Learner Participation Award

Group of children sat looking towards teacher at group of desks

Learner Participation (LP) is about children and young people having their voice heard when decisions are being made that affect their lives, and being actively involved in decision-making processes. This principle needs to be reflected in the culture and ethos of the whole school community and the systems that govern it.

The form that this participation takes does not matter - schools might have a school council, a pupil parliament, or focus area committees. Participation can happen in many ways and our Learner Participation award has been designed to allow for this variety of forms. What is important is that the structure allows all children and young people to have their say and to be able to feed their ideas and opinions to a representative group, which operates on behalf of all learners.

Whichever Learner Participation Forum (LPF) you choose for your school or college, for the purpose of these criteria, it will be referred to as a LPF and the pupils involved in it as Representatives.

To access our Learner Participation Award toolkit first you need to register. Head to the Register or Login page to get started.


Learner Participation Award Levels & Criteria

Award Levels

Assessment has 4 levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum. It covers 4 key themes: LP procedures; LP links within the school; LP links beyond the school; LP projects.  A school can attain silver or gold in its first year of registration, provided that evidence is also presented, at the same time, for all the earlier levels. Platinum can only be achieved after gold has been held for a year.


Award Criteria

You can view and download the Learner Participation Award Criteria to help prepare your submission.  We also have developed a Good Practice Guide which you may wish to use for guidance.


Time Frames

The award is given at the end of the academic year, for the work of the outgoing forum. The schools registration will remain ‘live’ for the following academic year and the school can either apply for re-accreditation at the same level with supporting evidence of activities over the year, or apply to progress to a higher level by providing supporting evidence which meets the criteria.

The accreditation window is open from February half term to Summer half term. Successful schools will be notified after this and the awards are normally presented at our annual celebration awards ceremony in the Council Chambers at New County Hall. Each school is invited to bring the LPF pupils to the ceremony, and has the opportunity to make a brief presentation. Schools submitting evidence after the closing date can still achieve accreditation during the remainder of the academic year, but will not be able to attend the awards ceremony. 

Covid-19 Update

We regret that due to Covid-19 we were not able to hold the award ceremony in 2020 but schools were still successful in achieving the award through adapting their practices. Thanks to the ingenuity of school staff, pupil voice is still playing an important role in school life, including Covid best practice ideas and we are delighted to hear of the achievements of school and student councils across the county. Although the criteria remain unchanged, we are listening to how schools have tackled the issues Covid has brought to the process. If you would like support do contact the team. And... keep those submissions coming!