The DCMS are reviewing the statutory guidance for Local Authorities on Youth Service provision (as it relates to England)

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) (and current home to Youth Work in Government) has launched a review of the guidance for local authorities of the thin piece of statute related to the provision of Youth Services as set out in Section 507b of the Education Act 1996.  The scope of this review is currently solely in relation to the guidance on implementing the law, not what the law actually is. IYW Chair Adam Muirhead went on record last year talking in Children & Young People Now about the need for a review into the statute itself, in an article here.  Nevertheless, this represents a positive opportunity for the sector to advocate for Youth Work and Civil Servants at the DCMS have been very open to making this piece of work as supportive as possible for the sector.

The review was discussed with the DCMS at the National Youth Work Advisory Board on the 22nd July 2019 – see picture below. 

People are welcome to contribute to the review as part of the National Youth Agency’s Roadshows happening currently throughout England.

New Civil Society Minister takes up the brief for Youth (Work)

At the end of July the incoming Prime Minster appointed a ne Cabinet which saw Baroness Diana Barran, a Conservative Life Peer, charity campaigner and former hedge fund manager take over from Mims Davies MP as the holder of the Youth brief as it sits within the DCMS.

Children & Young People Now discuss the appointment in their article here

Serious Violence Review from the Home Affairs Committee calls for a ‘Youth Service Guarantee’ and a related petition picks up pace

In its report on Serious Youth Violence the Home Affairs Committee says the rise in serious youth violence is a social emergency, and that young people have been failed in the most devastating way, losing their lives as a result.

It says a ‘Youth Service Guarantee’ is needed to protect young people from serious violence, recommending ‘a fully-funded, statutory minimum of provision for youth outreach workers and community youth projects in all areas, co-designed with local young people.’

The full report can be read here

The petition

A petition to Home Secretary Priti Patel calls for the protection of youth people from violence by giving youth services the funding they need. The petition currently has over 66,000 signatures. To read and sign the petition, follow the link here.

A Register for Youth Workers

A Register for Youth Workers

The APPG on Youth Affairs Youth Work Inquiry has highlighted the need for Youth Worker registration in the final report, published yesterday (4.4.19).

The fifth recommendation in the inquiry report on workforce strategy, states that:

“To be effective, a register of youth workers should be developed and support both professional development and a probationary period similar to NQT status for teachers.”

The Institute for Youth Work has been working to bring together sector partners including representatives from the NYA, UK Youth, Unions, the LGA, the Youth Work education sector, faith sector and youth justice.  This steering committee has been overseeing the development of a register for Youth Workers for the past two years, although the idea of developing a register is one that goes back much further.

The steering committee are very pleased to see the recommendation in the full APPG report and hope it will garner greater support from the sector and government and strengthen the committee’s mandate.

Following wide consultation on registration and the potential development of a License to Practice Youth Work in 2017, the Institute for Youth Work found that there was overall support for a register with motivations including:

  • Greater professional recognition of youth workers
  • The raising of professional standards
  • Protected professional titles
  • Assertion of the Code of Ethics for Youth Work
  • Protection of the Youth Work employment terms and conditions, as negotiated by the JNC

It is true that many have reservations too, such as:

  • The potential alienation of unqualified workforce and volunteers
  • The need for government support to enable maximum impact
  • Potential top-down regulation

The Youth Work register steering committee have been working through the results of the consultation and feel that many of the concerns can be managed effectively through the democratic and pluralist oversight of the project.

For more information, please contact the Institute for Youth Work at

Choose Youth Parliamentary Roundtable

Choose Youth Chair Doug Nichols opening the roundtable

The Choose Youth parliamentary roundtable yesterday saw around 100 people come together in a warm room (intended to fit around 65) in a hugely positive show for youth work across the board.  Several Labour MPs and representatives from Lib Dem Friends of Youth Services heard representation in the 2 hour session at Westminster Palace on the extreme need and concerted will for a statutory youth service in England.  Ahead of the meeting, IYW Chair Adam Muirhead met with Lib Dem Friends of Youth Services and LD Peer Lord Storey to discuss what support they can lend.

Adam Muirhead and Mathew Hulbert ahead of meeting with Lord Storey

Young people, youth workers, educators, commentators and national organisations all shared the space to discuss everything from how we must ‘start from where young people are at’ through to how we would implement national infrastructure for a country-wide youth service in a powerful show of unity for youth sector partners and players.

The Institute for Youth Work were strongly represented by our Chair, Adam Muirhead as well as other Council members Tracey Spear and Esther Horner-Aird.  In the short space afforded each speaker, Adam took the opportunity to promote high quality youth workers, the power of association (for young people and youth workers alike) and the hugely welcomed sense of a unifying sector, of which IYW is a part.

As well at the need for us all to get behind the 10-minute-bill on the Youth Work Act being presented on the 6th June, Doug Nichols, Chair of Choose Youth, implored everyone to sign up as a supporter to the campaign that has fought hard for a better legal platform for youth work since it launched its manifesto in early 2013.

As Doug continued to say, other opportunities exist for us to build on our head of steam, including inputting to the conversations on Labour’s proposed National Education Service and upcoming discussions on youth services being held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Youth Affairs through June and July.

Find out more on Choose Youth at their website here:


Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP helping to kick things off

Cat Smith MP with shadow responsibilities for Youth Affairs supporting youth work

the NYA’s Leigh Middleton promoting our collective need for infrastructure