CONNEXIONS: Partnerships are failing to consult enough teenagers

By Anthony Burt

| 11 February 2004

Connexions is still not involving enough young people in the planning or running of partnerships, according to the annual report from inspectorate Ofsted.

The study of 12 partnerships, carried out between 2002 and 2003, found that teenagers were "insufficiently involved in the strategic planning or evaluation of provision", but performance on a local level was often good.

The service's national office refused to comment on the findings, but a regional partnership chief said that consultation with young people was improving.

Jenny Rudge, chief executive of Connexions Cornwall and Devon, said: "In our region, we have a very successful strategy for involving young people in the planning and evaluating of provision.

"We have worked with the Learning and Skills Council to build a web programme where young people can evaluate the quality of local provision."

The lack of performance measures to assess Connexions partnerships' effectiveness was also criticised in the report. But leadership and management at local level were praised for being "generally satisfactory", while the quality of Connexions practice was described as "mostly good".

Elsewhere in the study, the performance of youth services and young offenders' institutions came under scrutiny.

Of the 14 youth services inspected, two were considered very good, one as good and seven satisfactory. However, four were deemed unsatisfactory.

One of Ofsted's main concerns was the difficulty of recruiting experienced qualified staff, especially in dealing with disengaged young people.

See Peer evaluation feature, p14.

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