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Paper  11 -  26 January 2001

ASSOCIATION OF HAMPSHIRE AND ISLE OF WIGHT LOCAL AUTHORITIES

 26 January 2001

THE CONNEXIONS SERVICE

Report by the Connexions Pilot

1. Recommendation

1.1 It is recommended that the report be noted.

2. Key points

2.1 The Connexions strategy builds on the Learning to Succeed and Bridging the Gap reports. These set out the government’s intention to create a comprehensive support service to young people between the ages of 13 and 19 years.

2.2 Statutory agencies, the voluntary sector and businesses will need to work together to provide every young person with access to a "Personal Adviser".

2.3 Personal Advisers will give general and specific first line support to enable them to reach their potential and support transition to adulthood.

2.4 The new service will be phased in over the next two or three years, and has been piloted since June 2000. Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight, is a pilot area.

3. Overall themes

3.1 Connexions builds on government policy to raise educational standards and promote social inclusion for young people.

3.2 A key purpose is to break the ‘cycle of non-participation and underachievement’ for the 9% of 16 to 18 year olds not in education, training or work, whilst sustaining universal support for all young people.

3.3 The government’s strategy brings together four key themes:

* A flexible curriculum leading to a Graduation Certificate

* High quality provisions in schools, FE Colleges and work-based learning.

* Targeting financial support for those in learning, including Education Maintenance Allowances.

* Outreach, information, advice, support and guidance, including anti-exclusion and anti-truancy measures, millennium volunteers, neighbourhood support fund, and the Connexions Service.

4. Pilot Activity

4.1A strategic partnership, involving the local authorities of Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight with Southern Careers has been established to co-ordinate the pilot activities.

4.2A company limited by a guarantee, South Central Connexions is being considered to co-ordinate the pilot activities. The parent company of the careers service, Careers Management Ltd, is meanwhile providing support on contracted and administrative matters, with full involvement of the local authority representatives.

4.3 Themes to be piloted are:

* Mapping existing provision
* The role of Personal Advisers
* Involving young people
* Provision in rural areas
* Targeted and universal provision

5. Progress

Work of the partners is co-operative and well co-ordinated. Mapping activity is well advanced in Portsmouth, with support of De Monfort University Leicester. Co-ordinators have been appointed in each local authority area. Local Management arrangements are being established initially for each LEA. In Hampshire more local arrangements will be developed through fora which will respond to local circumstances. Initially these will be based in District Council areas and will build links with other initiatives such as crime & disorder strategies and youth activities. Local projects are developing.

6. Conclusion

6.1 The frameworks have been put in place to provide the platform for developing the service for the future. This has been viewed as an essential element of the Pilot. The view taken by local authorities is to ensure resources are secure for Pilot activities and that the Connexions Service does not divert existing resources from the Youth Service or Careers Service, but will enhance existing provision and lead to a more co-ordinated approach.

6.2 The outcomes of the Pilot activity will be evaluated to determine the success of the strategy.

ANDREW SEBER
County Education Officer

Date: 10 January 2001
Annex: 0
Contacts: Malcolm Rittman County Youth Officer 01962 846370
                Lorna Sampson General Manager 01329 236740

Last update: 22/01/2001
Author: Nick Goulder, Policy Manager

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