CfEY launches new report with NCS in House of Commons


7th May 2024

On Tuesday April 30th, The Centre for Education and Youth was delighted to launch our latest report ‘Education and Enrichment: How partnerships between the education and youth sectors can improve the accessibility, quality and impact of enrichment activities’, at a parliamentary reception in the House of Commons.

This exciting new research, supported by the National Citizens Service Trust (NCST) and The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), provides some of the first evidence-based guidance on how the education and youth sectors can work together effectively to give all young people enrichment opportunities. It also lays out the support needed from government policies to make this collaboration a success.

The evening kicked off with introductory speeches from Wendy Chamberlain MP, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats and host of the event; Mark Gifford, CEO of NCS; and Stuart Andrew MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Equality Hub.

CfEY’s Head of Policy and lead author on the report, Baz Ramaiah then shared key findings and policy recommendations from the research, which was conducted in partnership with UK Youth. You can find out more about the work, including proposals for a framework for effective enrichment provision, an updated approach to education sector inspections, teacher workforce training on effective partnership working, and an enrichment premium here on our website.

Following Baz’s presentation, Rachel Sylvester, political columnist at The Times, hosted a panel discussion with sector experts, including:

  • Ruth Marvel – CEO, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award
  • Hannah Stoddart  – Executive Director Strategy and Impact, NCS
  • Liz Robinson – CEO, Big Education
  • Rachael Oloyede – Co-Chair of the NCS Youth Advisory Board & Youth Advisor to the NCS Trust Royal Charter Body Board

“We all want the same thing for young people.”
Liz Robinson – CEO, Big Education

The panel discussed the findings of the report, the current education and youth landscape, and how to maintain momentum for progress in the enrichment space. They noted that the case studies of existing partnerships and collaboration around enrichment in the report showed the potential for this kind of work to drive positive outcomes for young people, not just in soft skills like confident but also areas like attendance and attainment.

However, they highlighted that joined up thinking between schools and youth services is essential for success, and experiences must be tailored to the young people involved.  The panel also reflected that the current education system must move away from defining success primarily through exam results. They reinforced the importance of the report’s recommendations, for example building on the rich examples of successful partnerships by distilling ‘what works’ into guidance that can help others to drive the same progress and measure outcomes clearly.

“Don’t underestimate the power you have to influence young people’s lives … challenge your preconceptions – enrichment helps a young person to determine what they really want to do and you can be a part of that.”
Rachael Oloyede, Co-Chair of the NCS Youth Advisory Board

The presentations finished with closing speeches from Lilian Greenwood MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport, and Ruth Marvel.

Ruth applauded the cross-party support for this agenda in the room, and encouraged individuals and organisation to continue working together to improve experiences for young people, while Lilian described the report as a “blueprint” for how education and youth services can work effectively work together, which would inform the future work of her party.

“Giving children and young people fair access to participate in quality education and enrichment opportunities is vitally important, now more than ever.”
Lilian Greenwood MP, Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport

The night finished with plenty of food, drinks and networking for attendees.

If you would like to learn more about this research, or discuss potential ways to collaborate on improving access the enrichment opportunities for all young people, please do get in touch with Baz Ramaiah on [email protected].