A wealth of practical materials relating to student voice are freely available online, and we thought it would be useful to guide our readers to some examples of excellent resources deriving from the UK. We would encourage you to explore the links below and consider whether these materials could be used or adapted in your country. We would also be keen to hear about similar resources used in our readers’ institutions. If you have any to share, please write us an e-mail.
Useful resources from the UK
Best practice examples from Ofsted, the UK's inspection body for colleges and schools
Ofsted is the UK body responsible for the inspection of colleges and schools. A crucial part of any assessment entails exploring the extent to which students are being consulted on the quality of teaching they receive and Ofsted has prepared a number of examples demonstrating good practice in the field of student voice. VEE particularly liked the resources mentioned in the case study concerning Chichester College in England; their ‘License to Observe’ award, ‘Hot or Not’ exercise and Annual Learner Conference are all explored in the case study published here, while other examples of good practice provided by Ofsted can be found here.
Association of College’s guide on the role of the Student Governor
In the UK, we often talk about the role of the ‘Student Governor’ when we discuss student voice. The term requires a bit of explanation, and is very much linked to the way in which colleges are governed at the national level. In the UK, central and local government transfer a great deal of decision-making powers directly to colleges. However, as colleges are funded by public money, these institutions are legally required to set up an independent panel, called a Board of Governors, comprising members of the local community to scrutinise the college’s actions and spending. "
As well as members of the community, many colleges also appoint a Student Governor to represent the voices of learners. England’s Association of Colleges has prepared an excellent handbook which provides advice to colleges regarding how to appoint and support Student Governors. Explore the Association of College’s array of Student Voice resources, or visit the handbook.
Carlshalton College’s Class Representative handbook
Creating an organisational culture in which students feel as though their voice matters and is being listened to is not always easy. The ‘Class Representative’ system, in which each class within aninstitution selects a student to represent their views to academic and senior staff, is a common approach. It is particularly effective, allowing students to provide feedback anonymously and concisely.
We really like the handbook Carlshalton College has prepared for their Class Representatives which explains in clear and straight forward language their role and responsibilities. Explore this useful resource and others developed by Carlshalton, published on the Education and Training Foundation's Excellence Gateway.