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Presentation by Pippa Lord, Senior Research Officer National Foundation for Educational Research Listening to Learners Conference University of East London.

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation by Pippa Lord, Senior Research Officer National Foundation for Educational Research Listening to Learners Conference University of East London."— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation by Pippa Lord, Senior Research Officer National Foundation for Educational Research Listening to Learners Conference University of East London April 2009 Young Peoples Voice: An engine for improvement?

2 2 Background Growing commitment to including young peoples voice in research, evaluation, consultation –school and youth councils –local authority surveys –young people as researchers –interview panels / recruiters Body of literature which examines how to include young peoples views –who is being consulted –the methods used –mechanisms for feeding back

3 3 Does including young peoples voice make a difference? Does it improve policy and practice? Does it make a positive difference to the young people themselves? How do we know?

4 4 Scoping the evidence What research on the impact of young peoples voice has been carried out since 2000? What difference does young peoples voice make to: –policy-making and practice –young people What gaps are there in the research or evidence base? CfBT commissioned NFER to scope the evidence of the impact of young peoples voice

5 5 Research design Evidence for the review was obtained through two different avenues: searches of library databases an /postal request to organisations for details of any relevant recently published or current work

6 6 Research design 52 sources were considered for inclusion in the review. Criteria for selection: published from 2000 onwards evidence from empirical research and evaluation evidence of impact of young peoples voice involved young people aged focus on UK-based sources (as well as some key international evidence) inclusion of evidence from a range of sectors 26 of the most relevant were selected: summarised to standard pro-forma devised to capture the relevant information purpose/focus of literature, who and how the young people were involved, impact on policy, impact on practice, impact on young people, and other key findings and recommendations

7 7 Impact on policy and practice Changes in organisational practices, services and facilities –tailor to user groups, involve young people more Development of new strategies and policies –local, regional, national? Influence on budget decision-making and the commissioning of services –community-based projects, schools? health? Changes to recruitment practices –what are the longer-term benefits? Production of materials and information resources –young person friendly, other outputs?

8 8 Impact on young people Confidence and self-esteem Social, personal and emotional competence Sense of responsibility, maturity and efficacy Communication and collaborative skills Civic and political competence New knowledge and skills Attendance Achievement Behaviour Negative impacts (disappointment, disillusionment)

9 9 Conclusions and Implications The culture of participation is growing Young peoples voice can be an engine for improvement There is a relative gap in any routine evaluation and documentation of the outcomes of involving young people –important to evaluate, because where there is limited impact on policy and practice there appear to be fewer, or even negative, impacts on young people

10 10 Implications for policy and practice Evaluate and record the outcomes of young peoples involvement (tools and checklists of possible impacts) This evaluation should be comprehensive, inviting contributions from the young people themselves The impacts arising from young peoples input should be tracked in the longer term Greater understanding of which young people benefit – just those who are involved, or wider? Greater understanding needed of the relationship between different types of participation and their impacts Greater evaluation needed of whose voice is being represented Greater exploration needed of where youth voice is/is not having an impact

11 11 To understand the difference that young peoples voice is making … … partnerships between policy- makers, practitioners, researchers and young people themselves … we want to actually make a difference, that was the whole point of the survey … (young person involved in designing a consultation survey)

12 12 Further Information The full report and summary can be downloaded at: ault.aspx?page=338 ault.aspx?page=338 Contact: Pippa Lord at NFER on


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