Portfolio: Life Long Learning and Training
Social Services and Health
Housing and Regeneration
th 19 July 2000
Connexions Programme – The Best Start in Life for Every Young Person
Report by: Director of Community and Housing and Director of Education
Ward Implications: All
FOR INFORMATION 1. Introduction
The Connexions programme is a major new policy initiative from the DfEE. It is a step change in the rddelivery of support to 13 - 19 year olds and is described in the prospectus, issued on February 3
2000, as follows:
“The new service will be delivered primarily through a network of Personal Advisers linking in with
specialist support services. They will be drawn together from a range of existing public, private,
voluntary and community sector organisations, and build on best practice”. (Connexions, The Best
Start in Life for Every Young Person. P.32)
The service will give priority to “getting and keeping on track those young people who are most at
risk of encountering obstacles to successful transition to adulthood.”
The key principles and activities of the service are attached in appendix 1. It is vital that this service
is integrated with Education and Social Services and particularly into the service development of the
Children and Young People Section.
2. Delivery Mechanisms
Nationally, the service will be headed by a Cross Departmental Connexions Service National Unit.
This will oversee the development and work of 'Connexions Partnerships who will operate at Tyne
and Wear level. This body will contract with the national unit.
The Tyne and wear Connexions Partnership will operate in the same geographical area as the
Learning Skills Council, the Small Business Service and Education/Business Links Organisations.
The outliine submission of the DfEE was made on behalf of the Tyne and Wear Local Development
Partnership chaired by the Chief Executive of Gateshead Council.
At the level of the Local Authority, delivery will be through local management committees. The
specification states (section 3, para 8) „The Chairs of the local management committees will be
agreed locally but will usually be senior community figures, from the community, voluntary or private
sectors or local authorities in the person of Chief Executives. They will also be members of the
The Careers Service will need to form the core resource. However, to ensure every 13-19 year old
has a personal advisor will come from partners pooling the resources currently devoted to a range
of youth support and guidance services, plus any additional funding which is made available in the
2000 Public Sector Expenditure Review. It is likely that the amount of 'new' funds that come into the service will be tied to the amount of resources the partners put into the pool.
All aspects of the service will be subject to full inspection by Ofsted.
3. Key Issues
The Authority will need to consider how young people are to be involved in the development of the
service locally. More specifically the service will impact substantially on:
? Education, particularly on the pastoral work of schools, education welfare, careers education,
Personal, Social and health Education and psychology service. There will be clear linkages
between the learning mentors recruited in schools through ‘Excellence in Cities’ and Personal
? Social Services, particularly as regards looked after children and Youth Offender Teams; and ? Community & Housing as regards the youth work element of the Children and Young Peoples
section and community regeneration.
The main clients for this new service will be all young people aged 13-19 in England, giving
particular priority to the young people who are at greatest risk of not making a successful transition to adulthood.
4. Progress to date
? Pilot initiatives, which have already been identified (see appendix 2) have been established from
? The Tyne and Wear Service is proposing to come on stream in 2002. An outline proposal was
submitted to the DfEE on the 9 June 2000, with input from local officers from the Careers
Service, Education and Libraries, the TEC, Social Services, Community and Housing and
? The Education and Libraries Directorate, in partnership with New Deal for Newcastle West, SRB
4, is running a programme that mirrors many aspects of the approach set out in the Connexions
document, particularly in relation to the mentoring service for young people at risk of disaffection. Tyneside Careers have also made significant progress in terms of:
? The introduction and delivery of Learning Gateway support to disadvantaged 16/17 year olds
from September 1999.
? The introduction of the New Start 2 ‘Get Ahead’ Project in the West and East Ends.
? The major re-allocation of resources to provide differentiated support to those most at risk of
not making successful transitions and at risk of not staying in learning.
5. Key Tasks and Timescales
See Appendix 3.
