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The Learner Voice

LSIS have announced the shortlist for the Learner Voice Awards 2009. Now in their third year, the awards are about recognising and rewarding achievements of individuals and organisations in the FE and skills sector in embedding the learner voice, and to celebrate innovation, effort and action.

Visit the LSIS LVA site (click here) for full details of the award, the categories, and all individuals and organisations who have been shortlisted.  Congratulations to everyone who has got this far. 

The awards were introduced in 2007 to raise the profile of the important work undertaken by student governors, officers, representatives, support staff and principals throughout the country, so it isn’t surprising that the shortlisted organisations all appear to be colleges.  We would hope that following the introduction of the Learning and Skills Improvement Service, they will start to look more widely at the skills sector and celebrate the work that the wider training and skills delivery sector undertakes to involve learners in developing their provision, management and other aspects of their business. 

While adult learning and skills, and Welfare to Work providers do a huge amount to listen to learners, and use customer feedback to support continuous improvement; but in comparison to colleges and the FE sector, the skills sector as a whole has some catching up to do.  The Learner Voice is relatively unknown outside of FE, but we have a feeling that (as with many things that start off in colleges and LSC provision) it is likely to spread.  Don’t say you haven’t been warned!

But you can start thinking and planning now about how you can promote the learner voice to help improve your delivery and management.  You can find case studies from previous awards on the LSIS site, and the Excellence Gateway also holds a variety of information about the Learner Voice (click here).  While some ideas won't transpose well, there are a number of ways that the skills sector can move this agenda forward in a realistic and meaningful way.  If you need any help .... you know where we are!

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