Organisation submitting example
Young People’s Support Services
Local authority/local area:
North East Lincolnshire Council
The context and rationale
The Junior Offer ‘bridges’ the age gap of provision between Children’s Centres (0-5 years of age) and the Youth Offer (13 -19 yrs of age), which was highlighted as a potential gap following the changes in the funding arrangements for Extended Schools. The aim is to ensure provision is available for all children and young people in North East Lincolnshire through the development of a new Traded Service for Schools and the Junior Offer at Young People’s Centres. This offers an integrated approach to service provision within Young People’s Support Services (YPSS).
In 2009/10, over 8,500 children and young people were engaged with the Extended Schools Team. In 2011, a smaller team was transferred into YPSS following the devolvement of the budget and thereby valuable skills, knowledge, experience and resources, including an online booking facility, were retained. All schools in North East Lincolnshire were full service Extended Schools, offering childcare, community access, family learning, a varied menu of activities and parenting support. In 2011, consultation with schools suggested continued commitment to the ethos of extended school provision. The Extended Schools Manager produced an action plan, with a timeline for the development of Traded Services being available for the following financial year 2011/12. The aim was to embed the ES Traded Services into schools to ensure the continuation of provision through a new integrated approach within YPSS.
The Traded Services Package was developed following the above consultation exercise with schools on what areas of work they found the most valuable. It was recognised that continued links with the primary schools were vital to the success of any of the projects, in particular the success of the Junior Offer. A phased approach was implemented with primary schools being the first focus, in particular those schools in the top 20% areas of deprivation that had excellent Extended Schools practice. Whilst the Traded Service is part of the Schools Services Booklet produced by the local authority and therefore available to all schools, the initial priority was these identified schools. Other factors that contributed to this decision were a) pupil numbers in receipt of free schools meals and b) the current high volume take-up of extended schools activities.
The YPSS Extended Service (ES) continues to support schools in the wider aspects of their provision in relation to children, young people, their families and the wider community via a combination of Traded Service and integrated partnership approach. ES advises and supports individual schools and clusters of schools to deliver a comprehensive range of extended services. Alongside this, and importantly, ES works with the Young People’s Centres to develop the Junior Offer.
ES will build upon the existing excellent working relationships and partnerships that will continue to support schools to ‘create an environment where every child can learn and where they can experience new and challenging opportunities through extended services’ in order to improve outcomes, building strong families and communities across North East Lincolnshire. (Ref: The Importance of Teaching White Paper, 2010, p.29 paragraph 2.51)
The strength is in the well-established local partnerships engaging with a wide range of agencies including children’s social care, the police, health colleagues, other council services and the voluntary and community sector to achieve positive outcomes, for example, raising self esteem and aspirations in young people and families.
There is firm evidence to support the view that schools which maintain extended services become an important part of the community and, as a result, have fewer problems with behaviour, attendance and motivation than schools which are isolated from their community. Beyond the benefits to children and young people’s education, schools and Young People’s Centres (YPC) with extended provision and the Junior Offer also work on the understanding that a school or YPC that is linked to its community becomes part of that community’s regeneration, strengthening important relationships, supporting adult and community learning, and improving health outcomes for all.
Exploring new ways to deliver and make the maximum impact within communities remains a priority. In order to do this effectively, a menu of provision and approaches was developed, coupled with the integration of systems, teams and the strategic aims of North East Lincolnshire Council (NELC).
Effective management information needs to be triangulated with the voice and influence of children and families, in order to develop the best solution. The ES Traded Service was informed by the 2010 Provider Satisfaction Survey undertaken by the Extended Schools Team, following the spending review that devolved Extended Schools budgets to schools. The survey highlighted the areas of work which the schools valued most and were, therefore, likely to purchase in 2011/12. A target was set of engaging five schools. Three posts from Extended Schools were transferred into YPSS to manage and deliver this element of YPSS activity. The costs of the packages were determined by the actual staff cost of delivery of the packages, with a full cost recovery formula also applied.
Packages available to purchase were developed and offered to schools as a Traded Service via the NELC Schools Services brochure. These include:
• identification and coordination of high-quality appropriate before/after school and holiday activities
• data collection and analysis – tracking and monitoring of Pupil Premium
• attracting external funding, writing funding applications and managing evaluation
• community use of schools, policies, procedures and support
• quality assurance of activity providers engaging with schools
• charitable status service.
Additionally, a bespoke package was offered to the schools for the academic year 2011/12. Essentially, schools get what they need for their school and community, as one size does not fit all. Schools can also form clusters of schools to purchase package one as above.
