect of citizenship, and therefore should be universal and lifelong.’ (www.infed.org). Therefore, both day services also known as day opportunities for people with learning disabilities and the training department for staff of South Tyneside Council promote adult education and continuing training. Thus trying to promote a quality service.

The year 1926 saw Eduard Lindman state that he perceived that education was ‘…not merely preparation for an unknown kind of future living….The whole life is learning, therefore education can have no endings.’ Lindman had incredible foresight in suggesting that there was a need for a different education, in particular respect to the curriculum and that it ‘…should be built around the students needs and interest…’. Geoff Petty (2008) also concurs with Lindman as he states that ‘What the learner does is more important that what the teacher does.’ I agree with both Petty and Lindman as learning and development should start with the student. These quotes therefore reinforce the need for CPD within both the adult social care sector and teaching sector.

To provide a quality service and learning environment, initial assessment should take place prior to any learning. Initial assessment of each student learning helps teachers consider the student’s specific needs and plan opportunities that will help remove any barriers to learning they might have. LLUK suggests that ‘Identifying learner needs and initial assessment are critical at the start of a learning programme.’ Initial assessment is particularly important when working with students with learning disabilities as it allows the tutor to identify whether other agencies are required to support the learner such as support workers, speech and language therapists or someone qualified in signing.

However being also a tutor for South Tyneside Council employees delivering Disability Awareness, initial assessment is not possible prior to students starting the course, as I have those students for a period of 3 hours without meeting them previously. This can be difficult as I am unaware of my students abilities. Any learning difficulties are only identified if the student divulges any information prior to the session. Due to this fact, I rely a lot on group work as this does not ‘single out’ a person that may have difficulty with reading or writing skills. I also have to ensure that I include all learning styles within my session, including visual, aural and kinesthetic. This will ensure I meet every student’s needs and learning styles and therefore the student will leave the course hopefully having learnt something.

Quality Assurance is a procedure/framework which is committed to a critical examination of quality and related issues in education and training as well as day services for adults with learning disabilities. It devotes itself to the dissemination of best practice on the management of change and improvement within these services. It invites insights into the perceptions and opinions of individuals on all levels of quality in education and adult day care.

5examine the impact of own professional values and judgments on teaching and learning (2,500 words).

•evaluate own approaches, strengths and development needs, in relation to professional practice. This unit will explore my role and responsibilities as a lecturer, for the Ethames Graduate School and London Churchill College and explore the relationship of lifelong learning, that will be supported by evidence based practise and legislations. According to Gravells (2012) it is important that you keep up to date with all relevant legislations that are specific to the area of work that concerns your role. I understand the specific codes of practice that help guide my role to be the mental health act 2007, human rights act (1998) and safe guarding vulnerable groups (2006). These regulatory requirements are there to support and guide how I deliver the teaching sessions. According to LL UK (2006) teaching is about helping someone reach their full potential; it is a lifelong learning opportunity and is there to help make a difference to someone’s life and career.

To help me analyse my own responsibilities as a Lecturer in Further education and HE, I have used the teaching and learning cycle by Gravells (2012). This cycle which I have included in appendix 1, helps me address how I should be delivering my sessions, this cycle includes five main stages which can start at any point and keep on going. To briefly summarise this learning cycle, I work through it by identifying needs and these are both mine and the potential student. Planning the learning, which I do through creating session plans and learning materials. Facilitate the learning, then assessing the learning and finishing with the quality assurance and evaluation. This ongoing process enables me to recognise equality and diversity and assures that I am mindful of the ethics so I keep it in my daily practise. According to Gravells (2012) equality is about the rights that students have to assess and attend and participate in their chosen learning experience. This is regardless of age, ability and circumstance.

