The City of Bath College has been announced as winner of the 2013 Imaginative Approaches to Learner Voice award.
They picked up their award at the fifth annual Leading the Learner Voice Awards which took place in London on Tuesday 18th June.
The awards, which are hosted by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) and the National Union of Students (NUS) celebrate the significant contributions learners make to the further education (FE) and skills sector, and recognise the staff who support them in doing this. The awards are also an opportunity to ensure that good practice is shared and available for others to learn from.
The awards were open to learners, staff and providers in the FE and skills sector. This includes sixth form and independent specialist colleges for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities, work-based learning, adult community learning and offender learning.
City of Bath College won the award because of its celebrated ‘Learner Expert Panel’. This is a group of appointed students who, following training, contribute to the interview process for all staff and act as consultants for quality control of teaching and services.
They helped to develop the teacher competency framework, developed and ran the student led survey into the quality of teaching and learning and are involved in staff development sessions, raising the awareness of student perceptions and experiences.
The award ceremony was held in central London, and the honours were presented by Rob Wye, Chief Executive, LSIS and Dame Ruth Silver, Chair, LSIS.
Through their closing words Dame Ruth, and Toni Pearce, President of the NUS and a previous winner of an LSIS Learner Voice Award, reminded the learners of the important role they play, and the difference that they can make. Learners were reminded to ’keep talking and listening’ and to ensure that their voice remains heard.
Lynne Scragg, Director of Student Experience at City of Bath College said: “It is very rewarding to have such prestigious recognition for the work that we’ve done to strengthen the involvement of learners in decision making and quality improvement at the College. Members of the learner expert panel have impressed everyone with their professionalism and commitment, over and above their studies. We are proud of what our learner expert panel have helped us to achieve.”
She added: “Employability skills are important to both students and employers. The skills the panel are developing will undoubtedly help them in their future careers.”
Ann Ruthven, Head of Learning and Learner Support, LSIS said: “The award categories highlight the changing and evolving priorities facing the FE and skills sector. They illustrate a continued commitment to deliver outstanding teaching and learning in the sector, a commitment that has been central to the role of LSIS within the FE and skills sector.”
Since they were first held in 2008, the Leading Learner Voice Awards have provided a strong national focus for the work of thousands of learners and staff across the sector who are actively engaged in leadership for learner representation and participation. The occasion provides an opportunity to celebrate the outstanding achievements of learners, individually or collectively, and of practitioners, managers and organisations’ who have shown leadership and commitment to learner voice whether for organisational change and development, or in a wider community, social or political context.