New government standards for the modernisation of youth services in
England represent the most important development in youth work for
40 years, according to the chief executive of charity the National
Tom Wylie has praised the standards, which aim to bring all
councils up to the level of the best by 2005. “No other parts of
social services have anything like such a range of standards for
inspection and intervention,” he said.
He also praised the extra funding announced to accompany the
reforms – £54m to be spent over 2003-6, and the 5.9 per cent
rise in funding for youth services in the revenue support grant
announced in the local government settlement.
The restructuring of the support grant in April will also see for
the first time the creation of a separate section for Youth and
Community Education, making it easier to ensure local authorities
are actually spending the money on youth services.
Wylie believes the combination of a more transparent system, extra
funding and clear standards should ensure an improvement in youth
services. He predicted that councils’ failure to meet the standards
by 2005 would result in the establishment of a quango for youth
– Transforming Youth Work: Resourcing Excellent Youth
Services from www.dfes.gov.uk