The learner voice is an important part of the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework.
The Ofsted survey report, Teaching, Learning and Assessment in Further Education and Skills – What Works and Why, September 2014, recommends that for providers to improve their teaching, learning and assessment, leaders should ‘draw fully on learners’ views about the teaching, learning and assessment that they receive to inform self-assessment and improvement actions’.
We need to listen to our learners in order to improve the quality of our services, and in the same way that feedback we give to them must be impactful, resulting in positive change, we must reciprocate with the feedback given to us.
A teaching observation is a 45 to 60-minute snapshot of delivery on an entire programme and can be affected by nerves, a bad day, sickness etc. However, an effective learner voice provides more of an overview into the entire programme and so is highly significant.
Using both strategies in conjunction enables us to compare our view of our services with that of those that use them.
Other benefits of the learner voice:
- We can get instant feedback from the group of people who are most important;
- We demonstrate our priorities to Ofsted; and
- It provides an evidence base for the SAR.
One of the ways we collect feedback from associates is via our monthly online survey known as The Associate Barometer. The purpose of this survey is to collate regular feedback on associates’ motivation and identify those in danger of leaving prematurely.
There are a number of questions about training, mentoring and work placements, and the three key questions are:
1) Please rate your last month on the programme (0-10)
2) How challenging are you finding the programme? (Too challenging / Appropriately challenging / Not challenging enough)
3) Do you feel that you are receiving enough support on the programme? (Yes/No)
Another vehicle for obtaining feedback from learners is a recently-elected Associate Board, made up of one representative from each of our nine step teams. The Board will meet once a month for approximately two hours. Each meeting will include updates from the Step Forward Delivery Leadership Team as well as requests for feedback from each Step team.
There may also be times when Associate Board members choose to share ideas or are asked to present work they have done outside the meeting.
Associates are the only people present at all pathway training sessions, PD sessions, ILP meetings, assessment visits, and mentoring meetings, and are therefore best placed to provide the most comprehensive feedback about the programme.