TEENAGERS will have their say on education standards in colleges as a governing body launches a ratings website.
Ofsted has set up a site in the style of Trip Advisor – the home of holiday reviews – to give pupils a voice on what needs to be changed.
The information will be used by the watchdog to form part of the official inspection process and could lead to colleges being marked down.
Laurance Hancock, manager of the Boathouse Youth Club, said: “This is a great idea. Kids are well connected to the internet these days and it will be a great source of information for Ofsted and the pupils.
“But just because kids are being asked for information doesn’t mean adult decisions won’t be taken.
“A pupil’s decision is very important, but with that in mind, I still think it’s important the decision making process is important.”
Everyone using the “Learner View” site, which is launched on Monday, will remain anonymous.
Tyrone Wassell, 19, former student union president at Blackpool and the Fylde College, said: “I would’ve liked something like this during my time at college because it would’ve made me feel more confident raising issues if there was something unbiased.
“It will find positives and give the colleges the opportunity to pick up on criticism they may not have picked up on in other forums.
“The system will look at the positives and negatives and if I’d had something like that it could have helped me make a decision on where I wanted to study.”
Catherine Hill, vice principal of curriculum and standards at Blackpool and the Fylde College, said: “The college recognises the importance of learner views and actively seeks feedback through the national Learner Satisfaction Survey, where we scored 8.8 out of 10 last year.
“We also hold regular student forums and the Students’ Union has representatives on a number of college committees.
“Any opportunity for Ofsted to utilise this kind of feedback is beneficial for both the college and learners and we will work with them to ensure their new website is fully promoted.”