Youth services survey shows local authorities don’t always follow statutory guidance

This week, the Cabinet Office published the results from a survey of heads of local authority youth services. Of the 97 councils that responded to the Cabinet Office survey, only 41 said the Education and Inspections Act (1996) statutory guidance plays a role “all of the time” in their decisions about which youth services to fund. A further 33 councils said their decisions are “often” influenced by the guidance and only “sometimes” by 20 authorities. Two councils said youth funding decisions are “rarely” influenced by the guidance and one authority said it “never” plays a role.

Section 507B of the legislation – statutory guidance issued by the Secretary of State for Education – places a legal duty on local authorities to secure sufficient services and activities for 13- to 19-year-olds, and young people under 24 with learning difficulties.

The results also show that authorities spent an estimated £50.2m on services designed to engage young people in education and training, £36.3m on advice and guidance services, and just £1.3m on student support.