ASSIGNMENT – UNIT 7 Wider professional practice 1 Write a critical reflection on the extent to which learning can contribute to the personal development, economic growth and community regeneration of your learners. 2 Write an analysis of how relevant government policies and initiatives impact on own role and teaching and learning within the Lifelong Learning Sector. 3 Provide extracts from their ongoing reflective journal to analyse and evaluate:
Their understanding of the principles and processes of evaluation including its role in quality assurance. Their own application of evaluation processes, working with others and their use of data and other feedback for evaluation. 4 Have embedded equality of opportunity and respect for diversity within your teaching and learning practice. 5 Examine the impact of their own professional values and judgements on teaching and learning.
INTRODUCTION This assignment will explore the ever expanding growth of government’s initiatives, programmes, and policies focusing attention on involving, engaging field of the post compulsory education sector, in particular the assignment shall focus on the key issues of government policies, core professional values and accountability within the Lifelong Learning Sector and how this impacts on the teachers, students and the community.
Application and evaluation of quality assurance, quality improvement systems and improvement of one’s own professional practice shall be explored. Government’s policies have always and will always impact on the Lifelong Learning Sector (LLS). In 2003, Office for Standards in Education Children’s Services and Skills (OfSTED) highlighted a weakness and the government set about implementing a package of reforms. It noted that much of it was inappropriate for the particular skills that FE teachers were transmitting.
Following this, the Foster and Leitch reviews both emphasised the need to improve the reputation of further education colleges and, by extension, the need to raise the reputation of their teaching forces. One such reform ‘Equipping our Teachers for the Future’ was to change the quality of teacher training and introduce a new offer for trainee teachers, leading to a new QTLS award – Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills. The QTLS, a level 5 qualification, will be awarded by the Institute for Learning (IFL).
Diploma in Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) was born. Until this point in the Further Education (FE) history no qualification needed to be attained. Although the majority of people teaching in further education colleges have been qualified, there has been an absence of qualifications among people teaching vocational skills. The application of the above reform means that anyone delivering further education provision through a contract with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) must ensure all trainers, tutors and teachers are registered with the IFL.
The IFL has issued a ‘Code of Practice’, the code has seven parts: professional integrity; respecting the rights of learners and colleagues (prohibiting discrimination in areas such as race, disability, gender); taking reasonable care to ensure safety and welfare of learners; professional practice (individuals must prove they’re conforming to IfL’s requirement for continuous professional development); disclosure of criminal offences; “showing responsibility” during any investigation; and abiding by IfL membership conditions (http://www. fl. ac. uk/professional-standards/code-of-professional-practice, 2009) Within the code there is an obligation for QTLS to complete professional practice in the remit of Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The online record will provide evidence that the QTLS is coping positively with change by constantly updating their skill set, thus, the QTLS 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.
By reflection the CPD will help teachers to consciously apply learning to their role. CPD can be time exhaustive and an expensive outlay. For many teachers that are self-employed teachers/trainers they don’t have the luxury of being able to send their CPD invoices to someone else to pay. We may even see in the future employed teachers picking up the tab for their continued training expenses in the future. What ways might there be to lighten the financial burden on individuals prepared to invest in developing their professional skills?
Currently, self-employed individuals can claim tax relief on training expenses provided they can demonstrate that the courses they have attended are pertinent to the business they are in. However, a self-employed teacher/trainer can not invoice ones self for time spent completing the IFL on-line REfLECT to support their professional practice. Within the remit of providing an educational service to companies, customers are putting an emphasis on needing a more skilled workforce which will hopefully meet the ever-higher skills demands of business.
To stay marketable in the climate of an economic crisis that England is faced with, achieving the QTLS is imperative for self employed teachers. Prospective customers that receive funding from the Learning Skills Council (LSC) are now expected to have a QTLS to deliver the educational needs. The LSC are highlighting the importance of qualified teachers delivering the training needs, there focus is about employers’ needs, driving up quality, reforming funding and improving efficiency. The LSC believe that students deserve teachers and trainers who are both expert in their subject(s) and skilled at teaching.
The Department for Education and Schools (DfES) strategy Success for All recognises that professional, skilled and qualified teachers are essential and that the learning and skills sector must attract, motivate and retain teachers. With the implication that companies will now have to put their trainers/teachers through the qualification in order to secure funding via the LSC will organisations deterred from contracting to deliver learning? A recent article in the IFL (issue 1) touches on the subject of professionalism and professional bodies.
The article invited thought on the distinction between the name of a thing and the description of an approach. The question: ‘Are you professional? ’ Ironically, there has been call that teachers in FE attain the ‘license to practice’ so that they are on a par with school teachers. The introduction of new standards, quality assurance and planning arrangements for initial teacher training were set out after OfSTED highlighted ‘insufficient initial assessment, monitoring and specialist support for college teaching staff’.
To achieve the golden kudos of QTLS means either two to three years of studying. It feels all too fascicle in the next breath that the Labour government initiative, which is part of Labour’s public service reforms, will from September halve the minimum time it takes to train as a qualified teacher in England from a year to six months. Is this not insulting to teachers in FE whom have studied hard and reflected on the world of LLS and that are still not remunerated to school teacher’s pay packets? MP Jim Knight stated in the Times newspaper (http://www. timesonline. co. k) that ‘bankers would probably be excellent mathematicians’ and in light of the economic crisis in the banking world the news of fast track teaching is a fantastic opportunity. No wonder teachers and their union leaders are slamming down their pencils in a hissy fit. Who can blame us? In one breath the government is striving for professionalism in the education sector and in the next, well, are they hell bent on the erosion of the credibility of teachers and all they stand for? Also, what happens when failed bankers that are fast-tracked into teaching if the financial market picks up again in a few years time.
