There is much legislation governing and affecting teaching in the UK which all teachers, regardless of subject, must take in to account when planning, designing and delivering their course.
For example The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 states that everyone has a responsibility towards the safety of themselves and others, therefore it is crucial that a teacher knows where the fire exits are located, evacuation procedures, where to find a first aider etc. the teacher must also be aware of the correct procedures to follow regarding the use of specialist equipment and materials such as computers, electrical equipment and tools etc. and must follow the correct reporting procedures for accidents and faulty equipment.
Teachers are governed by the Data Protection Act 1998 which contains 8 principles. These state that all data must be processed fairly and lawfully, obtained and used only for specified and lawful purposes, adequate, relevant and not excessive, accurate, and where necessary, kept up to date, kept for no longer than necessary, processed in accordance with the individuals rights, kept secure and transferred only to countries that offer adequate data protection. (The Data Protection Act Group 2002)
The implications of this for teachers are that they must not disclose or discuss personal details of the learner with anyone outside of their organization and only to relevant people in it. Documents such as registration and enrollment forms must be stored securely and passwords restricting access used for computerized records.
The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001 amended the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) to make it unlawful for education providers to discriminate against disabled pupils, students and adult learners; and to make sure disabled people are not disadvantaged in comparison with people who are not disabled. (Directgov n. d.)
This effectively means that teachers need to know where to obtain further guidance once a disability has been disclosed by a learner and how to adapt course materials and access.
Anti Discrimination Laws such as the sex discrimination Act, The Race Relations Act, The Human Rights Act and The Equality Act all ensure that no one is discriminated against on the grounds of gender, age, marital status, disability, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or social background. It is the teacher’s responsibility to make sure that all learners in the class are aware of these requirements and that the diversity of the class is valued and respected by everyone.
As well as the generic legislation, which applies to everyone, there is subject specific legislation and codes of practice when teaching self defence. It is essential that the learners are aware of both the common law and statutory defences covering self defence. The Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 states that A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large. (Baskin 2009)
The teacher must ensure…