National Student Parliament
Students are at the heart of everything that we do. Their voice matters.
Every Natspec college has a student union/council, or runs other “student voice” activities to ensure that young people are part of the decision-making process at college.
How students are involved
Some of the methods that colleges use include:
- Student councils: student representatives from different parts of the colleges are elected to speak for their groups. The council is sometimes linked to the formal governance of the college, with a student representative on the board of governors.
- Some colleges support students to speak speaking at national conferences run by organisations such as the National Union of Students
- Regular student forums on different topics, involving the whole college.
- Students write and design their own newsletters.
- Some colleges have a facility such as a ‘Big Brother booth’ for students to record their own video diary – e.g. on topics like “when is a lesson good”.
- Colleges asks students to complete surveys once or twice a year.
Natspec runs a national learner survey. The latest data from our survey can be downloaded here (link to PowerPoint).
- Students get involved with their local authority or local democracy, for example through meeting their local councillors or sitting on local Equality Panels.
- Some students help assistive technology companies to design new products and develop new technologies
The value of National Student Parliament
Natspec’s National Student Parliament has been established to:
- Promote the high quality student voice activities of individual colleges
- Ensure that this voice is heard and promoted at a national level
- Help students from different colleges talk to each other about issues that are important to them, for example sex or relationship issues, transport, access to services, ideas about the curriculum, access to employment or work placements, and acceptance or discrimination.
- Give students experience of working at a national level, travel to other places and see new things
- Demonstrate the passion, skills and abilities of learners with learning difficulties and disabilities
The Parliament meets twice per year and takes part in regular on-line forums, surveys and discussions.
Look out for our Listening to Students – Communication Tools resource. Coming soon