Minister 'committed' to review of youth work guidance despite delay
A delayed call for evidence as part of a review of statutory
guidance for council youth services will "happen very shortly",
according to the government minister responsible for youth
Baroness Barran: "Completely committed to the review." Picture:
Speaking to CYP Now, Baroness Diana Barran said her office was
"keen to get going" with the public call - which was due to take
place over eight weeks from late July, but has been delayed by
the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Concerns have been raised by the youth work sector that the
delay, alongside a general election, could mean the review is not
published for some months.
Baroness Barran declined to explain the delay, but said: "We're
completely committed to going ahead with that.
"I think we're going to be making an announcement shortly.
Everybody is keen to get going with it."
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The review was launched in early July by the then minister for
civil society Mims Davies and featured details of the
A written parliamentary question from shadow youth minister Cat
Smith on 2 September asking for an update remained unanswered (at
time of publication) by Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan.
Morgan however, gave a detailed answer to a separate question
from Smith about progress with other elements of the government's
James Cathcart, director of youth network Young Voices Heard,
called on the sector to take the initiative over the review.
Cathcart said: "It's been over a year since the publication of
the Civil Society Strategy which promised a review of the youth
"Since then we have had two changes of minister and a new
"Although a guidance review team was launched in July, the
expected eight-week window didn't open over the summer.
"The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport team's
auto-reply email states that ‘we are not able to launch the call
for evidence on the scheduled date (end of July) and are looking
at a slightly longer time-frame...will be in touch in due
"Given the possibility of a general election before the end of
the year, which could be before the review could now report, it
is time for stakeholders to start publishing what they would like
to see in revised guidance, including reference to a refreshed
new ministerial role in monitoring it, with a view to informing
and influencing those who might be drafting general election
manifestos, commitments to new youth sector legislation and
The department said the review was intended to "provide greater
clarity" around the government's expectations of councils,
"including the value added by good youth work".
The review is supported by the National Youth Agency (NYA), which
has so far hosted six of the nine regional events to gather
The organisation said it had seen "excellent engagement" at each
event from across the sector, including funders, local
authorities, higher education and universities, and youth work
NYA said it has also scheduled a National Youth Work Summit on 29
October to include feedback from the roadshows, due to be held in
The NYA added that in partnership with the DCMS it has also
hosted a roundtable of NYA national advisory board members to
discuss the review and improvements to the guidance.
Barran was speaking to CYP Now following the announcement of
details of a bursary for disadvantaged youth work trainees.