Teachers in their profession are required to maintain appropriate standards and fulfil their responsibilities, not just to learners, but also to institutions, colleagues and other professional roles. (Gould & Francis, 2012) There are several circumstances that would require a reference to other professional roles. These may include managers, other support staff (e.g. librarians, technicians, facilities staff) administrators, employers and governors. According to the Institute for Learning, appropriate support and guidance should be given by showing the learner the path to relevant support systems as well as giving him or her reasonable support in fair assessment and quality feedback procedures. The teacher is not a professional counsellor, financial adviser or medical practitioner, but the first in an extended student support system who is required to call on the expertise and advice of others in order to resolve issues faced by learners. For example, abuse, illness, financial hardship, bullying, stress, study skills issues and depression. An important aspect of the profession is recognising these situations and knowing appropriate actions to take (Tummons, 2010).Often there is no clear line and it will depend on the issue the teacher is faced with.
The role of the teacher requires professionalism which itself requires the maintenance of appropriate standards to fulfil responsibilities (Gould and Roffey-Barensten, 2014) It is crucial they do not get involved emotionally and always keep contact only on a professional level. The boundaries between teachers and learners are arguably less clear now than before the use of communication devices, such as email, mobile phones and social networking technologies. Through these technologies teachers and learners can associate virtually outside of the teaching environment which can lead to a blur in the boundaries between teacher and learner. the teacher must identify the needs of the learners and recognise when the need surpasses the support that the teacher can provide, at which point it needs to be referred to the relevant professional bodies who can deal with such learners in providing them with the correct solutions and guidance such as Senco, ALS, counsellors, social workers etc.