Participation & Young People

 Participation and Young People

A "snapshot" of young people's participation mechanisms in local authorities (England) - June 2012

The British Youth Council had published research exploring the different methods of youth participation employed by local authorities in England. All local authorities in England were asked to indicate which participation opportunities were being offered in their area - 100 local authorities responded. Visit the website to download the report:  

Young People and Participation

The British Youth Council had published research exploring the different methods of youth participation employed by local authorities in England. All local authorities in England were asked to indicate which participation opportunities were being offered in their area - 100 local authorities responded. Download the report from (you will need to register):

It takes a lot of courage

The Office for the Children's Commissioner for England has published two reports on children and young people's views and experiences of complaints mechanisms in different settings. It takes a lot of courage found that children and young people often do not express their views about the poor health services that they have received because of fears that their complaints will not be taken seriously. The report comes at a time of major change in the health system, with GPs taking on a greater role in the commissioning of services and a move towards greater patient involvement in decision-making. Download the report from:

Why aren't they going to listen to me

Why aren't they going to listen to me, looks at children and young people's views in a range of settings within the youth justice system including secure children's homes, Secure Training Centres, Young Offender Institutes and those living in the community. A number of issues were raised relating to complaints mechanisms, including a lack of confidence in formal complaints systems, a feeling that complaints systems were lacking in independence and tended to favour staff, concerns about possible breaches of confidentiality and reprisals when making a complaint and the view that complaints processes were too lengthy and slow. Young people also suggested a range of improvements. Download the report from:


Building Engagement, Building Futures

The Government has published plans to increase the participation of 16-24 year olds in education, training and work. Building Engagement, Building Futures sets out the Government's strategy to improve the opportunities for young people, so they can succeed in education and training and gain the skills they need to secure an apprenticeship or employment. It includes radical reforms to schools, vocational education, skills and welfare provision. Visit the website to find out more:  

Children's Commissioners call for greater action on children's participation rights

Last week, the UK's four Children's Commissioners released a mid-term report on the UK's compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The Commissioners examine five areas of law, policy and practice - participation in decision-making, disabled children, child poverty, children seeking asylum and juvenile justice. In relation to Article 12 of the Convention, the child's right to express their views freely and to have these views given due weight in all matters affecting him or her, the Commissioners conclude ‘the mainstreaming of children's participation has yet to happen and children report that their views are not sought, listened to or acted upon consistently'. They call for new legislation embedding participation in children's lives; participation training for all professionals working with children and young people; and an end to inconsistent advocacy provision. Download the report from:  

'Darker side to participation' Pathways Through Participation report

Participation can lead to stress, anxiety and burnout, and ultimately lead to non-participation in the long-term, warns NCVO's recently released Pathways Through Participation report.
The report found that if people have a poor quality experience, or are faced with a lack of resources, they are likely to suffer ill-effects that lead to their termination of voluntary participation, and the unlikelihood of participating in the future. Generated as a tool for improved participation experience, the Pathways Through Participation report, researched by NCVO, IVR and Involve over the past two-and-a-half years, warned that "participation can have a dark side", with factors such as individuals taking on too much responsibility and a culture of cliqueness or exclusivity leading to withdrawal from participation.
Some interviewees expressed a feeling of being bullied or over-burdened in their voluntary participation roles. Power-struggles and conflicts were noted from small to large organizations and tensions were said to have caused problems in participants' personal lives. Read more at Civil Society:
 or download the report from:

Participation by 16-19 Year Olds in Education and Training

The Education Select Committee has produced a report on the participation by 16-19 year olds in education and training. Key findings from the report include:
• The Government should have done more to acknowledge the Educational Maintenance Allowance's (EMA) combined impact on participation, attainment and retention, before it decided how to restructure financial support
• The bursary scheme which is to replace the EMA will inevitably lead to inconsistencies which could distort young people's choices of where to study
• Bursaries administered by schools and colleges will not necessarily be fairer or more discriminating than a slimmed-down, more targeted entitlement such as the EMA
• The Department for Education should do more to ensure that information about pupils' needs can move easily between educational institutions
• The Department for Education should fund the National Careers Service to provide face-to-face careers advice for young people
You can download the report from:


An Equal Place at the Table for Children and Young People

National Participation Forum Launches has launched a new resource, which makes the case for involving children and young people in decision making and listening to what they have to say. Funded by UNICEF, it is part of a package of new resources and research from the National Participation Forum, a group of leading children's charities, associations and organisations, including NCB. Downloads

Children's participation in decision making

Children's participation in decision making brings together the key issues from the research, highlighting the progress that has been made in empowering children and young people to participate in decision-making. The report, from Participation Works, describes how legislative changes and cultural changes have contributed towards children and young people having a greater say in matters that affect them. Download the report

and a version for children and young people:'s%20Participation%202010_Summary%20for%20young%20people_jun10.pdf