Appendix 3: Learner voice: Participation

Learner voice: A handbook from Futurelab provides some excellent questions to help leaders reflect on how learner voice could be developed in their school.

This Futurelab table describes different approaches to learner engagement and what these look like in terms of student agency.

Types of Participation, Activities and Tools

Learner Engagement

Inform Consult Involve Collaborate Empower
Learners are regulary and reliably informed, made aware of their rights and ways of participating Staff obtain view of learners. Learners receive full feedback on decisions taken Staff work wiht learners throughout decision making process to ensure views are understood and taken into account All aspects of decision making processes are undertaken in partnership withlearners Learners set agendas for change. Self organisation and responsibility over management is given to learners
Learners informed  Learner consulted  Learner input Learner shaped Learner owned

Types of activity

Staff presentations




Learners as research respondents/participants

Designated consultation space, time and meetings

Peer support, mentoring and tutuoring

Circle time

Feedback/right to reply strategies

Learner governors

Student councils;

Advisory committes;

Learners on appointment panels

Participations skills training

Learners as counsellors

Learner voice improvement plan

Students as co-researchers

Learners on management committees

Learner-shaped policy making

Learner interest/action groups

School-wide, external learner voice policies/plans

Students as researchers and research designers [independent]

Delegated decision making 

Learner managers

External policy on learner voice culture

Learner 'ownership' of resources, events, policies and learning

Learners as teachers


Fact and information sheets




Access to documents, minutes, plans etc

Comment/opinion polls

Focus group [learners as respondents]

Staff-led consultation

Staff-led questionaires, interview etc [closed - staff-led]



Focus groups [active]

Joint-led consulations

Interview [open - staff-directed]

Learner-led consultations

Interviews [open/closed learner-directed]

Staff/learner ballots

Open forums

Learner -managed research programmes

Learner agenda setting

Learner-managed consultation activities and tools development