Towards a Statutory Youth Service – Chooseyouth Action Points

 

CYouthRound1

Thanks to Anam Hoque

 

Further to Monday’s packed and animated Roundtable event held in the Houses of Parliament Doug Nicholls, Chair of Chooseyouth, has written as follows:

 

Just a big thank you to all those who were able to attend the Chooseyouth event in Parliament on Monday. Thanks also to those who were with us in spirit but unable to attend.

We are going to have to be focused and organised over the coming year to win. We will send out some briefings to assist with campaigning.

 

CyRound2

Ta to Sue Atkins for the montage

 

In the meantime here are the action points we suggested at the meeting that would really help.

1. Declare your individual and or organisational support for Chooseyouth if you have not already done so by writing simply to Kerry Jenkins at kerry.jenkins@unitetheunion.org. It doesn’t cost anything and your name will simply be listed as a supporter.

2. As soon as you can write to your MP whoever they are and ask them if they support a statutory Youth Service. Let Chooseyouth know what they say.

3 In May write to your MP and ask them if they will be supporting the Ten Minute Bill on the Youth Service.

4 Immediately write to Angela Raynor MP requesting that the Youth Service be made statutory and put within the National Education Service that Labour is proposing.

5 Get ready to lobby your MP again and get busy on Social Media when the Ten Minute Rule Bill is put on June 6th by Lloyd Russell Moyle MP.

6 Write immediately to Cat Smith MP who is consulting on the implementation of a statutory youth service, saying you support a statutory youth service and giving any reasons why and what it might look like.

All of this will make a difference at this critical time.

Thanks very much.

Doug Nicholls,

General Secretary,

General Federation of Trade Unions.

Sustenance for the Senses 3 – hope not anxiety, roadshows, education acts, grooming and serious violence

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:

labour logoTogether, 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?

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An immediate opportunity is provided by ChooseYouth to discuss the situation further.

chooseyouth

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.’


    Thanks to the Rotherham Advertiser

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.’

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        Ta to the morningstaronline.com

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”.

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CREATING A STATUTORY YOUTH SERVICE – ROUND TABLE EVENT, APRIL 23

roundtable

This is the first notice of the forthcoming ChooseYouth event announced at the IDYW conference on March 9.

choose youth logo

CREATING A STATUTORY YOUTH SERVICE – ROUND TABLE EVENT

DATE AND TIME

Mon 23 April 2018 16:00 – 18:00 BST

LOCATION

Palace of Westminster, London, SW1A 0AA

 

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 of 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.

REGISTER FREE at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creating-a-statutory-youth-service-round-table-event-tickets-44326672270

Is the tide turning? John McDonnell commits Labour to a statutory Youth Service.

In recent months we have been asking if the tide is turning for youth work? Our question is given fresh impetus by the welcome news that John McDonnell has registered his desire to see the inclusion of a commitment to a statutory Youth Service in the Labour Party’s Manifesto. Particularly encouraging is his insistence that this should happen as an integral element of a ‘New Education Service creating lifelong learning from cradle to grave’.  See below the full text of his contribution to the GFTU Union Building Conference 2018 plus video.

McDonnell’s intervention is all the more timely as next week’s IDYW national conference on March 9 in Birmingham will be exploring a set of proposals that might inform the re-emergence of open youth work and a democratised Youth Service. Watch this space.

John McDonnell:  Contribution to GFTU Union Building Conference 2018.

The General Federation of Trade Unions has an important and distinct role to play in the British trade union movement.

As it approaches its 120th year it is fitting to see that it is still dynamic and leading the way in terms of the transformative power of trade union and community education.

The GFTU’s education programme is the biggest and most imaginative in the Movement and supports trade unionists in developing the practical skills, political and economic understanding and sense of history that are so vital today.

But it is also good to see that the GFTU is consciously reaching out to the wider public to keep the flag of trade unionism flying and reaching out through exciting events such as its youth festival to the next generation of younger trade unionists.

I recognise that trade union work to re-engage the younger generation will also be assisted by the rebuilding of the Youth Service so callously pulled apart by the Conservatives. This is why I am supporting the inclusion in the next Labour Party Manifesto the commitment to create a statutory Youth Service as part of the New Education Service creating lifelong learning from cradle to grave.

I am very impressed that the GFTU is offering new training courses for trade union trainers with Leeds Beckett University and Newman University. This is pioneering work indeed and will create a new generation of fully trained and qualified trade union trainers.

Such tremendous commitment to education within the GFTU is also reflected in its commitment to the Shout Out Project. This is greatly appreciated and we hope that together through my office, the GFTU and affiliated unions to bring greatly needed civic and personal and social education back to our communities.

The GFTU Education in Action programme is well worth a visit.

