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Strategy must boost youth opportunities

The government's long-awaited Civil Society Strategy recognises the "transformational impact that youth services and trained youth workers" can have on disadvantaged young people.

Letters to the Editor: Youth work focus does not go far enough

Having a statement or policy on youth work, however limited, has been a long time coming. Not since Positive for Youth have we had a definitive refresh of the government's approach to young people, and it looks like the ongoing influence of the youth voice movement, and youth services lobby, has been heard in some quarters.

Incentives are key to halt school exclusions

The education committee's report on exclusions and alternative provisions makes it abundantly clear that the current system is failing some children, and that rising exclusion rates are a reflection of this.

Lessons for commissioners from Carillion

Between the spectacle of President Trump's visit and the drama of Brexit, it would have been easy to miss the report from the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on the lessons for politicians and public service commissioners following the collapse of Carillion.

LGA study is basis for fairer funding debate

Having worked at a senior level in a shire county (Somerset), a large city (Birmingham), and a medium-sized unitary (Dudley), I didn't need research to tell me that they are all very different.

We need a broad definition of children in need

When the government announced its review of children in need, a legal definition of children supported by social care who have safeguarding and welfare needs, we hoped it would have a wide remit and seek to understand how well these children's needs are being met.

Grenfell must bequeath legacy of collaboration

Looking for silver linings to come out of a disaster such as Grenfell Tower would be churlish. However, the way community groups and charities have responded to the tragedy, which claimed 71 lives, 19 of them children, on 14 June last year, is an example of what can be achieved when organisations work in collaboration.

For NCS to prosper it must be compared

The recurrent assertions by the government that the National Citizen Service (NCS) has not replaced "traditional" youth services have been, quite rightly, viewed as disingenuous.

Will new ministers have any new ideas?

It is still too early to offer any well-informed predictions of what to expect from new Education Secretary Damian Hinds and his ministers at the Department for Education.

Mental health reforms can't wait until 2023

After all the talking and all the waiting it was great to finally see the green paper on children's mental health published in December. But it was like unwrapping a Christmas gift from someone who doesn't know you very well: you're excited to get anything, grateful they thought of you, then disappointed that you didn't get exactly what you wanted.

England is out of kilter on youth policy

At the end of last year, Tracey Crouch, England's youth minister, announced the shelving of plans for a new three-year youth policy statement, despite this being promised by her predecessor a year ago. The argument was that a broader civil society strategy was needed instead, one that embraced much more than youth work and youth policy.