I understand this to be, when I deliver my sessions I do it fairly, decently and above all I respect each as an individual. According to Race (2010) diversity is about valuing and respecting differences of students. The author describes that the teacher may have students with different levels of experience who are all aiming to achieve the same qualification but at different levels, I understand this to be when I am supporting students, I am non-judgemental, I don’t stereotype, I don’t hold prejudice, and I wouldn’t tolerate any bullying. To ensure I am promoting equality and diversity there are several ways that I ensure that this is included in the sessions. I mix up learners, so people with different learning styles are given the opportunity to communicate with each other because we have an initial application form, where it states that if you have any learning or physical issues. It helps support how I create the different groups. I am also mindful that I don’t judge or have favourites as it goes against legislation.

As a Lecturer in Health and Social care and as well as Business Management , it is important that I am aware of the professional relationships and responsibilities to others. According to Tummons (2010); your main responsibility is to the students to safeguard their learning experience. I ensure that I am aware of my boundaries in my teaching role by the supporting human Resources Policies that are supported by the organisation that I work for and by supervision by my senior trainers. This supervision that I have monthly helps me analyse the boundaries that I have in a teaching role.

According to IFL (2008) Code of Professional Practise, it is important not to overstep your professional boundary by becoming too personal with your students. You also have the responsibility of knowing when to speak to other professionals when the situation arises. Using the example of a student who does not have the capability to pass a course, as a teacher you have to be aware of when the points of referral are needed for that learner or additional sources of help and support. If you’ve followed the policies and procedures and the student is still unable to safely meet the criteria to pass the course, you have the obligation to contact external professionals like a line manager and report why the student has failed.

•Plan and take up opportunities to develop and improve own wider professional practice. To ensure that I establish and maintain a safe and supporting learning environment, according to Gravells (2012) it is crucial that effective learning to take place, not only the venue and resources need to be available but also it is the attitude and support that you give to the student. Indeed the author continues that the learning environment should be suitable and safe but most of all, the teacher needs to show passion and enthusiasm that will motivate the students to want to learn more. I understand that I also need to be aware of any health and safety issues that concern the environmental resources and would report any safety issues following the organisational policy of health and safety and risk management, Datix the incident and inform my superiors.

To ensure that I promote appropriate behaviour and respect for others this is important that I reflect on my own practise and how I come across to others. According to Gravells (2012) a teacher should always be non judgemental, challenge their own values and beliefs so that they are not imposing these upon your students. You do not indulge personal information that is not appropriate and you embrace the teaching role in all aspects of equality and diversity. My understanding of this is that when I start a session I have a particular process that I like to follow that encompasses several rules and regulations that I ask from all the students, these are an empathetic introduction of myself, I follow health and safety by following fire procedure as per organisational policy. I then go on to set the ground rules to ensure the safeguarding of all the students is adhered too. I ask for the whole group to participate and have a genuine level of respect for each individual.

According to the MHA 2007 Code of Professional Conduct, professionals should always be respectful and mindful of others, therefore is there is any inappropriate behaviour I ensure that it is tackled in an appropriate manner that its supported by the CPFT Learning and Development Code of Conduct, whereby if a student doesn’t adhere to the code then they shall be asked to leave the course if there is persistent inappropriate behaviour. From previous experience of this, I have found supervision crucial in enabling me to be able to reflect from any challenging situations, learn from it which I believe strengthens me, my development and learning as a teacher.

Justify the need for keeping records and describe the types of records you would maintain.

Records are an integral part of the teaching and learning process. It allows the teacher, student, course leader and even governing bodies to look back and reflect of the information they require.

At the outset, the teacher/learning organisation should keep records of the students accessing the course being taught, this should include name, address, telephone number etc. However under the Data Protection Act 1998, this information should be ’…kept secure with appropriate technical and organisational measures taken to protect the information.’ This will allow the teacher to contact the student if necessary. Holding information of students can also help with applying for funding. Basic attendance registers are also important so a teacher an keep track of students who are present. Keeping track of attendance can help the teacher support those students who do not attend frequently and help them overcome any barriers that are preventing them from attending.

It is vital that the teacher retains records on the subject they are going to teach. This documentation should include the syllabus, scheme of work, session plans, hand outs and activities for the learner. Holding records of this type would allow another colleague to cover your session if for any reason you were unable to deliver it. Holding paperwork on the course and it content would allow governing bodies to inspect the manner of which the course is being taught and make sure it is being deliver in accordance to their specifications.