 

 

Much to be welcomed, but someone needs to chat with Jeremy about Youth Work and a Youth Service

Ta to shropshirestar.com

Ta to shropshirestar.com

On a morning when polls suggest Jeremy Corbyn is increasing his lead in the Labour Party leadership contest he’s put a smile on the face of many a youth worker. In his A Better Future for Young People document he pledges, “Labour should maintain the commitment to a statutory youth service, in order to offer young people the benefit of wide-ranging, advice, guidance and support to access further and higher education.”

More broadly he argues,

“Young people have faced more challenges under austerity than the generation before them.

“To win the next election Labour must stand for a growing economy not a cuts-based economy that chokes off growth, stifles recovery and makes life harder for young people.

“It is wrong and immoral that our young people are three times more likely to be unemployed, to be paying huge rents and struggling with enormous tuition fee debts.

“What sort of country are we that we punish our young people for getting themselves educated, or wanting to get a job? I’ve been listening and working with Young Labour members and this is their vision of the future they want.”

The full list of pledges is as follows:

    • Reducing the voting age to 16 years.
    • An end to all tuition fees in further and higher education.
    • The creation of a National Education Service for all free at the point of use.
    • The restoration of student grants, Education Maintenance Allowance & Disabled Students Allowance
    • The introduction of a statutory £10 an hour living wage for all workers, including replace the current £2.73 per hour apprenticeship rate with an equalisation of a higher, £10 a living wage across the board.
    • A Labour Party committed to properly funding, increasing and improving apprenticeships schemes. Committing colleges to work in partnership with employers to mutually accredit apprenticeships and courses that offer high quality transferable skills.
    • Establishing a Living Rent Commission to implement rent controls and protect tenants in the private sector by capping rent increases.
    • Equal rights at work regardless of age or time worked, with a ban on zero hour contracts, and place a weekly minimum for hours on contracts.
    • An end to different payments in benefits for under 25s and the same rate of Jobseekers Allowance for all seeking work and restoring equal access to housing benefit for under 21s.
    • A statutory youth service to provide advice guidance and support to young people wanting to access further & higher education.
    • Compulsory sexual, consensual and relationship education.
    • More autonomy within the party for Young Labour, enabling them to make their own policy and run their own campaigns with fully funded youth officers.

Obviously there is much to be welcomed here – to say the least. However I don’t think it’s churlish to suggest that someone with Jeremy’s ear needs to sort out his understanding of the nature and purpose of youth work. His pledge sounds much more a commitment to a Careers Service than a Youth Service.

‘Youth services are a right for every young person – the government must recognise this’

 

 

Seema Chandwani

Seema Chandwani, the project manager for Positive Youth News Haringey on why we can’t rely on councils to safeguard funding for youth services in an era of budget cuts – the government must act.

Read Seema’s blog in full at COMMENT

To give you a flavour:

It is clear Haringey Council made the right decision to keep funding directly-delivered youth services and approve a three-year youth strategy in September 2013 to carry us through to 2017.

But it is a pitiful shame that some other boroughs across the UK are closing youth services and do not have the insight nor political nous to recognise that savings are made not by cuts, but by investment in prevention that reduces the cost of cure and enables social mobility. There is no better service that has practised such an ethos than the youth service, which has done so for decades.

Sadly we cannot merely rely on decisions by politicians in town halls to have this foresight and intelligence, especially as many have never visited a youth centre nor care enough to do so.

So youth workers across the UK have to campaign for an additional layer of protection. This month the National Union of Students alongside Unite, the National Youth Agency and many others have launched their campaign to make local authority youth services a statutory service, with ring-fenced government funding to ensure they are delivered by councils like they are in Haringey.

We might be lucky in Haringey to have politicians clever enough to have passed a youth service strategy until 2017, valuing young people enough to ensure it is funded.

But stronger protections need to come from government to enable young people in any part of the country to have a right to these services, not for it to be left to chance.

Campaigners seek statutory status for youth services

Thanks to the North Devon Journal

Thanks to the North Devon Journal

A piece by Laura McCardle in CYPN begins:

A group of youth workers who recently lost their jobs due to council cuts have started a campaign to put youth service funding on a more sustainable footing. The group, who were made redundant by Bradford Metropolitan District Council in June after the youth services department’s budget was cut by 36 per cent, are calling for youth provision to be made statutory, with a legal duty for councils to link funding for the service to the number of young people in the area.

Read in full – Campaigners seek statutory status for youth services

The group led by Pete Sims, a former Bradford youth worker and senior manager,  is urging workers and supporters to sign a 38 Degrees petition, STATUTORY YOUTH SERVICE –

Ensure that our young people receive a statutory funded youth service fom all local authorities that make up the UK

Of course the youth work unions, perhaps particularly CYWU/UNITE, have long argued for statutory status, but in these days of on-line campaigning this initiative is well worth supporting in the constant effort to keep youth work on the agenda.