Codes of Practise and Legislation in the Education

Codes of practise and legislation in the education sector are the rules and regulations governing the role, responsibilities and behaviour of the tutor/facilitator within the learning environment. They identify the main aspects of good practise and highlight how they can be implemented within this environment.

I hope to teach chemistry in the post-compulsory education sector and there are several legislative requirements and codes of practise relevant to this area, including:-
Health & Safety at Work Act (1974) ??“ defines the fundamental structure and authority for the encouragement, regulation and enforcement of workplace health, safety and welfare within the UK[1]. It is the responsibility of the facilitator to enforce and adhere, and learners to adhere to the H&S regulations.
Management of H&S at Work (1999) ??“ the aim of the regulations is to reduce damage by assessing all potential risks and to create action plans for emergencies[2].
Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) ??“ employers are required to control substances that can harm workers health[3]. The facilitators role would be to ensure adequate protection from chemical spills and fires by providing for example, laboratory coats and safety goggles and to ensure learners are aware of the dangers.
Childrens Act (2004) ??“ a child is defined as any person below the age of 18. This Act is the basis for most official administration considered helpful to children, notably bringing all local government functions of childrens welfare and education under the statutory authority of local Directors of Childrens Services[4].
Equality Act (2006) ??“ the facilitator must ensure that everybody regardless of age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation is given an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential and realise their learning goals[5].
Data Protection Act (1998) ??“ it is the responsibility of the facilitator and teaching establishment to ensure that learners personal information is stored securely and that learners are informed about who has access to their records[6].
Disability Discrimination Act (1995) incorporating Special Educational Needs & Disability Act (SENDA, 2001) ??“ introduces the right for disabled students not to be discriminated against or be placed at a significant disadvantage in comparison to their non-disabled peers[7].

It is the responsibility of the facilitator to perform a risk assessment prior to any practical/experimental session, to ensure the health and safety of themselves and all learners. It is important to recognise that a general legal requirement to manage risk effectively applies to all school/college activities[8]. The facilitator has a duty of care for the learners and information on the hazards posed within a school laboratory is available from the Consortium of Local Education Authorities for the Provision of Science Services (CLEAPSS)[9] and the Association of Science Education (ASE)[10].