National Youth Agency (NYA)
With a new National Government and new Local Councillors now is the time for us to consider how we plan for the future and invest in support given to Young People.
Local authorities have a statutory duty, under the provision of s507B of the Education Act 1996 (inserted by s6 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006) to provide
"sufficient educational leisure-time activities which are for the improvement of their well-being, and sufficient facilities for such activities; and sufficient recreational leisure-time activities which are for the improvement of their well-being, and sufficient facilities for such activities"
"to secure that the views of qualifying young persons in the authority’s area are taken into account".
The NYA were commissioned to consider “What is a sufficient Youth Offer”. Below are extracts for further discussion...
What is a sufficient youth offer?
There are real challenges in establishing what a sufficient offer to young people should look like.
How explicit should an offer be? Should it be aspirational or realistic?
Young people matter. The vast majority of young people make a positive contribution to society and are fortunate enough to be able to access what they need and want. There are, however, a minority that require further support.
The extent of the challenges is exacerbated by significant cuts in the very public services that support young people. Services cannot be provided without adequate funding. The local authority should give specific consideration to whether its current provision in the area, through all providers, is sufficient to meet the needs of young people. If this is not, then it is failing in its duty.
Youth workers create conditions where young people can thrive. A good sustained youth work intervention can reduce the likelihood of a young person needing high cost, more interventionist services later on.
What does a sufficient local offer look like?
A sufficient local offer to young people requires the involvement of both local and central government.
Central government must
Play an aspirational role – it must set the direction of travel that it expects of councils. A clear statement from government on the importance of providing a sufficient offer to young people is required
Set minimum levels of expectation
Hold local authorities to account on their ability to provide an overall offer of sufficient quality
Local authorities must
Assume the leadership role – they should have the greatest understanding of what is happening in their area and are best placed to ensure that all stakeholders are at the table
Be effective commissioners. The best councils know what is needed and the outcomes that are required, and should look at the best way to deliver this. This must include the involvement of stakeholders and young people in the process
Include the right mix of open access provision alongside targeted activities. It is not sufficient to assume that open access provision will be delivered by others
Actively build capacity which encourages high quality provision. This could include funding to enable voluntary services to thrive
Work with all key partners. Without the involvement of schools and FE, health, community safety partnerships and VCS providers, it could not be considered a fully joined up offer
Ensure that planning is not undertaken in isolation. It must include consideration of existing provision and the development of a shared ambition for the local offer, and include the active involvement of young people
Ensure that there is a workforce with the skills to engage with young people on their terms and reflect and meet their needs
Ensure that all services are accessible to young people. A sufficient offer would provide innovative ways to address barriers – for example, access to transport
Publicise the offer and provide information on what is available and where
To read more indepth, please click on:
Notification to Youth Groups - Street Valium.
Herefordshire Council would like to raise awareness on this issue. For more information please contact:
ZigZag, c/o Hereford Council Offices, Bath Street, Hereford, HR1 2GY.
To read more about Street Valium and its effects please read this information leaflet Street Valium and its Risks
The Queen announces more support for Troubled Families
The Queen’s speech on the 27th May confirmed the new government’s intention to expand the current Troubled Families programme. This is clearly a positive signal for struggling families and for staff in local authorities and partners, like health, police, schools, that work with families in a co-ordinated approach. The Herefordshire Children and Young People's Partnership's (CYPP) local programme called Families First achieved its original target of supporting 310 families where there has been a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour, children are back in school and adults are back in work. This successful work in Herefordshire resulted in the CYPP moving to the second phase of the programme early with the aim to support over 1000 families over the next 5 years.
Further information and contact details can be found on Herefordshire Council's website pages: