H810 – Roles and reponsibility (A6.1)
My role in applying policy in my vocational school. Like mentioned before we have very few students in our vocational school, and in general there are very few students in the mainstream system with special needs, most of them are sent to separate special needs schools, depending on their disability.
Starting in a boarding school for girls with learning disabilities, almost over 20 years ago, being myself quite unaware of disability and accessibility issues, I was only told vaguely that the learners had problems with learning, but no advice was given how to tackle that in my role as practitioner, I had to find that out by myself what needs my students have and how I could best cater for them.
Our team consisted of the housemaster, probably comparable with the senior manager, as she had the saying, a team of practitioner or trainer to which a belonged, a team of educator for the evening and the night watch after finishing training and teaching and a couple social workers. Though we were supposed to work together to meet the needs of our students, was that not always as effective as it should be. Like stated in the JISC resource do different roles work in different contexts and draw on different resources and have a different understanding how to meet needs of students best. As trainer and practitioner we were asked to prepare them for their future work life and applied more stringent rules and policies to our students, though we acknowledge their disability, as we knew otherwise they would not be able to get and hold a job, the social workers and educators had a different approach and mostly choose a greater margin for error than we had to apply, which often lead to a conflict in roles and what approach best to apply, thus a holistic approach was not always visible. However, we did not really discuss which learning material or method would be best for our students and because each trainer worked in a different fields, e.g. dress maker or hairdresser or I worked in home economics, it was not easy to find a common strategy. At this time we were far from offering e-learning.
In the vocational school I am working currently, there is no holistic approach visible as well and I do not know who else shares the responsibility for apply policy (which policies?), except that I assume that the headmaster in his role as head of the school shares or delegates responsibility.