In the last fortnight, Youth Work or Youth Services have been in the limelight, as evidenced by Tuesday’s two posts featuring Seema Chandwani’s passionate twitter threads, one specifically aimed at Sadiq Khan’s Crime Summit. Once more the classic tension as to the relationship between the educative and preventative in youth work is revisited or as James Ballantyne puts it in the most recent of his always thoughtful blogs between a provision that is driven by hope rather than anxiety.
Following on from the announced commitment to a statutory Youth Service, the Labour Party seeks help to shape its education policy, declaring:
Together, we can create an education system that works for the many, not the few, and your voice matters to us. That’s why we have launched the National Education Service Roadshow (NES) as part of our National Policy Consultation.
Over three months, the Roadshow will visit our nations and regions to meet with and speak to members and supporters who want to help shape the future of education policy.
The Roadshow will build on the work we have done so far and the final principles will underpin the NES for generations to come.
To get involved, you can attend a Roadshow event in person, or you can submit your thoughts online via the Labour Policy Forum.
The diary of Roadshow events has yet to be announced. What are your views on prioritising a contribution to this process?
An immediate opportunity is provided by ChooseYouth to discuss the situation further.
CREATING A STATUTORY YOUTH SERVICE – ROUND TABLE EVENT
Mon 23 April 2018 16:00 – 18:00 at the Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA
Register for free at Statutory Youth Service
Following the successful parliamentary event earlier this year, we are pleased to announce a roundtable discussion on the importance of youth services and creation of a statutory youth service.
Youth services are an essential part of a lifelong learning and civil society and act as the bedrock to many young peoples lives. Over recent years we’ve seen youth service provision decline across the country with parts going completely without.
ChooseYouth which represents over 30 voluntary youth sector organisations has long championed a universal, open access statutory youth service and now in partnership with MP’s in parliament we plan to introduce a bill to create such a service.
This roundtable event in parliament will act as the beginning of that legislative process, bringing together key stakeholders to give their input, not only on the current state of youth services but how best we can advance the cause of a statutory service.
Putting this into a wider educational context Tim Brighouse argues, perhaps naively for new 2020 Education Act in a Guardian article, Rab Butler revolutionised education in 1944. Let’s do it again
‘In the last 100 years, there have been two defining education acts – Butler’s in 1944 and Baker’s in 1988. They represent two distinct chapters in England’s educational story. The first witnessed new schools, colleges and curriculum innovation, especially in the arts, as well as new youth and career services. Margaret Thatcher’s neoliberalism underpinned Baker’s 1988 reform bill, which meant a prescribed national curriculum and tougher accountability, along with diversity in school provision and autonomy’.
The piece prompted the following response from Tom Wylie, a former Chief Executive of the National Youth Agency.
‘Tim Brighouse makes a compelling case for a new settlement for education in England. Two particular further features should be addressed. First, it should be based on evidence, not politicians’ whims and prejudices. Second, it should reflect the fact that adolescents spend much of their time outside the classroom, and thus urgent attention needs to be paid to rebuilding the role of educational youth work for their leisure time.’
More specifically and highlighting the need for a practice, which can build relationships over time, free from short-term targets as well as posing issues around youth work and casework, Naomi Thompson, drawing on her own experience, argues that ‘Slashing youth worker budgets close a key route out for groomed girls.’
Continuing the Government’s fondness for short-term public relation interventions Home Secretary Amber Rudd has launched a Serious Violence strategy, which includes a new £11m Early Intervention Youth Fund to support community projects that help steer young people away from crime.
According to CYPN, without a hint of embarrassment, given the Tory onslaught on youth services in recent years and on young people’s futures, Rudd argues, “we need to engage with our young people early and to provide the incentives and credible alternatives that will prevent them from being drawn into crime in the first place. This in my view is the best long-term solution”.