In 2013, a cross-party commission looked at the role of youth work in formal education. This identified the need for stronger collaboration between the teaching and youth work professions, and to develop a better understanding of how youth work can complement formal education.

Nearly ten years on, a new panel has been convened to review how the current and future needs of young people can be met through a contribution of youth work with schools (which includes Alternative Provision, SEND and 16-18 Colleges). The full scope of this review will hear contributions from and take account the diversity of needs, challenges and opportunities with young people.

This is an independent review, co-chaired by Tim Loughton MP and Kate Green MP, facilitated by the National Youth Agency as the national standards body for youth work in England.

Our aims

As we adapt post-pandemic, there is a policy focus on academic catch-up alongside young people’s mental health and wellbeing, and employability. The aim of the review is to inform policy and practice and collaboration, between youth work and schools.

Due to report in June 2023, it is timed to influence national and local policy-decision makers across education and youth services. This will take account of opportunities and outcomes from (i) a place-based approach, including work with multi academy trusts, local youth partnerships and local authority devolution deals; (ii) curriculum enrichment and engagement in learning, including academic catch up; (iii) mental health and wider wellbeing, including safeguarding; (iv) skills for life and work, and employability.

Call for evidence

The review includes desk research and literature review, site visits and online evidence sessions including representatives from education, youth work and with young people; as well as an open-call for written evidence and survey. The review will actively seek the views and experiences of young people directly. The aim is to conclude the review for December 2022 and publish in June 2023.

Our key lines of enquiry were:

  • What are the challenges to meet the diversity of needs and opportunities with young people?
  • While teaching and youth work professions and practice have their own distinctive approach, what is the role for and capacity of youth work with schools and academy trusts?
  • What is the extent of collaboration between schools and youth work, its benefits and barriers?

Further, we welcomed submissions from across education and youth work and young people. A short survey was shared for submissions of written evidence, related reports and supporting statements.

Online evidence sessions and interviews were carried out across April, May and June 2022.

Review panel members

  • Tim Loughton MP (East Worthing & Shoreham); former Children’s Minister
  • Kate Green MP (Stretford & Urmston); former Shadow Education Secretary
  • Abbee McLatchie, Director of Youth Work, National Youth Agency
  • Sarah Staples, Chair of the British Youth Council
  • Somia Nasim, UK Youth, Education Development Lead
  • Nick Brook, Deputy General Secretary, National Association of Head Teachers
  • Damian Allen, CEO, Doncaster MBC
  • Luke Spate, Youth and Community Worker
  • Carole Willis, Chief Executive, National Foundation for Educational Research
  • Secretariat: Jonathan Hopkins, NYA Director of Strategy and Policy (

Definitions – for the purposes of this review

  1. Youth is the adolescent developmental phase between childhood and adulthood that brings significant physical, neurological and emotional changes that impact on life chances in making healthy choices, risky behaviours, forming new relationships and tackling new challenges.
  2. Formal learning (schools and colleges) is organised and structured and intentional in its academic outcomes. This is supported by the National Curriculum.
  3. Non formal learning (youth work) uses an asset-based approach and practice to develop skills for life and work, resilience and social networks. This is supported by the Youth Work Curriculum
  4. Youth work predominantly works with young people of secondary school age between 11 and 19 years, but is designed to support young people through adolescence, typically from ages 8 to 25.
  5. The 2013 commission report considered ages of 11-16yrs; since 2015 the age of compulsory participation in education or training has increased to age 18yrs; therefore the 2022 panel review will consider 11-18yrs inclusive, of secondary school ages.
Skip to content