Practical Guidance and Tools
This guidance is for youth work practitioners and school leaders seeking to develop strong and effective partnerships that deliver excellence and equity for all children and young people.
Resources to support collaboration
Explaining Youth Work
Youth Work: A Guide for Schools provides a summary of the role of youth work and its contribution to the learning and development of young people, in particular in closing the poverty related attainment gap. It might be helpful to adapt this to your context, with local examples of practice.
Some youth workers have also found it helpful to give an input at school staff meetings, or deliver a twilight session, to explain their role and approach to school staff. This can help to develop trusting partnerships where the professional identity and pedagogy of youth workers are understood and valued. Offering to deliver CPD sessions is also a good way of highlighting some of your specialist skills and knowledge.
Supporting young people to share their learning and achievements through youth work, with their school, can also help schools better recognise the value of the skills and achievements gained through youth work, e.g. making a short video.
Youth Work & Scottish Education
The youth work sector has developed key messaging to help schools and other educators understand youth work’s contribution to education – in particular the National Improvement Framework’s ambition for excellence and equity, the Scottish Attainment Challenge and the 15-24 Learner Journey Review.
National Youth Work Outcomes
The National Youth Work Outcomes and indicators help to describe and communicate youth work’s rol and contribution to young people’s learning and development. They also help schools understand what they can expect from a youth work partnership and, because the 4 CfE capacities are embedded within the Outcomes, understand how this directly aligns with more formal delivery of CfE in school.
Articulating the Youth Work Offer
This example framework can help explain how the youth work to be delivered will contribute to the improvement priorities of the Scottish Attainment Challenge.
Joint Working Agreement
A joint working agreement between partners helps to achieve a shared understanding about the purpose/aims of the collaboration and the role of each partner.
This simple logic model can be useful when planning youth work interventions in partnership with schools. This allows both school and youth work partners to establish how the planned intervention will address the equity priorities within the school and how this in turn will improve attainment.
Joint Evaluation of Impact
Using both the Youth Work Outcomes and attainment measures to evaluate the impact of youth work interventions can help both partners make best use of data to continue to improve outcomes - see this example evaluation framework.
Youth Work Outcomes Model and the Scottish Attainment Challenge
The Youth Work Outcomes Model provides a clear and consistent way of articulating what young people achieve through youth work. A full list of outcomes and indicators, with guidance on how to use them in self-evaluation, can be found here. You can also download a description of how youth work outcomes contribute specifically to closing the attainment gap here.