Department of Media, Sport and Culture to offer a new narrative, within which young people are passionate, happy and valued………. Suspend your disbelief and have your say?


Back in November 2016, at the Ambition conference, Rob Wilson, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, closed his self-congratulatory speech with the following announcement.

” There is so much to look forward to in this sector. Indeed, I’m delighted to announce that over the coming months we’ll be developing a new youth policy statement. This statement will bring together a clear narrative and vision for how we best help our young people.

It will highlight the opportunities that come with our move to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – how we can use our new position to give young people a greater engagement with our sporting and cultural heritage.

We want to benefit from your insights and wisdom. This new statement should draw on your experiences and celebrate the innovative work that is already happening.

I’m keen for it to act as a road map until at least 2020 and to show where this Government is heading with youth policy so you can see where to work with us along the way.

More than anything I want the statement to be a commitment to every young person. That we will help them pursue their passions, lead happy, independent lives and feel an active, engaged and valued part of their communities.”

For the moment we will leave to one side the gulf between the rhetoric of the last paragraph and the precarious reality facing so many young people and report our limited understanding of what’s going on re yet another ‘new’ policy statement. The best I can glean goes as follows:

According to Ambition, alongside sector colleagues, they have been working with the Youth Policy team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to ensure a wide range of organisations and partners feed into the call for evidence to help inform the youth policy statement.

  1. As is often the case a degree of mystery surrounds the identity of the youth organisations ushered into the corridors of power at the DCMS. Clarification would be welcomed.
  2. As far as the consultation goes the DCMS are holding several regional workshops ‘aiming to engage groups of stakeholders that are representative of organisations involved in designing, delivering and funding youth provision’. One snag might be being recognised as a stakeholder. The events are invitation only.
  3. There is to be an online call for evidence from folk not holding big enough a stake, who can run their own workshops, armed with a facilitator’s brief from the DCMS.
  4. The ‘eagerly awaited’ policy statement will target six themes: a shared understanding of young people’s personal and social development; evidencing the impact of work with young people; developing a coherent local youth offer; making youth social action a habit for life; involving young people in decision-making; and securing an independent and sustainable youth sector.
  5. There’ll be no additional dosh as the state-subsidised, less than independent National Citizen Service has to pay for its adverts and mailshots, whilst missing its targets.

More informed and knowledgeable comments welcomed. And I was going to have an alcohol-free day.

Ambition, NCVYS and UK Youth : On-line consultation – youth sector support need


Ambition, NCVYS and UK Youth invite you to participate in a joint consultation regarding the needs of the youth sector, including support arrangements, funding, sector voice and representation, support of practice and workforce development. If you do not have a LinkedIn account then you will be required to sign up. Also feel free to invite other members of your organisation by forwarding the following URL to them: and getting them to ‘ask to join’.

At this very moment [ 8/9 December] an invite-only consultation is taking place at the St Georges House  in Windsor. A list of those taking part plus papers will be available soon. Indeed it will be revealing to see who are perceived to be the key stake-holders. Especially, as for instance, we were surprised to hear that the emerging Institute of Youth Work is not at the table.

This aside we would encourage people to contribute to the consultation. We are a bit concerned that folk will be put off by having to sign up to LinkedIn itself. Let us know how you are going on.


Thanks to Nichola and CVYS for providing this Word version of the consultation document, which can be returned by e-mail or through the post. Deadline is December 31.

Response form_youth sector consult_FINAL

Teaching To Test, Youth Working to Outcomes : Surviving with Integrity – Friday, November 7 in Birmingham

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Simply to confirm afresh that our Creative Resistance seminar will be held in the School of Education, Edgbaston Campus, University of Birmingham on Friday, November 7. Please circulate the flyer.




Friday, November 7, 2014 in Room 139, School of Education, University of Birmingham from 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

In the last few months discussions within at least parts of the In Defence Network have revealed increasing frustration and concern. On the ground, as youth services continue to disappear, workers and agencies battle for survival. There seems little option, but to join, albeit grudgingly, the competition for funding, to mouth the mantra of outcomes. Meanwhile, if we are to believe the tweets on Twitter, the Creative Collisions partners [CC] are in a state of euphoria about their forthcoming conference on Thursday, November 6.

As we have indicated some of our supporters will be at the CC event seeking to understand better the gap between rhetoric and reality in the diminishing world of youth work as a distinctive practice, the gulf between the tradition we seek to defend and the diversity of practice, now defined as the ‘youth sector’.

Thus on Friday, November 7 our ‘Creating Resistance’ seminar will see us having to tangle with some uncomfortable realities. For example, small voluntary organisations utterly committed to our definition of Youth Work’s cornerstones are struggling with the tensions imposed by the prescribed character of funding streams. In terms of the training agencies student placements in youth work settings are few and far between. In short how are we to respond to an instrumental stranglehold on the very character of our relations with young people?

We need to be open, honest and self-critical about our differing situations. We need to do so in a supportive, yet questioning atmosphere. We can’t pretend our event will be euphoric and exciting in any literal sense. We can guarantee it will be lively and stimulating. We hope to see you there.

Travel Directions to Edgbaston Campus

Refreshments: Teas and coffees will be provided, but as usual please bring your own butties.

Cost: As for all IDYW events this will be kept low – Students/volunteers/unwaged £2; Waged £7.

To register, email

More information on the Flyer – Creative Resistance