Student Voice

Student voice should be central to planning programmes, activities and provision

Students have a voice

Natspec colleges make sure that students are a part of the decision making process, and that their views are taken into account when planning programmes, activities and provision.

Every Natspec college has a student union or council, or runs other “student voice” activities to ensure that young people are part of decision making at college. 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”
  • 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.

Student surveys

Colleges ask students to complete surveys once or twice a year, and also Natspec runs a national learner survey.

Download the latest learner survey data.

National Student Voice Parliament

At National level, in May 2017 Natspec launched the National Student Voice Parliament. The role of the Parliament is 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 Council will meet twice per year and run regular on-line forums, surveys and discussions.

If you would like to discuss how your students can get involved, email Sarah Laszlo

SEND Learner Voice Research Report 2018

Natspec has published a new research report in to Learner Voice.

Download the report here.