Youth work roundup: Gender neutrality, football coaches, and charity closure

By Neil Puffett

| 04 December 2017

Scout Association recommends local volunteers use gender-neutral terms; independent review calls for introduction of background checks in Scottish youth football; and youth charity announces closure, all in the news.

The Scout Association has published guidance suggesting that local leaders adopt gender-neutral language. Picture: The Scout Association

The Scout Association has been accused of "throwing common sense out the window" after pack leaders were told to stop referring to children as boys and girls to avoid offending transgender members. The Times reports that local volunteers have been told to use "gender-neutral" phrases such as "hello, everybody" when addressing Scout troops. The guidelines published on the Scouts' website also warn against calling female members "ladies" and say that the phrase "hello gentlemen" should also be avoided.

An independent review looking at background checks on youth football coaches in Scotland has called for "robust" monitoring to be put in place. The BBC reports that Children 1st began its review in April after the Scottish Football Association was accused of being "asleep on the job" over protecting children. BBC Scotland had earlier found that 2,500 youth football coaches did not have full background checks.

Youth charity Base 33 has closed after declaring itself insolvent. The Oxford Mail reports that the charity had supported hundreds of vulnerable and disadvantaged children. Trustee Ron Spurs said the charity had no alternative to close given its financial position - which had worsened due to donations falling below spending.

Young politicians have called for a greater emphasis on politics, relationships and mental health in Isle of Wight schools. The Isle of Wight County Press reports that improving the personal, social, health and economic education curriculum features in the Isle of Wight Youth Council's manifesto, which sets out the organisation's priorities for the next two years.

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