Bankers do not always have the skills, personality or values for a career in teaching. Although there are obviously exceptions, these “brilliant whizz kids” should be judged on the same standards and have the same opportunities as everyone else. Legislation, legislation, legislation or was that Education, education, education? Many aspects of health and social care are subject to legislation. New legal requirements emerge constantly and the government seeks to improve health and social care, often through the introduction of ystems to set standards and to control or modify service provision. Legislation also affects service provision through legislation relating to employment, health and safety and use of public funding through related services such as education. Political factors also influence the ways that which services are offered. 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.
Current legal requirements for training in social care stem primarily from the introduction of the Care Standards Act 2000(http://www. cqc. org. uk/). This was introduced in response to many concerns about the quality of care being provided in all types of organisations. More detailed legislation was then introduced in a number of related sector-specific Regulations, after which National Minimum Standards (NMSs) were published by the Department of Health and it is these that contain the details of the training and quality assurance, systems and procedures.
Sociological factors in the Health and Social industry, demographic and lifestyle elements can alter the needs of the community and successful employment into the industry. As the population ages, this impacts enormously on this sector, both in terms of the workforce and the services provided. Recruitment to the sector has proven difficult of a variety of reasons, but for young people in particular, the lack of ‘work readiness’ skills are a common issue.
The Leitch review of skills predicted that the number of low-skilled jobs would decline dramatically over the next few years, thus, reducing the number of young people who are NEET (not in any form of education). Employment or training is about making sure that young people – particularly 16- and 17-year-olds – remain in education and training to get the skills and qualifications they need to thrive in the economy, and that they make a successful transition to further education or employment at age 18. 4-19 Education is a huge area of ever growing interest fortunately. The White Paper ’14-19 Education and Skills, which was the government’s response of 2004 to the Tomlinson Report implemented the young people should be leaving full time education with competency in English and Maths, that vocational options are improved, that academic qualifications offer a suitable stretch to motivate learners. The diplomas re designed with input from employers; the qualification combines theoretical study with real work situations and develops skills highly valued by employers and universities. It has been designed to develop future employees for the children and young people’s workforce, health, community justice and adult social care sectors, giving the students an insight into the world of work and helping them to make informed decisions about their future careers.
The demand on healthcare professionals will continue to be very strong, particularly at support worker level. It is anticipated that 200,000 additional jobs will be created by 2014 (UKHCA). The skills gained from completing a 14-19 diploma within the sector are transferrable: Literacy, numeracy, languages, ICT, good listening skills, non judgemental attitudes, team working, ability to communicate complex information, empathy and the ability to put people at ease, customer focus and handling, leadership and problem solving.
One of the foreseeable problems in the Care Sector with the 14-19 diplomas is age limitations. For example, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) states that personal care should only be performed by 18 years old plus. So that in mind, will the diploma encompass the full package, especially the intrinsic personal care? However it is important that young people have some exposure to the real work place and develop a basic understanding of what is required of them in that environment.
Teachers/trainers working with this age group will now have be more creative, especially as most have come into the industry to teach adults as opposed to teenagers. The pressure is on to evaluate the possible impact on one’s teaching ability. Evaluation normally focuses around the training room and normally the perception of what the student has learnt and their experience of the teaching. Within the social care sector the evaluation has become more structured and accountable.
External evaluation and auditing of teaching is now a common place, with governing bodies such as Care Quality Commission (CQC), Health and Safety Executives (HSE) and OfSTED. The bodies are examining the training in terms of how it is equipping the workforce with required knowledge, values and skills that will attribute to the goals of the organisation. The teachers/trainers are now under more scrutiny, which can only be a positive, to see if they are facilitating effect learning and engaging all learners.
The process of evaluation brings quality to an organisation. Establishing a clear evaluation process is a catalyst for change. An easy example is Kolb Experimental Cycle; that is, to identify needs or experience, reflect on them, analyse them, and decide on future action. Future action leads to a teacher/trainer improving their own professional practice, the power of reflective practice is important to the development of all professionals not just teachers as it enables us to learn from our experiences.
Developing reflective practice means developing ways of reviewing our own teachings so that it becomes a routine and a process by which we might continuously develop. An implication of this is that the professional values and personal commitment of a teacher should have an integral relationship and understanding and professional skills and abilities. But entering the profession now requires a level of dedication. As a teacher entering the LLS accountability needs to be applied when teaching to ensure equal support is given to all learners.
Conclusion I have come to realise that through the requirement of the IFL to complete a annual CPD of 30 hours can only be have a positive impact on the world of post compulsory education. There must be accountability on the part of the teachers of the future and an obligation to the students. It is evident that a comprehensive knowledge of one’s subject is not enough to get by in the world of teaching anymore. Teachers, like doctors, should be accountable and should have a public duty.
I have always thought that a good teacher/trainer is someone who can impart information onto their learners but I now see that it takes a lot more than just that. I also think just as I’ll get my head around an aspect or legislation and it will change as does the seasons! But after all it’s all about development and education, education, education! I think the way forward is to; combine vocational and academic qualifications, gains as many qualifications as possible throughout their career as some only have a short shelf life with the exception of the degrees of course.
Continuous professional development is here to stay!! Word 2445 Bibliography http://www. timesonline. co. uk (accessed 1/05/09) http://www. ifl. ac. uk/professional-standards/code-of-professional-practice, (Accessed 30/05/2009) http://www. lsc. gov. uk (accessed 1/06/09) http://www. ofsted. gov. uk (accessed 3/06/09) http://publications. dcsf. gov. uk (accessed 5/06/09) http://www. cqc. org. uk/guidanceforprofessionals/socialcare/careproviders/guidance. (accessed 5/06/09) http://www. ukhca. co. uk/pdfs/homecarer_previous. pdf(accessed 6/06/09)