Across the post-16 education sector there are different approaches and mechanisms in place that organisations use to listen to and meet the diverse needs and interests of our learners. While there are many examples of successful learner engagement initiatives and learner voice practice, it is not consistent and is largely unmeasured. We also know that with the continued financial and organisational pressures on providers, learner voice is increasingly lost or holds less meaning and value. The Learner Voice Framework offers space for a shared understanding of what learner voice is and what effective learner voice looks like in practice. It is also an effective way to recognise and celebrate existing good practice within our organisations and across the sector.
The framework is complimentary to existing education quality standards and assessments, and also provides new opportunities to share good practice and support collaboration between peers and communities of practice. It is purposely founded on sector-shaped principles to recognise the diversity of our sector; to list specific characteristics or qualities would exclude some of the most innovative and exciting practice delivered by our organisations. It is possible for all organisations to embed quality learner voice practice, therefore it is important to ensure practice remains meaningful and resourced to ensure learners continue to have a strong and impactful voice on their education.
How does it work?
The framework is an online platform that is available to all education providers. Once you have registered, your organisation will be given an individual portal which you can access at any time. Within this personalised space, you will be guided to use the framework to self-assess your organisation’s practice and approach to learner voice. This process is supported with resources and advice, with signposts to existing examples of good practice.
The framework is intended to be a development tool as well – a way to improve the impact of learner voice through sustainable and inclusive practice. The online self-assessment is linked to a development plan, which enables you to identify areas you wish to improve as you reflect on current practice. This document is also connected to resources, guidance and existing examples of good practice to support your development.
This process of reflection and development should be built into organisations’ operational plans. A self-assessment on Learner Voice should be completed annually, and any development plans reviewed and updated regularly.