Monday, October 28, 2013

OFSTED and Youth Work Commission.

School inspections must include youth work practice, says commission

Ofsted should seek out and evaluate youth work practice as part of school and college inspections, a commission into youth work in education has ruled.

The NYA commission into youth work in education wants Ofsted to include youth work practice in its schools inspection regime. Image: Alex Deverill
The commission, hosted by the National Youth Agency, has found that good youth work is having a positive impact on pupils’ attainment, attendance and behaviour.

It will launch its report at the House of Commons on Monday, when it will also call for a review of the use of schools' budgets to pay for youth work.

The commission also wants all local authorities to act as "enablers" by forming partnerships between schools and youth clubs.

Calling on Ofsted to take action, National Youth Agency chief executive Fiona Blacke said: “We have seen some inspiring examples of how youth work delivered in, or commissioned by, schools can support young people to achieve their full potential.

“Sadly most of it remains unacknowledged, and part if this is because Ofsted fails to include it in their inspection regime.

“Good youth work practice in schools and colleges must be part of the Ofsted inspection framework if it is to be recognised for the contribution it makes to schools’ performance and young people’s development.”

Former children’s minister Tim Loughton, who chairs the commission, added: “Our commission strongly believes the youth work profession needs to articulate and promote its contribution more effectively.

“Improved attendance, reduced exclusions – these are impacts of youth work in schools but until providers can show this to decision makers, the lack of evidence will continue to be a real barrier to greater collaboration with schools.”
Other members of the commission include former Labour children's minister Beverley Hughes and Ndidi Okezie, an executive director at Teach First.
An Ofsted spokesman recognised the impact of youth work on pupils' attainment but said there are no plans to include it in its school and college inspections.
He said: "We know that good quality youth work can make a significant contribution to pupils’ learning and motivation. We work with youth organisations to identify and share best practice.
“Our very recent work with London Youth provides examples of how schools can effectively draw on youth workers’ skills to support pupils. But at present there are no plans to include youth work in the school inspection framework."
** Photo is example of a Youth Work Tool