The National Youth Agency and Local Government Association working together to support youth services
The National Youth Agency has been commissioned by the Local Government Association to deliver a programme of work to support councils in their work with young people, under the Routes to Success banner.
As part of our Routes to Success programme with the Local Government Association, our work includes input into national consultations and emerging policies as a youth sector body.
Details of our current and past activity can be found below.
Business Mapping Report
The National Youth Agency (NYA), as part of its on-going work with the Local Government Association (LGA), has conducted a project to map and promote what the business community is already doing with regards to supporting service delivery for young people in out of school settings.
The project captures the many ways businesses are supporting young people through a survey of Heads of Youth Services (or equivalent) and interviews providing case study examples of practice from councils and from the business community.
The report is structured around feedback elicited through the survey, interspersed with examples of practice gleaned from interviews with councils, businesses and other associated organisations and can be found here.
Positive for Youth Consultation
The National Youth Agency, as part of its work with the Local Government Association, ran a series of Round Table Events to gain the views national view from councils on the Department for Education's youth strategy - currently called "Positive for Youth."
To support councils in understanding the context of the Policy, the National Youth Agency has developed a summary of the Positive for Youth discussion papers.
Raising the Participation Age - Developing an Engaging Offer for Young People
The National Youth Agency (NYA), in partnership with the Local Government Association, undertook research to explore young people’s views on the coalition government’s plans to increase the age for young people remaining in education or training – frequently referred to as raising the participation age (RPA).
The research had two elements: an analysis of an online survey of around 1,000 young people and 900 parents/carers completed in November 2010, and the results of five focus groups with 80 young people carried out between December 2010 and February 2011.
Valuing Youth Work - Using case-studies of local authority-funded projects, the Valuing Youth Work report shows how organisations and councils can effectively work together to provide services covering health, citizenship, participation, and training and education, and the impact it has on young people’s lives.
‘Valuing Young Voices – Strengthening Democracy’ was commissioned by the Local Government Group and National Youth Agency and investigates the contribution made by young people’s participation in society.
The paper demonstrates how youth engagement can lead to increased accountability and legitimacy amongst decision makers, and improved services for young people, concluding that youth engagement is instrumental in delivering outcomes that communities and councils seek.
Spending Review - October 2010 - NYA publishes Briefing
The NYA briefing paper provides an overview of the key measures set out within the recent Spending Review. It also explores how these measures will impact on young people and youth services.
Read the Briefing in full >>
The Statutory Basis of Youth Work
There is a tension between the climate of budget reductions in spring 2010 and the continued policy emphasis on early intervention and prevention. The funding of statutory and voluntary youth services appears to be vulnerable in the face of the well-known requirements on local authorities to deliver statutory services such as social care and child protection. Read the NYA's Briefing in full >>
Assessing the impact of budget savings on Integrated Youth Support Services (IYSS)
The Confederation of Heads of Young People’s Services and the NYA undertook a survey of all Heads of Young People’s Services in February 2010 to assess the impact of budget savings on Integrated Youth Support Services (IYSS).
Almost all respondents said that they were facing cuts in young people’s services averaging between 3.7% and 10% in the IYSS budget. On closer examination these savings impact on the different elements of IYSS as follows:
- 5% in Targeted Youth Support
- up to 7% savings in Connexions; and
up to 17% in youth work.
Read the Financial Implications for Local Authority Youth Services Briefing in full >>
- Capturing take up of positive activities by young people
- Positive activities at weekends
- Young people shaping budgets
- Events celebrating the achievements of young people
- Young people, economic wellbeing and financial capability
The NYA led a project to bring young people’s experiences and views into the heart of a March 2009 conference on financial capability organised by the Financial Services Authority and sponsored by Barclays Bank.
Four groups of young people, facing different forms of disadvantage, each took part in a focus group to explore major money issues for them. Each group then planned and led a workshop at the conference to bring the attention of the delegates to their issues and to seek suggestions for action by the delegates and others to improve their situation.
The major issues and the suggestions from the workshops are written up in the briefings below. A series of briefing papers produced in partnership with the FSA were published autumn 2009. The briefings look in detail at major issues for the following groups of young people affected by money worries:
- Briefing paper 1: looked after young people and economic wellbeing
- Briefing paper 2: disabled young people and economic wellbeing
- Briefing paper 3: homeless young people and economic wellbeing
- Briefing paper 4: young people in vocational learning and economic wellbeing
The FSA Project Report:
The NYA developed two guides in summer 2008 for Connexions staff to support the recording of young people’s participation in positive activities (National Indicator 110). They contain the former DCSF definition of positive activities. The DCSF sought support from Connexions services to ask some additional questions within their process for capturing intended destinations of young people in year 11 as a pilot in 2008-9. This was in addition to the official measure of the TellUs surveys for measuring progress against NI 110.
- Recording positive activities – frontline staff
- Recording positive activities data – detailed version
The NYA was commissioned by the former DCSF to research and publish a briefing paper to support expansion of provision of positive activities on Friday and Saturday nights. The previous government emphasised the importance of this provision in their Youth Crime Action Plan.
The briefing, published summer 2009, sets out some of the central issues and barriers for children’s trusts in implementing this policy, describes some ways local authorities are overcoming these and gives general points to consider when commissioning and delivering this type of provision in local areas. The primary audience is those responsible for securing and managing positive activities provision but it is relevant to practitioners working with young people in diverse settings.
The policy drive in the previous government's youth strategy Aiming High for Young People to increase young people’s direct influence over resources is known as ‘budget devolution.’ The NYA worked with the former DCSF to explore options for implementation. The report from a survey and a focused seminar led by the NYA in 2008 sets out the views of local authorities and third sector partners as to feasible ways forward for this type of policy.
These views were built by the NYA into a toolkit for measuring budget devolution, piloted in winter 2009.
The previous government's Aiming High for Young People: a ten year strategy for positive activities (2007) acknowledged that today's young people are faced with the challenge of growing up in a culture that has widespread negative perceptions of young people. It committed to do more to rebalance the public narrative by celebrating young people's achievements.
This pilot offered an exciting opportunity for local areas to celebrate young people's widest achievements, enabling parents and communities to recognise young people's contribution and place in society and foster more positive perceptions of young people. It shows how the local authority partners selected to run youth celebration events delivered against the three intended outcomes set out in the original specification, as well as the requirement to maximise the opportunities for inter-generational understanding and to evidence plans for the future.
Fifty-one local authorities made bids from which ten were selected in July 2008. All were allocated the funds they had requested: seven were allocated £15,000, Bournemouth and Poole shared one allocation of £15,000 and Cornwall received £9,500.
The youth celebration events provide rich evidence of the successes and challenges of running high profile events around this theme. There is much in this report which speaks to the National Youth Week consortium as well as to other Aiming High programmes which are tasked with celebrating young people's achievements and positive contribution at a local level.
The Celebration Events Pilots were managed by the NYA on behalf of the then DCSF. This report is written by Wendy Flint, Sarah Hargreaves, Jo Poultney and Alex Stutz, with layout by Priya Patel.