A teacher is also required to keep records of how their learners are progressing. This will identify whether the student is achieving the desired grade to pass the course. However, it will also show those student who may be having difficulty completing the tasks set. Having these records would allow the teacher to amend their teaching styles to accommodate the learning styles of those students having difficulty. Or to address any difficulties on a one to one basis with the student. Records must be kept for a length of time stipulated by your organisation in case of an auditing process.

There are varying manners in which records can be kept. Traditionally, records would be kept in hard copy in filing cabinets. However, this is now dated and computers allow teachers and the learning establishments to hold records electronically. The advantage of this is that an extensive amount of information can be held. However, record keeping must comply with the Data Protection Act. A teacher can now put course information onto a memory stick and transport it to various classrooms if necessary

Discuss issues of equality and diversity and ways to promote inclusion with your learners. Review other points of referral available to meet the potential needs of learners.

A teacher must have the ability to promote inclusion, equality and diversity into all of his or her sessions. Thus acknowledging and respecting individuals learning needs and giving support and assistance where and when necessary.

A student is entitled to be part of the learning cycle without being treat differently to other learners, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability or sexual orientation. A student should feel that they are being treat equally to other learners within the classroom setting and are an integral part of the group. However, a teacher should continually monitor students and be able to identify the diverse needs of individuals and offer support without favouritism. They should be aware of any learners that seem isolated or may be feeling they are being treat differently whether it be by the teacher or other learners. If this situation occurs, the tutor should be approachable so the student can address any issues regarding equality or if necessary be able to refer the situation on to a higher position such as course leader.

There are key pieces of legislation that a teacher needs to be aware of that are relevant, such as the Disability Discrimination Act (2005), Race Relations Act (1976) and Sex Discrimination Act (1975). These are to ensure that non of the groups mention are treat unfavourably or differently from others. A teacher needs to take the lead in promoting equal opportunities and needs to examine their own manner and behaviour and make sure they are non-discriminatory. This will encourage learners to act accordingly and where necessary challenge students who do not and their behaviour adversely affects others within the group.

A teacher needs to promote inclusivity, ‘…involving all learners in relevant activities rather than excluding them for any reason either directly or indirectly.’ (Gravells, 2008). There are certain factors that need to be taken into account to promote inclusivity, such as the physical environment to ensure those with physical disabilities can access the area where learning takes place. When teaching students with learning difficulties it may be necessary to rely on more visual aids for them to understand the material and cut the session into shorter chunks to accommodate their reduced attention span. When there are issues with challenging behaviour within the classroom, it is essential that ground rules are set early on in the course which allows students to take ownership and teachers should give positive reinforcement when they are adhered to, to encourage good behaviour.

Positive reinforcement also works well when trying to boost a student’s confidence, group work may also help those with lack of confidence instead of individual work. A teacher also needs to be aware of the diverse individual needs of his or her students, being able to support them in their learning. This can help the student feel included within the classroom setting as they are not falling behind in their work and are equal to the abilities of their peers. This can be offered by one-to-one tutorial sessions or suggesting a mentor for the student to help with their work.

There are many issues that need to be taken into account when ensuring that all students will have an effective learning experience. A teacher needs to ensure that the learning needs of all students are met to encourage learning. .Summarise the key aspects of current legislative requirements and codes of practice relevant to your subject and type of organisation within which you would like to work.

Teachers need to be aware of key aspects of legislation and codes of practice that are relevant to their subject area and be able to put them into practice.

Working with adults with physical and learning disabilities it is essential that the teacher is aware and knowledgeable on the White Paper ‘Valuing People’. Valuing People was the first major strategy for learning disability for the 21st Century and was published in 2001. It set out ambitious plans to improve the lives of people with learning disabilities and their families and carers in terms of housing, healthcare, education, employment, services and many more areas. ‘The key principles of the white paper are rights, inclusion, choice and independence.’ (DoH 2008). Within education, it essential that the students with learning disabilities are treat equally to non disabled students and are given opportunities to learn skills like their peers, ’Teachers in the lifelong learning sector value all learners individually and equally.’ (Gravell, 2008 pg 3). Although the student may require more support than a non disabled student, that support can encourage the student to become independent in the future which is one of the key principles of the white paper. Offering students the ability to learn within a main steam college or learning environment can encourage inclusion within the local and wider community.

