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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Scrutiny Committee [Lifelong Learning]:  23rd January 2012

 

Report of the Director of Learning and Development

 

Children and Young People Not in Education, Employment and Training (NEET)

 

Purpose of the Report

 

1.             To inform Scrutiny of progress made on the recommendations of the Scrutiny review of Children and Young People not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET).

Recommendation

1.             That progress on the recommendations be noted.

Reason for the Recommendation

1.             To enable Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) to review progress on the Task and Finish Group recommendations.

Background

2.             As part of its work programme, the Scrutiny Committee (Lifelong Learning) undertook a review of Children and Young People not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) within the Vale of Glamorgan. 

3.             Recommendations made by the Task and Finish Group were considered by Cabinet on 20th May 2009.

4.             Progress on the recommendations was reported to Scrutiny Committee on 26th July 2010, and a further report submitted in January 2011.  This report outlines the main developments since January 2011.

Relevant Issues and Options

5.             The NEETs Strategic Group has continued to meet regularly, to develop and implement joint working procedures to target and engage those young people who are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET.  Membership is wide spread and incorporates representatives from Careers Wales, YOS, Local training providers, Education, Cardiff and Vale College, Learning and Skills Partnership and the CYPP.

6.             The Group is attended by Careers Wales, who act as lead organisation for post 16 NEET. However, Careers Wales is reducing its pre 16 Education Gateway prevention programme due to proposed mergers of careers companies and funding changes by Welsh Government.

7.             The work of the two Learning Coaches (pre-16 and post-16) has been very effective in supporting identified young people.  Their work is closely monitored by the Strategic NEETs Group. However, both roles are at risk due to funding changes by Welsh Government within the 14-19 Network.

8.             Further work has been carried out to investigate options for developing improved recording systems.  This includes a joint partner initiative involving Welsh Government, Cardiff Council, Newport CYPP, Careers Wales (Cardiff and Vale) and Careers Wales (Gwent).  An information sharing protocol on the required data is being established within the Local Authority and will facilitate the sharing of personal information. It is envisaged that this work will influence how data is used as an early identifier of potential NEETs.

9.             A recent study conducted in Swansea and Wrexham (see Executive Summary Appendix A) on 'positive approaches to increase the proportion of young people in education, employment or training, with a focus on potential and actual efficiency savings' (Efficiency and Innovation Board), July 2011 was also considered by the NEETs Strategic Group. It was noted that, with the exception of one aspect, the work currently being carried out in the Vale reflected that of Swansea and Wrexham. Careers Wales have since adopted a five tier model of reporting NEETs and those at risk across Cardiff and Vale (see Appendix B).  Careers Wales are working closely with the Welsh Government to make this a monthly reporting tool, not the current annual report undertaken as part of the destination survey.

10.        The Welsh Government continues to progress the Welsh Accord for Sharing Personal Information (WASPI). The Vale of Glamorgan Council has signed up to the Accord and a series of training sessions are planned for the Spring term.

11.        The Vale of Glamorgan Families First initiative is being developed. This directly targets and supports a number of young people who are or at risk of being NEET through programmes and provision. The initiative will also put an emphasis on the vital role of parents and carers in influencing attitudes, behaviour and educational outcomes.

12.        Work to identify opportunities for work experience, training and apprenticeships is ongoing.  Some difficulties have been encountered in relation to pre-16, due to Health and Safety/Safeguarding issues, but progress has been made. The Welsh Government have recently launched a new process of funding to training providers with a focus on engagement and outcomes, although early in its development informal feedback from Careers Wales is positive.

13.        The Pupil Support Service and Youth Service are working closely with secondary schools to prevent young people from becoming NEET.  As part of the restructure of the Pupil Referral Unit, the role of the Youth Workers has now changed, with a greater emphasis on supporting individual young people and their families to engage in education, training or employment.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

14.        Focussed provision on NEETs and those at risk could potentially achieve cost savings for statutory agencies through the reduction in demand for higher tier specialist services.

15.        There are concerns to note that early indications suggest that 14-19 funding will be reduced in 2012-13 to support the role of the Learning Coaches.  Welsh Government recommendations in relation to the merger of Careers Companies will see a reduction in funding of preventative work in schools.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

16.        The Council has a statutory obligation to ensure that all young people up to the age of 16 receive an appropriate education.

Crime and Disorder Implications

17.        In delivering an effective NEET Strategy, both the Council and its partners divert vulnerable young people from negative and anti-social behaviour and ensure they are within an environment that helps the development of skills and reduces the risk of entering into criminal activity now and in the future.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

18.        Strategies to reduce the number of young people at risk of becoming NEET should ensure that pupils with learning difficulties, in care or in the Youth Justice System are supported.

Corporate/Service Objectives

19.        The development of an inclusive system for all learners is a key Corporate priority.

Policy Framework and Budget

20.        This is a matter which falls within the existing policy framework and budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

21.        None.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

22.        Lifelong Learning and Corporate Resources as appropriate.

Background Papers

Appendix A: Executive Summary of the Swansea and Wrexham LSB report on multi agency approaches to NEETs.          

Appendix B: 5 Tier Model   

 

Contact Officer

Mark Davies, Children and Young People's Partnership Manager

Officers Consulted

Head of Additional Learning Needs - Directorate of Learning and Development

 

Responsible Officer:

Bryan Jeffreys, Director of Learning and Development

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