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Agenda Item No. 9











Cabinet was apprised of the necessity to change the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Support Services in order to meet the expectations of the National Youth Strategy and the Welsh Government's Educated Other Than at School (EOTAS) Framework guidance for Local Education Authorities. Consideration was given to young people's recommendations for changes to youth provision in the context of the overall proposals for developing the Vale Youth Offer. Finally, approval was sought to implement changes to the way in which the service was delivered and structured, subject to a period of engagement and consultation with staff, trade unions and young people.


It had been identified that the way in which Youth Services were provided in the Vale of Glamorgan (and Wales as a whole) needed to change. There were several drivers for this change. Welsh Government were reviewing 'Extending Entitlement'. This document was the policy flagship for the establishment and implementation of statutory youth support services and intrinsic to the Learning and Skills Act 2000. The Act placed a duty on the Local Authority Chief Executive to ensure there were appropriate youth support services on offer in their local area. The Youth Service had recognised Welsh Government’s  recommendations in ‘A Curriculum for Wales-Curriculum for Life’, the ‘Successful Futures’ report by Professor Donaldson and the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2014-18 as major drivers for delivering youth services differently. These policy changes required the service to take a more collaborative approach and develop improved and enhanced relationships with schools and local youth service providers to develop a curriculum that would deliver a ‘Pupil Offer’.


In 2015 a major consultation with 1750 stakeholders was undertaken to ascertain how they saw the service and what type of service they wanted in the future. Young people in the Vale of Glamorgan clearly specified areas of interest and barriers that prevented them from accessing services. The survey gave a clear picture of what young people would like from the service and added to a more in-depth analysis of need.


In addition, changes to the way in which the Local Authority managed and delivered its provision of education other than at school (EOTAS) had an impact on the priorities for youth services. Youth services were seen as key deliverers of EOTAS for the most challenging students and as a means of preventing young people from being excluded from school.


Overall, the ‘Pupil Offer’ had to include accredited opportunities, beneficial outcomes and have a positive impact on young people and their communities. The way in which the service was currently delivered, structured and supported would need to change to ensure this was in place.


Ensuring access to these two areas of support for young people was of great importance and offered an opportunity to enhance the way in which EOTAS provision was delivered in the Vale of Glamorgan. In particular, this would lead to enhancing the linkages between youth services, education support services, youth offending services and the Pupil Referral Unit.


The current youth service structure, detailed in Appendix B as attached to the report, was based on a small number of permanent full-time posts, with the majority of provision being delivered by a wide pool of staff who were employed on part-time contracts (typically 3-9 hours per week). The service had identified recruitment and retention issues associated with this model along with challenges related to the ability to provide consistency in service delivery. The existing Youth Service provision was presented under two themes, Targeted & Inclusion and Universal Access services. These were determined by the Principles and Purposes of Youth work as prescribed by the National Youth Strategy attached at Appendix A to the report. The way in which services were provided would need to change in order to respond to the new agenda for youth services


Changes to the structure of the youth service would have the most impact on the universal aspect of provision. There would need to be changes to how staff worked in order to support the quality and consistency of delivery.  This included improved recording of the impact and outcomes of the service and greater responsiveness to delivering services in line with the needs of young people. The service would support the Council Wellbeing strategy and become more supportive of schools and address local community issues. The report proposed that the Universal section of the service be replaced by a single Engagement Team consisting of one senior worker and eight staff. This team would deliver the “Youth Engagement Offer” to cover rural, central and eastern areas of the Vale. They would have a peripatetic role and cover several provisions in a working week. They would deliver the priorities of the Vale Youth Offer and support school projects as detailed in Appendix C attached to the report.


A key aspect would be to use Youth Hub provision in eastern, central and rural locations by providing peripatetic youth teams. Youth Hubs would need to provide a consistent and quality youth offer based on the needs of young people.


The Local Authority was mindful that the policy changes described in the report required further collaboration or commissioning of services with external service providers in order to deliver the enhanced ‘Youth Offer’. A number of well-established voluntary sector providers had ceased to operate in recent years. As a consequence, the new model outlined in the proposal sought to build on the areas of provision which were successfully commissioned or provided collaboratively with national voluntary organisations.


