Guidance for Local Authorities

Youth work provides holistic support for young people which facilitates their wellbeing, social and emotional development. It also promotes engagement with formal education and empowers young people to actively participate in their communities. 

Local authorities have a statutory duty to provide a local youth offer for young people and, in line with the strengthened guidance published on 28 September, are required to ensure that their local youth offer is responsive to the needs of young people. 

The updated statutory guidance for local authorities provides greater clarity on what is required and specifies the need for high quality and effective practice provided by trained youth workers. 

Read the government’s Statutory Guidance for local authorities on Services and Activities to Improve Young People’s well-being here.

Read the Local Authority guide to S507B of the Education Act here

This is statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport under Section 507B of the Education Act 1996. It relates to local authorities’ duty to secure services and activities for young people aged 13 to 19, and those with learning difficulties to age 24, to improve their well-being, as defined in Subsection 13.

A toolkit for local authorities on the statutory duty 

The NYA has published a toolkit, which provides a roadmap and tools to review the needs of young people and develop a strong local ecosystem of youth work provision that supports young people’s wellbeing, education and development.  

Together with a number of supporting documents and frameworks the toolkit aims to make it easier for tier 1 local authorities to comply with the updated duty.  

It has been developed to support council leaders, cabinet members, council officials, elected members, funders and partners in responding to the S507B statutory guidance to local authorities issued by DCMS. Other organisations who support young people may also find the guidance useful when planning a combined local youth offer alongside a local authority.  

NYA’s toolkit for local authorities

How to fulfil your statutory duty under Section 507B of the Education Act – a toolkit for local authorities 

DCMS Information session for local authorities

On Tuesday 31st October DCMS held an informational session for local authorities on the statutory guidance updates. Please click below to download the session slides.

Supporting resources and useful links

There are a number of supporting resources to help local authorities understand how they can meet their statutory duty for youth work provision: 

Raising the bar – Youth Work Practice Standards and associated Youth Club in a Box ▼ 

The Youth Work Practice Standards outline the minimum requirements for the delivery of youth work. 

It is your guide to suitable levels of governance, planning and evaluation and highlights the requirements in place which affect providers and young people. It illustrates best practice and everything a provider needs to know to deliver youth work legally, safely and effectively.

Alongside the Practice Standards, Youth Club in a Box is a toolkit containing all the processes, resources, frameworks and legal requirements to set up and deliver youth work services.  

Safeguarding standards for the youth sector ▼

The Safeguarding Standards have been designed to support good safeguarding practices for all those working with children and young people, adults at risk, volunteers and paid staff. 

The Standards support individuals and organisations to go one step further than compliance to build a ‘culture plus’ organisation, committed to making safeguarding part of their identity and values.  

How to use the National Youth Work Curriculum ▼

This resource has been developed to support local authorities to incorporate the National Youth Work Curriculum in their planning and delivery of youth work to ensure it is inclusive, accessible and diverse. 

It walks the reader through the ten curriculum themes and how these can be used flexibly to guide youth work planning.  

Workforce Development Self-Assessment Framework ▼

The self-assessment framework is a resource for supporting a service’s workforce development. It has been developed for those working in the local authority, voluntary and community sectors.  

The document contains  checklists and forms which those responsible for workforce planning can complete to ensure their strategy, practice and evaluation considers all the necessary elements of a good workforce development strategy.

NYA Academy ▼

If you want to up-skill your existing workforce or train a new team, the NYA Academy can support you.  Visit the NYA Academy for details of formal qualifications, training and free CPD.   

Hear by Right ▼

Hear by Right is an organisational tool to support you to plan, develop and evaluate youth participation. 

Quality Mark ▼

The Quality Mark is a tool which supports organisations to embed a culture of learning and growth and aims to promote youth work of the highest possible standard. 

Youth Work One ▼

Youth Work One is a new online platform for anyone who works with young people, commissions youth services, conducts research or develops policy.  

It brings together a number of key resources for the sector, as well as hosts the National Youth Sector Census. 

Ensuring that your workforce is qualified and committed to continuing professional development is of vital importance. Visit the new Youth Worker Register on Youth Work One to validate the qualifications of your existing staff and recruits.  

You can also connect with peers via the discussion forum to share your experience of implementing the new statutory duty for local authorities.

Contact us for further support  
We provide a range of resources, guidance and access to learning opportunities to support organisations to deliver optimum youth work provision.  
The NYA also offers a range of expertise – delivered by our knowledge team, youth work specialists, safeguarding and senior team, to help you better assess your local need, plan best practice services and evaluate your offer. Get in touch to find out more by emailing

The NYA’s robust review has resulted in a commitment from all partners to support a collaborative approach to developing youth provision in the long term.  In the short term, the local authority has committed to establishing a new small youth service that supports and facilitates the third sector to increase high quality youth provision across the town.  
Lisa Arnold, Assistant Director of Community & Environmental Services (Community & Wellbeing)

Skip to content