Guidance to Self-Assessment

At the end of this process, you will have a self-assessment statement for each principle in the framework, with saved or noted evidence to support this work. Once downloaded, the 5 statements form a single Self-Assessment reflecting on your learner voice practice The assessment provides a narrative that helps to set the scene, provide relevant background and describe the activity you are undertaking in these areas. When completing your evaluation, be sure to include details on outputs (what you have done), outcomes (what has changed as a result of what you have done) and supporting evidence to qualify how you know any impacts have been made. The key characteristics and prompt questions will support your reflection and analysis of learner voice practice across the five principles.

The Self-Assessment does not require you to rate or award your performance, however, you can conclude whether practice is of a high standard and sustainable, or requires further improvement. Read through each key characteristics in turn and evaluate your current practice against these. There are additional prompt questions in the suggested activities below.

You will not necessarily have examples against each characteristic. Depending on your provider type, you may or may not be able to establish certain systems of student engagement, voice or representation. To ensure your assessment is an accurate reflection of current practice, it is important that you consider the breadth of your organisation. Reflect on both academic and support services, and consider other facilities and points of interaction for learners which may provide an opportunity for engagement. Take time to scope the breadth of learner voice activity taking place throughout your organisation, and continually gather and upload documents and material to evidence your work.

Before starting to write your Self-Assessment, consider who are the right stakeholders to bring together to review and reflect on current practice. As a group, use the recommended activities below to support your reflection.  Here is a suggestion of some roles you might wish to engage in this process:

  • Student Leaders/Representatives
  • Sabbatical Officers                                                           
  • Student Governors
  • Learner Voice Practitioner
  • Quality Manager
  • Senior Manager/Principalship
  • Clerk to Corporation
  • Chair of Governors

You may save your document at any time and return to add and amend this information as required. As you go through the Self-Assessment, you can also begin to identify areas for improvement by checking the box by the side of the characteristic. This will then automatically appear in your Development Plan.

Once you have completed the Self-Assessment for all principles, save and download. You can then review and print your final document, located in Saved Reports. We recommend that the Self-Assessment is embedded into your organisation’s quality cycle and should be reviewed with relevant stakeholders and amended annually. You may return to your LVF portal at any time and access the last saved report.

Once you have completed your Self-Assessment, the next step is to formulate a Development Plan to improve practice. Go to your Development Plan section on the portal and follow the prompts to complete this activty. This will contain all selected characteristics checked in the Self-Assessment activity, but you can also add to and amend this information to suit your development needs and plans. It is a simple, collaborative action plan linked to the five principles that encourages you to consider a variety of activity, and reflect on responsibilities, timescales and resources needed to complete the actions identified.

Self-Assessment Activities

Below are some recommended activities to support your Self-Assessment. Each organisation will need to consider the needs of its stakeholders and opportunities to work collaboratively, so approaches will vary. These activities are intended to be a starting point for considering how you can provide a framework to the discussions and reflections of multiple stakeholders. Ensuring that all stakeholders are empowered to fully participate in these discussions is important. The discussions will also need to be structured to allow you to gather the information you need to create an accurate picture of practice in your Self-Assessment and areas of need in your Development Plan.

  1. Assign a Learner Voice Framework Lead – this is likely to be a Learner Voice Practitioner or a Senior Leader with responsibility for voice within the organisation.
  2. Consider whether it is appropriate for a particular committee or the Governing Body to discuss the completed Self-Assessment and sign-off the Development Plan. This could help ensure buy-in and support across the organisation for the areas of development identified through the framework, and be an opportunity to celebrate the areas in the Self-Assessment that are considered to be of a high standard.
  3. Hold one-to-one meetings with different stakeholders for in-depth discussions, with a set of questions, or semi-structured questions prepared in advance to make the different responses easier to analyse and allow for comparison between different stakeholders.
  4. Co-ordinate a focus group, to reach larger numbers of groups of stakeholders, to look at individual principles or areas of work in more depth.
  5. Establish a LVF Working Group with a range of relevant stakeholders to coordinate the engagement with the framework. Involving a number of people with different interests, responsibility and decision-making power will support the process and ensure all activity is well informed, resourced and sustainable.

The opening activity for the LVF Working Group could be Statement Cards. Print each key characteristic onto a separate card and ask 1. Is this a relevant characteristic (yes/no/don’t know) and, 2. Do we currently deliver any practice in this area (yes/no/don’t know). Once this is established, the group should use the following prompts to look at the detail against the selected, relevant characteristics.

  • Partnership
    • What groups of stakeholders can/do work in partnership with each other in our organisation?
    • How are those groups of stakeholders working with each other?
    • Is there a collective vision for what a partnership approach looks like?
    • What is this approach designed to achieve?
  • Empowered Learners
    • How are you putting learners at the heart of teaching and learning?
    • Where do learners have a voice? How do learners know they have a voice?
    • Have you created an environment where all learners feel safe and valued? How do you know?
    • How are learners encouraged and supported to take on an active role?
    • Is there space for more learner-led practice? What would this look like?
  • Inclusive
    • Which learners are more likely to engage, and which groups are not actively involved?
    • How are you challenging under representation?
    • What are the barriers to learners getting involved/feeling empowered?
    • How are students inspiring each other?
    • Is there space to try new things to engage different groups of students?  What would this look like and was is needed to make this happen?
  • Embedded & Valued
    • How are you making it a whole organisational approach?
    • Do all stakeholders understand the value of learner voice?
    • How do you recognise and encourage good practice?
  • Being Invested, Strategic and Sustainable
    • What resource is needed to achieve our goals?
    • Is there a supporting policy or regular reporting?
    • Where is local knowledge held and how is it recorded/shared?
    • How are you evaluating the outputs and outcomes from your activity and how is this evaluative information being used to monitor progress towards your vision?

Using the Development Plan

The LVF is designed to be a development tool, as well as support effective self-assessment.

Any actions and outputs should be the responsibility of a number of stakeholders, a whole-organisational approach to change and development. If you have been able to set up an LVF Working Group, this document will underpin your discussions to ensure all developments are recorded and planned. Use this tool as a working document at operational meetings to ensure learner voice, and its development, becomes part of the conversation in your organisation.

The development plan is basically a smart action plan that encourages you to consider how you will improve and enhance your learner voice activity. You should reflect on what action will be taken, what will be produced or delivered, who will lead on work, when work will be completed and what changes because of the activity undertaken. It is very important to consider how you are going to evaluate the impact of your work, to factor this into your activity and to ensure all improvements are meaningful and sustainable.

You can save, add and amend this plan as often as you like. When you need to print or review the whole plan, download the Development Plan and print from Saved Reports.