The Council would also seek to further develop youth provision with well- established local community groups. There were several community based youth clubs who had a thriving membership with whom the service had a good working relationship. These independent community groups had to be further empowered to sustain themselves without current levels of support from the Youth Service.


The targeted service was largely grant funded and no change in structure or delivery was planned. However, this was dependent on levels of funding which, at time of writing had not been confirmed for 2018/19, therefore, levels of provision were at risk.  In addition, as established areas of provision were funded externally, the options for change were limited due to the criteria of the grant. This was detailed in Appendix D attached to the report.


Two shared management roles would be established, to ensure continuity of operational leadership. One role for targeted provision and another for universal and performance management.  They would operate a 5 tier system which would define need and identify which team and resources would deliver what provision.  To do so would enable the service to provide provision appropriate to need across the County. An example of this approach was at Appendix E attached to the report.


The management positions would ensure that the core values of the Youth Offer were met, all staff had a professional and ethical approach to their work and that quality of provision was high. Furthermore, to ensure continuity of collaboration between teams and services, a Wellbeing Co-ordinator post would be established which crossed over departments in the Learning and Skills Directorate to ensure wellbeing outcomes were coordinated and met.


There were also a number of children who received EOTAS who were on the Child Protection Register. The advocacy and support of these children was essential to ensure that their educational needs were met. There was a need to have a cross directorate post which ensured these children did not become Children Missing Education (CME). The post of Advocacy and Support Officer would work closely with the directorate Safeguarding Officer, Looked After Children (LAC) teams, Youth Offending Service, Social Services and Education Welfare Service to ensure the most complex and challenging had a pathway into education. They would be required to attend Core Professional groups, case conferences and broker suitable provision for young people. This was detailed in Appendix F attached to the report.


If all savings and restructuring was implemented, savings would be achieved in the region of £63k. This would be achieved over 2 financial years due to the phasing of the implementation, and subject to the proposals of the Llantwit Major site being approved and delivered. This would be used to assist with funding issues within the directorate. The Youth Service budget over a 5 year period had delivered savings of £182,000. With the additional savings outlined in the report, the budget would have delivered £244,801 savings in all.


These proposals would reduce the overall number of Council resource funded staff employed from 53 to 25 staff (inclusive of management and direct delivery staff). All staff would have a responsibility to deliver youth provision.  The present youth service structure supported the Joint Negotiating Committee pay scales. This equated to an annual staffing budget in 2017/18 of £1,145,376. Salaries funded from the core budget total £721,331 with grant-funded salaries being £424,045. These figures were inclusive of administration and delivery staff and detailed in Appendix G attached to the report. An Equality Impact Assessment had been produced and would be updated throughout the course of this project. The Equality Impact Assessment was attached at Appendix H to the report.


This was a matter for Executive decision


Cabinet, having considered the report and all the issues and implications contained therein




(1)       T H A T the proposals set out in the report relating to the way in which Youth Services operate ("the new Youth Offer"), including the development of partnerships with National Voluntary Youth Organisations and Community Groups and the implementation of associated staffing structures, be approved in principle as the basis for referral to Scrutiny Committee (Learning and Culture) prior to making a final determination.


(2)       T H A T subject to resolution 1 above, delegated authority be granted to the Director of Learning and Skills, in consultation with the Leader, Cabinet Member for Learning and Culture and the Managing Director to: 

  • Undertake the necessary consultation and engagement activity as described in the report;
  • Respond as appropriate to the engagement and consultation.

Reasons for decisions


(1)       To enable the Council to take a strategic approach to the provision of youth support services for young people within the resources available and enable improvements in the quality and standard of provision of youth support services for young people.


(2)       To ensure the process of required consultation and engagement with Trade Unions, staff and other stakeholders was undertaken efficiently and effectively in line with Council policies and procedures.




Attached as Appendix – Report to Cabinet – 19 February 2018