Due to working with vulnerable adults, it is crucial that the teacher is aware of The Safeguarding Vulnerable Adults Act 2006. The prevention of abuse to vulnerable adults is the responsibility of all sectors including teachers. A teacher holds a particular responsibility to ensure safe, effective services and facilitate the prevention and early detection of abuse. This act gives responsibility to those working with vulnerable adults to be aware of types of abuse and the ability to report it.

The Disability Discrimination Act 2005 is another piece of legislation that needs to be taken into account when teaching adults with learning disabilities. This piece of legislation ensures that all learners are given necessary adaptations to allow them to participate fully in their learning environment. This may be something as simple as ensuring the classroom has a wide enough areas for a wheelchair to pass through.

As a teacher you are governed by Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK, 2008). This body is responsible for the professional development of all those who work in further and higher education, as well as other areas of education. As a teacher you would have to work alongside their standards. There are six domains within the standards from the LLUK. These are ‘Professional Values and Practice, Learning and Teaching, Specialist Learning and Teaching, Planning for Learning, Assessment for Learning and Access and Progression.’ (LLUK, 2008) The professional values and practice domain sets standards for these values. This standard also requires teachers to encourage students to develop further. The learning and teaching domain is set out to establish a purposeful learning environment for the student. Specialist learning and teaching, which would especially affect the area in which I wish to teach, will ensure that the teacher is up to date with current legislation and be able to apply appropriate strategies to work with those who require specialist training. The planning for learning domain ensures that the teacher can plan accordingly for their session and create an inclusive learning environment. Assessment for learning domain allows for appropriate assessment and feedback for the student to encourage progression. Access and progression allows for the teacher to encourage and support the student into further or appropriate courses or learning for the future.

All of the above codes of practice or legislation would affect me as a teacher working with adults with learning disabilities.

Analyse different ways in which you would establish ground rules with your learners, which underpin behaviour and respect for others.

Ground rules are necessary in all areas of life; this is also apparent in a classroom setting to help learners achieve their goals and full potential. Ultimately, rules are a tutor’s responsibility but there are various ways in which a tutor can establish ground rules for their learners. However the success may vary.

A tutor can create ground rules for his or her teaching session. Using a cognitive domain (Bloom 1951), the tutor may lecture the students on the rules that they have created. This can be an effective manner of portraying the rules that the tutor expects from the learners to achieve their best. However, this may not accommodate the learning styles of all students. A student who uses a reflective style of learning (Honey and Mumford 1986) may find this manner of portraying rules and expectations valuable as they prefer to listen and watch from the outside. However, students who take a more activist role (Honey and Mumford 1986) need lots of activities and stimulation, may find this manner of portraying rules uninspiring. Therefore some students may become bored and so disruption occurs and there is then a lack of respect for the other learners.

Ann Gravells (2008, pg 34) suggested that taking an andragogical approach (mainly learner centred) and allowing learners to create their own ground rules permits them to take ownership and encourages empowerment and more often than not they are likely to adhere to them. A group discussion about identifying ground rules uses the affective and cognitive domains (Bloom 1951), and would work well with individuals who use an aural style of learning (Fleming 1987) as they enjoy talking to others. But for those who use a visual style of learning it may be more difficult as they often sit back and observe rather than offer their opinion. In terms of behaviour in the classroom, Skinner (1974) believed that the learner would repeat the desired behaviour if positive reinforcement were given. As a result, following an activity such as discussion regarding rules, feedback from the tutor would encourage positive behaviour from the learners and hence respecting others learning experiences.

There are many ways in which a teacher can establish ground rules with his or her students, however the teacher must be aware of their student’s learning styles. Using a variety of activities and manners to determine ground rules could be effective as it then will reach out to a multitude of learners within the classroom.

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