YEF Education and Safeguarding Review

In partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University,


22nd May 2024

CFEY is delighted to be working with Manchester Metropolitan University to conduct a review of serious youth violence safeguarding practices across schools, college and alternative provision settings in England and Wales. This project is funded by the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF).


CfEY are committed to ensuring all children and young people receive the support they need to make a fulfilling transition to adulthood. One in five teenage children skipped school last year because of the fear of violence in their neighbourhoods (YEF, 2023). Meanwhile, recent research from the Department for Education illustrates the prevalence of youth violence as a safeguarding issue in schools. In April 2023, 43% of secondary schools and 9% of primary schools reported dealing with knife crime as a safeguarding issue (DfE, 2023). Making sure children are in school, and that safeguarding processes are effective, is an essential element in preventing violence and promoting positive outcomes.

The mission of the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) is to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. CfEY support this goal – children and young people at risk of becoming involved in violence deserve services that give them the best chance of a positive future.

In Spring 2025, YEF will publish a set of recommendations for how the education system across England and Wales can support the reduction of serious youth violence. This will build on guidance published in May 2024 for school, college and alternative provision leaders to help prevent children’s involvement in violence (YEF, 2024). Our work will contribute to this wider picture, focusing on generating policy recommendations to improve safeguarding processes in education.

Our approach

Our study will inform YEF’s recommendations for the education system on how to reduce serious youth violence. In this project, Manchester Metropolitan University will lead on carrying out a rapid evidence review, drawing on a range of ongoing and completed research, bringing their extensive expertise in safeguarding and previous research into ‘county lines’. CfEY will lead on the qualitative research, which will explore the different approaches to safeguarding and violence reduction across a range of education settings and in different geographical areas. We will generate a number of local area profiles to share with participants, which will seek to identify areas of good practice and effective strategies. One important output will be a ‘typical pathway’ diagram to illustrate the possible experiences of a young person identified as at risk of violence. To ensure that this reflects lived experience of safeguarding processes, we will be inviting the participation of young people to co-create this resource.

Get involved!

To support the research, we will be inviting a group of experts to act in an advisory capacity, providing guidance and generating a network of contacts engaged in safeguarding across the education sector. If you have specific expertise in this area and are keen to get involved, then please get in touch with Jenny Griffiths, Head of Research –  we’d love to hear from you.

We are also keen to ensure that the lived experience of young people is incorporated into our work to understand the impact of safeguarding processes fully. The Department for Education is currently running a call for evidence on ‘Safeguarding Children in Schools and Colleges’. CfEY are inviting members of the Young Collective to co-produce a response to this call. We believe it’s crucial that we hear the voice of those who are the subject of safeguarding processes and use this to help formulate our policy recommendations. Later in the project we will invite a number of these young people to help us shape and test our ‘typical pathway’ diagram.

What next?

The research will take place during 2024, with the final report due to be published at the end of the year. Stay tuned to for future updates.

In partnership with:

Youth Endowment Fund logo
Manchester Metropolitan University logo