A bespoke package may include some, or all, of the above but maybe not in their entirety. Bespoke packages are increasingly being requested by schools as their needs change. These are developed with the ES manager and the school.
Schools can make direct contact with the ES team to discuss their requirements. The team personnel are known to the schools, thus supporting the seamless transition from Extended School provision to YPSS Traded Service. YPSS ES have produced e-newsletters, which have been sent to all schools. The website www.extendedschools.org has been maintained, so that as much information as possible has remained available. It was vitally important that the continuity of high-quality activities and services was visible and that the management of the change was very subtle.
Traded Services commenced in April 2011 as a phased approach with focus on the primary sector, which links into the development of the Junior Offer within YPSS.
An authority-wide open access Junior Offer was developed for Summer 2011 (and subsequent holiday periods) involving the Young People’s Centres (YPC); the Junior Offer includes the provision of family trips and activity programmes using YPC facilities, a mobile Youth Bus and a climbing wall. Delivery of activities is via a wide range of partners and includes commissioning delivery by the voluntary sector.
The North East Lincolnshire “School’s Out” booklet became “School’s Out/Access All Areas” and, for the first time, included information for all ages; over 500 activities are advertised in the same place. To reduce costs, instead of every primary school age pupil receiving a booklet, each received a flyer detailing how to access information regarding the booklet and programmes. A phased change to the booklet was introduced in October 2011, meaning that three booklets per year will be published instead of five. This phased change supported the transition of Extended Schools to YPSS Extended Services and was customer-focused, so that children and young people remained engaged.
The Extended Schools online booking system was used widely for all appropriate YPC activities and offered to partners for their use, improving the accessibility of information.
The established partnerships were maintained, including Specialist Health Promotion, the Library Service, Sports Development and the voluntary sector.
A consultation exercise was carried out in summer 2011 to establish the needs of the children and young people, and the data is currently being used for the design and planning of future programmes. 98% of respondents said that the activity programmes were extremely valued and that they look forward to them.
Achievements so far
• YPSS have improved the whole children and young people’s offer over the last 12 months. This includes a spectrum of activities to include ages 5-25, including family-based activities, delivered by a wide range of partners.
• YPSS has moved to quarterly planning for all activities. This has supported a focus on communicating effectively with key stakeholders about what we are doing, why and when. It also supports effective resource allocation.
• As part of a seasonal preventative approach, YPSS, in partnership with Humberside Police, Sports and Arts Development and Humberside Fire and Rescue, won the Home Office Tilley Award for Reductions in Seasonal Crime (Specifically, around Halloween and Bonfire Night). The development of the Junior Offer and a whole children and youth system approach have been key contributory factors.
• To date, 14 schools have taken up Traded Services contracts, generating income for ES. These are 13 primaries and 1 special school. The most popular packages are the external funding package and identification and coordination of high-quality appropriate before/after school and holiday activities. One school has a bespoke package which includes family learning. To engage with schools, additional email and telephone contact was made by the YPSS ES team. Attendance at School Local Area Partnerships also proved very worthwhile. All Traded Service schools have a dedicated ES Coordinator assigned to them. This represents 29% of primary schools and 50% of special schools. On average 68.76% of pupils live in the top 20% areas of deprivation, and in three schools, 90% of the pupils live in the top 10% areas of deprivation. This was a priority outcome in the Traded Service action plan as a method of targeting the areas with most vulnerable children and young people.
• Additionally ES have produced a newsletter, distributed to all schools, and have worked with Specialist Health Promotion hosting a showcase event aimed at highlighting services that are available to schools.
• 49% of activity bookings were made online compared with 19% in 2010.
• Over 3400 primary school age children have engaged with the Junior Offer and related activities since April 2011, taking part in the 500+ activities advertised via the borough-wide booklets, indicating a seamless transition from Extended Schools to YPSS Extended Services. These statistics are monitored via the activity registers. All activities are evaluated and a full analysis is produced. Traded Service schools are also provided with all the relevant information. The continued use of the information booklets was an essential part of ensuring that YPSS did not lose engagement with young people.
• Borough-wide and web-based information booklets are available, promoting a variety of activities and partnership organisations. An additional £2k of income has been generated through advertised opportunities in the new look “School’s Out/Access All Areas” booklet.
• Over £30k external income has been attracted for schools that have purchased the ES Traded Service funding package, with further funding applications totalling £16k outstanding.
• Activities provided during holiday periods are extensively evaluated and the results published and shared with all partners. In October 2011, 24% of participants took part in the consultation and evaluation exercise.
• In the summer consultation, 70% of respondents said that they would be interested in attending junior sessions and their local Young People’s Centre, one element of the Junior Offer.