6. Next Steps
Newcastle City Council will need to have a clear vision of its role in relation to the Tyne and Wear
Partnership, and how it sees the new service developing in the area. In order to progress the work a
dedicated post will be established to develop the service locally. This post will be funded through the Corporate Initiatives Fund and located within the Community and Housing Directorate.
The role of the development worker will be to work towards the establishment of the Connexions
Service in Newcastle and will include:
? ensuring research is carried out to establish levels of need for the service;
? progressing an audit of local services and resources available;
? supporting the establishment of a Local Management Committee, and
? developing mechanisms for involving young people in the design of the service. Progression of the local tasks identified in appendix 3 above will be taken forward by the
development worker in conjunction with an interagency working group that has been established
which includes representatives from key City Council Directorates’ and includes the Careers Service,
TEC and Voluntary Sector agencies.
The service will be based upon 8 key principles:
? Raising aspirations
? Meeting individual needs and overcoming barriers to learning,
? Taking account of the views of young people in the development of the service locally,
? Inclusion and keeping young people in the mainstream of education and training,
? Partnership, involving young people, parents communities and key agencies,
? Community involvement and neighbourhood renewal, particularly through the brokerage role of
community mentors and personal advisers,
? Extending opportunity and equality for all young people,
? Evidence based practice and evaluating and building upon what works. Key Activities
1. Information Provision
- education and training
- career options and all relevant opportunities
- informal and community based education
- drug misuse, youth offending, truancy, school exclusions, etc
- housing and health
- financial support
- use of Youth Card (now referred at as ‘Connexions Card)
- leisure, cultural and volunteering activities
2. Advice and Guidance
- teenage support services
3. Support for Teachers and Others
- Careers education/Personal, Social and Health Education
- Special educational needs transition processes
- Information provision and ICT support
- Advice on labour market developments
4. Up to date register of 13-19 population
5. Supporting key life episodes through:
- continuum of support
- referral of experts
- caseload management
Early pathfinders will run from April 2000. These are:
1. Coventry and Warwickshire
2. Devon and Cornwall.
6. Durham – yet to be finalised It is also expected that the northern region will be pilotting a helpline service. A scoping exercise is currently being undertaken by the DfEE
Connexions will be phased from April 2001, with further rounds of pilot projects.
Target date Regional Tasks Local Tasks
June 2000 Outline bid submitted
Summer 2000 ? Partners identified ? Establish dedicated post to develop the service locally.
? Staff identified ? Bring together key partners to agree local implementation of Connexions.
? Membership of regional partnership agreed ? Brief staff who will be directly affected by this programme.
? Consultation on regional/local dimensions of ? Establish series of ‘sounding groups’.
Connexions ? Identify potential pilot projects.
? Specification for in-depth assessment of current ? Complete audit of local services and resource implications provision and resource availability.
? Specification for coordinating existing research and
conduct of new research into needs of young people
? Carry out research
Sept/Oct 2000 ? First meeting of Regional Executive ? Establish shadow Management Committee to develop and manage the service locally.
? Review and allocation of resources by key partners. ? Identify resource availability from key partners.
? Staff training and development plan. ? Staff training and development.
? Complete consultation with young people in order to ? Establish mechanisms and approaches for consulting with young people.
assess need. ? Prepare consultation document for delivery of service locally
? Consultative paper on role of Personal Advisers
? Prepare service delivery strategy
Dec2000/ ? Standing conference to inform service delivery ? Develop mechanisms for consulting with young people
strategy. ? Consult on Local Strategy through Area committees sounding groups and other appropriate
? Develop proposals on, provision of information, role mechanisms. Jan 2001 of personal advisers and access to specialist
? Identify quality standards
March 2001 ? Second standing conference to agree regional/local ? Progress consultation process.
service delivery specifications and mechanisms. ? Develop local transition plan
? Develop transition plan for implementation from 1
Spring 2001 ? All resources identified and allocated by key ? Identify allocation of local resources for 2002 financial year. onwards partners for 2002 financial year. ? Implement local transition strategy
? Implement transition plan. ? Develop local Business Plan
? Submit Business Plan for Tyne and Wear