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  1. Minutes
  2. Action points

Keith Towler


Quality Mark


Andrew Borsden (EWC)


Educators Wales website


Jerena Davies Kumar/Hayden Llewellyn/Bethan Stacey (EWC)


Ministerial Play Review


Keith Towler


2021 Scheduling

  1. 2021 provisional events calendar

Keith Towler/James McCrae






WG update
Keith update


Gemma Roche Clarke/Keith Towler


SPG Meeting Review


Keith Towler


Finalising the Board Report

  1. Board report

Keith Towler


End of meeting





  • Keith Towler (KT): Interim Youth Work Board Chair
  • Sharon Lovell (SL): Executive Director for the National Youth Advocacy Service and Vice Chair, Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS)
  • Efa Gruffudd Jones (EGJ): Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh
  • Eleri Thomas (ET): Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Gwent
  • Simon Stewart (SS): Dean of Faculty of Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • Jo Sims (JS): Youth Service Manager for  Blaenau Gwent
  • Dusty Kennedy (DK): Director of Trauma Recovery Model Academy

Welsh Government (WG):

  • James McCrae (JM): Youth Work Strategy Manager
  • Gemma Roche-Clarke (GRC): Head of Youth Engagement Team
  • Dareth Edwards (DE): Youth Work Policy Manager

Minutes and action points from last meeting

The Board agreed the minutes from the last meeting with a couple of minor text amendments.

Quality Mark

The Board received a presentation from Andy Borsden from the Education Workforce Council about developments on the Quality Mark. Andy spoke about the background to the Quality Mark to the present day, where EWC has the contract to review the Quality Mark and generate plans for improvement, collaborating with Welsh Government. Andy discussed the benefits of the Quality Mark and how it measures performance (with the standards divided into bronze, silver and gold sections). The EWC has support in place for providers undertaking Quality Mark assessments.

EWC have consulted with stakeholders and published a report with final recommendations for Welsh Government based on feedback from stakeholders across the sector. Andy explained the recommendations outlined in the report.

SS asked about other pieces of work across Europe; Andy advised that he did not know of any other countries doing this on a national basis although there are some good examples of local methods, for instance in Bulgaria and Italy. KT asked about young people’s involvement, Andy cited an example where young people were assessing applications in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Educators Wales website

The Board received a presentation on the Educators Wales website from Jerena Davies Kumar, Hayden Llewellyn and Bethan Stacey, for which EWC have the legislative base for. This will act as a ‘shop window’ for the youth work workforce for both those hoping to enter the profession and those currently within the profession.

Jerena then demonstrated the website and explained she will be picking this work up with the Valued and Understood SPG.

The group discussed the difficulty in having youth work under an ‘education’ website, but agreed that it was a good opportunity for the sector.

Ministerial play review

KT spoke about a recent meeting he attended as chair of the IYWB on the Ministerial Play Review. The Ministerial group are working towards publishing a report in early 2021 and there will be a lot of synergies between that and the IYWB report. The play link should be especially strong for the 11-15 year olds and then play needs to be considered too for the older age groups.

JS shared the background to play and youth work and that they feel disconnected at the moment. There is a need to bring them together.

SL shared that play, childcare, education and youth work should be interconnected but should exist in their own right too.

ET raised the whole school approach to the new curriculum and how youth work plays a part in that. The example given was that forest schools are to childcare like youth work is to education. Youth work is the ‘play’.

KT will share the recommendations of the play review when he receives them.

2021 scheduling

JM shared a first draft of a calendar for next year’s SPG and Board meetings. It was suggested having meetings of slightly less frequency for most of the groups. JS suggested looking at the CWVYS calendar for key dates. All to confirm their thoughts to JM who will then update the calendar, aiming for circulation before the end of the year.

Welsh Government update

GRC advised that the Youth Engagement Progression Framework (YEPF) will be undergoing a review. The aim is to consult to gather high quality feedback from stakeholders on the YEPF, summarised in a report for Welsh Government to consider as part of the refresh of the YEPF. This was planned earlier in the year, but paused due to Covid.

It is appropriate to revisit this work now, given the impact of Covid on young people arising from the closure of schools, the impact on their mental health and wellbeing, and the recession and reduced opportunities for employment.

GRC explained the plans for online consultation workshops to be delivered to officials, external stakeholders and consultation activities for young people.

It is anticipated that the contract is awarded in early February, with consultation activities running in March and early April next year.

The consultation will therefore run into the pre-election period. In consequence, there will there be no general ‘call out’ for participation leading into and during the pre-election period. Stakeholders who need to be invited have been identified, including PYOs, representatives from the voluntary sector and members of the Valued and Understood SPG, who have supported the re-write of the YEPF as one of their actions.

GRC asked the group for their support in reaching stakeholders as a part of the consultation.

GRC explained that the wavehill report is nearly finished with the final stage being an easy-read version targeted at the younger age group 11-15. The main report is now going to translation.

GRC explained that the team are exploring options around marketing and communication work in advance of the annual conference and awards in 2021.

Keith Towler update

KT added that he was anticipating some further contact from the Children, Young People and Education committee. He met with Lynne Neagle a few weeks ago and the committee may be doing some legacy work towards the end of the Senedd term.

KT mentioned that the meeting with the Minister was positive and that the recommendations in the report should remain as a result.

SPG meeting review

The Board reviewed the meeting of all the SPG groups, which took place on 25th November. KT said he felt the meeting was successful and everyone was really engaged. JS said she felt the feedback was really positive, but more time could be spent in the breakout rooms in future events to maximise inclusion of all participants. ET said she felt the meeting showed how far things have come. SL said she felt there had been real support for the recommendations in the Board report.

Board report

The Board discussed the recommendations for its upcoming report in line with the feedback that it gained from the SPG event and the meeting with the Minister for Education in November. KT suggested a work plan for the Board against their recommendations for 2021.

KT outlined that he felt the report was complete, and asked for comments by 2nd December to send the report over by 4th December. He added he would like to source an external drafter for the future final report.

The Board were in agreement that they were happy with the current report and it did not need further changes.

The Board considered how best to engage with other policy areas, including policing, local government and communities and across the education sector. KT to liaise with Welsh Government officials to discuss how best to approach this.

Welsh Government will pick up work on the design of the report and liaise with KT. 

SL raised a point around engagement with young people; the establishment of the shadow board was a really important development but it was important not to lose sight of the need to continue to communicate more widely with young people. All agreed on the need for a briefing from Keith to be sent via the bulletin, CWVYS and PYOG.

Next meeting

The next meeting of the Board will be on 29th January 2021 at 13:00 on Microsoft Teams.