• 100% of respondents said they expect to pay for the activities; the expected cost was £1- £2 per session. This is essential to support the sustainability of the Junior Offer.
Future measures of success will include:
• increased number of schools engaged through Traded Services
• increased external funding attracted into North East Lincolnshire schools via Traded Services
• developing new partnerships and strengthening existing ones within voluntary sector organisations to maximise grant funding regimes and increase activities for children and young people at reduced cost to YPSS
• increased numbers of children and young people sustaining contact with YPSS from the age of 5 to 25
• better use of media technologies in response to changing trends
• increased income generation of “School’s Out/Access All Areas”, with more partners contributing to the publication.
• Fees and charges were an issue, as Extended Schools had a charging policy. Historically, YPSS charges had been maintained at a much lower level. In the short term, the Junior Offer has been offered as a free open access taster session; however a Fees and Charges Strategy is under development and will cover all YPSS provision. The summer consultation analysis reflects the belief that a charge is acceptable for much activity provision. Future YPSS activities will be affordable and accessible.
• YPSS’s vision was to develop the community partnership offer. This required expanding age ranges and remit. Effective communication with key stakeholders, both internal and external, has been key to this development. Partnership events are now a feature of the Community Offer.
• YPSS monitoring and data focused on participants aged 13–19, so it was very important to engage with all the service staff so that they understood the focus of the Junior Offer, which in turn, lowered the age for YPSS provision.
• Communicating with schools became vital, as did having an ‘open door’ policy, as most schools have opted for a bespoke package.
£100k of the Early Intervention Grant was committed to YPSS ES. Income generation is being taken on a phased approach. Through the current Traded Services and fees, £34k has been generated within the first nine months.
• Savings of 50% have been made on “School’s Out/Access All Areas” through producing three publications per year, not five, and reducing the actual number of booklets published. Generating income through selling advertising space further offsets the publication costs.
• Partnership delivery with local authority colleagues and voluntary sector partners has added value to activities and reduced the cost of activity delivery. For example, locating the Junior Offer in Young People’s Centres and schools reduced the facility hire costs.
• Inclusion of Junior Offer activities in Voluntary Sector Contract managed within YPSS.
Learning from experience
• Engagement with schools is key to success.
• Ongoing consultation with children and young people ensures that activities are relevant and appropriate and are therefore well-supported.
• Be prepared for change and challenge; understand the new agendas for schools, children and young people and families.
Key leadership behaviour characteristics
The following core behaviours have been identified as part of successful elements of leadership (see National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services/C4EO (2011).
Resourceful leadership: how directors of children’s services improve outcomes for children. Full report. Nottingham: NCSL).
North East Lincolnshire Council identified the following behaviours as key to the transformation of their service:
The ability to collaborate
It is so important that the partnership focus of this work is developed and reviewed
continuously. Collaboration is everything, and all stakeholders have a role to play, which needs to be valued. In addition to the core team, this includes teachers, parents children and voluntary and community sector groups.
Demonstrating a belief in team and people
It’s crucial to develop and build trust in your team. If this is done successfully, then belief in the team and each other creates a positive driver for change.
Personal resilience and tenacity
Making a shift towards a traded services route and different way of working takes time, There will be some pitfalls and however neat and tidy the business plan is, there will be some twists and turns. You need to maintain and focus and a belief.
The ability to simplify
Everyone needs to understand what the offer is and also where it fits. This can be done simply and easily. No matter who you are, or what you do, you need to be able to respond to these six points:
Who you are, what you are and how you contribute. Then, crucially, be able to answer, how much have you done? How well have you done? Finally, Is anybody actually better off as a result?
C4EO Golden threads
• Unit to succeed
• Holding the baton
• It takes a community to raise a child
• You can do it
t. 020 7833 6825
20th July 2016 - London - One day course. Practitioner training to gain the knowledge and understanding of the potential impact of parental mental health problems, substance misuse and domestic violence on children.Read More>
A Quiet Place provides evidence based, personal development programmes, supporting the achievement of unique outcomes for all ages and abilities, focusing on future aspirations and dreams, whilst drawing upon a completely holistic approach.Read More>
Themes this local practice example relates to: Vulnerable (Looked After) Children Safeguarding Families, Parents and Carers General resources Early Help Priorities this local practice example relates to: Protecting children living in families where they are at high risk of abuse, harm or neglect Basic details Organisation submitting exampleRead More>
Parent Champions originated as a small-scale pilot scheme following research conducted by Daycare Trust between 2004 and 2007, which found that despite advances in childcare provision in the UK in that period, disadvantaged groups still remained less likely to take up childcare.Read More>