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Class Representatives

Who

Double Helix Resources

Why

Class Representatives have been nominated to represent those in their class, but also to represent their curriculum area in order to help improve the young persons experience with the educational environment.

Class Reps act as a key link between the institution (curriculum management and senior management), their peers and as a vital link with the Student Union.
For the young persons being a rep can sometimes be challenging but everything they achieve, has a positive impact on the student experience of those on their course and in the wider college. We encourage young persons to ensure they are represented by Reps of an even mixture of genders cultures and backgrounds.

What

Ensuring young persons in their class/tutor group know who you are - have a poster in your main tutorial space, running drop in sessions.

Lead 10 minutes of tutorial once a month on Learner Voice.

Gather feedback for meeting from fellow young persons, using questionnaires, surveys, petitions and student forums

Attend Departmental Learner Voice Forums and Student Council (each termly) – feeding information from these back to classmates

Identify young persons needs, issues and positive stories and take these forward via meetings or raise immediate issues with Tutor, Curriculum Manager or Student Services. Find out if any concerns can have solutions without being escalated at this point.

Liaise with the Deputy for Education to support any cross college or national campaign - Help to promote any forums or campaigns for young persons to express their ideas.

Ensure records are kept of conversations with students, notes from meetings and student celebrations in the Google Shared folder.
Represent young persons views on education, teaching and learning - not only their own. Do not let your personal views impact upon your unbiased work as a Class Representative.

How

Selection: Each tutor group is asked to select 1 or 2 young persons to be the Class representative. Young persons can either put themselves forward or be nominated by an educational professional or a peer. The nominees then put forward their reasons for wanted to be a Class representative before the whole class vote for the person they want to represent them.
 
Preparation: Class Representative are expected to attend a one day training course, ensure that their presence is known amongst there class mates, run feedback session where they can gather information from their peers about how they are finding the course and college in general, try and sort out any immediate issues affect their class by contacting the right members of staff and using their platform as class Class Representative to escalate any issues as necessary, as well as  prepare agenda points from the feedback gathered for the next curriculum meeting and the termly student council meetings that are held and  attended by the Principle.

Training: Class Representative must attend a one day training course run by Student Services where they look in more detail at their roles and responsibilities, college policies such as safeguarding and prevent as well as having some external trainers in from NUS to talk about the importance and power of learner voice. They are also given a welcome pack that includes things such as: How to write an agenda, how to write up minutes, how to run a meeting, communication technique, how to actively listen, characteristics of a good leader etc.

Management: Class Representative work directly with curriculum leads but are self-managed with guidance and assistance from Student Services.

This project is straightforward to implement and can be used in other settings with young person and professionals facilitating a group.

When

This runs throughout the academic year; Class Representative are usually selected within the first six weeks at the beginning of the first academic term.

Effect

The ‘Class Representative’ system is an effective one as it allows the young persons to take ownership of their learning and their learning environment. It usually provides more honest and useful feedback as they tend to feel more comfortable discussing issues they are having on their course with their peers instead of a member of staff especially if the issue is with the educational professional.
After each curriculum and student council meeting points are actioned from the issues raise and the curriculum have up to six weeks to action point otherwise it is flagged up to Student Services who then escalate the unresolved issues to senior management. However generally when things are action the college produces a newsletter and poster called ‘You said…We did…’ indicating certain points that were raised and how they are being solved by the college.


This project is replicable and can be adapted to different environments.

Assessment

Effectiveness:

High degree / regularly

Gender sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Culture sensitivity:

High degree / regularly

Doable (practical):

High degree / regularly

Participatory:

High degree / regularly

Replicable and adaptable:

High degree / regularly

Assessment/evaluated:

High degree / regularly

Type of good practice

Methods, Practical tool, Organisational structure or tool

Themes

Democratic dialogue, Promoting democratic values, Youth civic participation

Duration

Continuously

Type of activity

Group activity

Resourses

-

Contact

Brian De Lord

United Kingdom