MD2361 Education and Youth Programme 2018-19 to 2020-21 update

Type of decision: 
Mayoral decision
Date signed: 
25 September 2018
Decision by: 
Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Executive summary

MD2147 approved an Education and Youth programme totalling £2.258m over the financial years from 2017-18 to 2020-21. This MD seeks to expand the Education and Youth team’s work programme with additional expenditure totalling £300,000 in the following areas:

• A campaign to raise awareness of the free early education entitlements for two-year-olds to improve take up of high quality early learning by the most disadvantaged families in London. This is one strand of the Mayor’s Early Years in London programme; and
• Evidence based research and associated knowledge dissemination activity to ensure that policy and programmes benefitting children and young people undertaken by the Mayor are evidence based and findings are shared with the sector to influence wider system level activity.

This report is also seeking approval for a budget virement from the Youth Innovation Fund to the Young Londoners Fund for a programme of youth engagement to increase young people’s awareness of opportunities available through the Young Londoners Fund and across the GLA group programmes.


That the Mayor approves:

1. Additional expenditure of £300,000 to expand the GLA’s Education and Youth Programme broken down as follows:

• Expenditure of £200,000 over the financial years 2018-19 and 2019-2020 on an early years education campaign

• Expenditure of £100,000 in 2018-2019 on an education and youth research and dissemination programme

2. A budget virement of £150,000 from the Youth Innovation Fund to the Young Londoners Fund ‘Impact for Youth’ project for youth engagement and awareness activities.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background
    1. The Education and Youth Team aims to transform the life chances of young Londoners by ensuring a good start for every child, opportunity for all and giving young people a voice.
    2. Research based evidence[1] shows that early intervention strategies to improve social mobility and social justice should include:
    • Improved take up of quality early years and childcare provision by disadvantaged families;
    • Good educational outcomes for all children and young people;
    • Improving routes from school to job market including careers education; and
    • Action to improve family incomes through access to better paid, secure work.
  1. The Education and Youth Team is supporting children and young people through a number of programmes which have already been approved (see 1.4 below). This MD sets out proposals for the following additional activities to improve the life chances of young Londoners:Early Years Education and Childcare - to scope, design and deliver an early years campaign for parents with childcare responsibilities to increase awareness of support available for childcare costs and encourage take up of free early education entitlements across London, particularly by the most disadvantaged families eligible for funded two-year-old places. The project will deliver a social media and marketing campaign and also pilot targeted innovative activities in areas of low uptake of free early education for two-year-olds by providing small grants to community groups and other organisations that work with parents and children aged under five-years.Evidenced based research and knowledge dissemination - to ensure that policy and programmes are evidence based and findings are shared across key stakeholders including schools and colleges, partners and the wider children and young people’s sector. The main areas of activity will be grant funding the pilot of an evidence-based whole-school approach to tackle gender inequality and, as part of the Good Growth by Design programme, commissioning research on designing for children’s independent mobility. Youth engagement and increased awareness of activities – to ensure that young people are engaged in the opportunities available through the Young Londoners Fund and across the GLA group programmes which promote lifelong learning and out of school activity, we will run focus groups with children and young people to better understand how the budget is best used. The table below sets out the relevant approvals for activity in this MD that have had previous funding. Approval values below show additional match funding where relevant.

Programme Area

MD-DD -PCD reference

Approval amount

Youth Innovation Fund




(50% of this is funded through the European Social Fund)

Education and Youth Work Programme 2017-18 to 2020-21



(the total approval includes £850k GLA expenditure for early years and £60k for research and dissemination)

Young Londoners Fund



(the total approval includes GLA expenditure of £500k for the ‘Impact for Youth’ project. Approval was also given to the transfer of a further £700k from the Youth Innovation Fund to the ‘Impact for Youth’ project.)


​​​​​​​Delivery and commissioning of activity will vary across each project as follows:


Early Years

Social Media and Marketing Campaign

Various contracts for services, with any paid media secured through the GLA marketing team

Early Years Grant Funding for local communities

Small grants through a competitive grant application process

Research and dissemination

Pilot of a gender equality charter mark

Grant funding to Institute of Physics

London Curriculum Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) units refresh

Contract for services

Good Growth by Design - independent mobility

Contract for services

Supporting youth engagement and increasing awareness of youth activities

Mixture of contracts for services and grant funding


​​​​​​​To the extent that services are to be commissioned, the relevant procurement guidelines will be followed with support from TfL Procurement.

Objectives and expected outcomes
    1. Every child in London should have the best possible chance for happiness and success. All young Londoners should benefit from a good school place, opportunities to thrive in safe and welcoming communities and a chance to have a say and contribute to London’s future.   Our overarching aims are:
  • More children will be ready to thrive at school from the age of 5;
  • A good school place for all London’s children;
  • All children in the city will be doing better at school, and disadvantaged children will catch up with their peers; and
  • More young people will be on track to leave school ready for adult life in a world city.

Improving access to quality early education and childcare (early years education campaign)

    1. In his manifesto the Mayor pledged to ‘make childcare more affordable and accessible with strategy that delivers for business and workers’.
    2. The earlier a child starts to learn the better they tend to do in school and later in life.  The take up of early education in London remains considerably lower than in the rest of the country, particularly for the most disadvantaged groups. In 2018 only 61% of eligible two-year olds accessed early years provision in London, compared with 72% nationally.

It is often the children from the poorest backgrounds who are missing out on this vital early years’ education.  By the age of five, children eligible for free school meals are almost three months behind their peers.

    1. MD2147 approved funding for the Mayor’s Early Years Hubs and Early Years Leaders programme. Other activity across City Hall includes the Good Work Standard, Healthy Early Years London, and Childcare Sufficiency Assessment (CSA) support to London boroughs.  Further details can be found in the Mayor’s ‘Early Years in London’ report
    2. Our proposed Early Years Campaign will improve awareness of the free early years entitlements amongst London families. The GLA will work with external and internal partners in the design phase of the project to ensure it meets the needs of the capital’s diverse population. We will run a number of focus groups with parents representing different community groups to better understand their perceived barriers to participation and help shape messages for the campaign. Findings from the focus groups will shape the messages used for the social media and marketing campaign and inform the small grants round to ensure the proposed activities can reach harder to engage families.
    3. As well as targeting parents through the campaign we aim to provide clear messages to other professionals working with families – particularly health visitors - of the benefits of early education.  
    4. Learning from the Early Years Campaign will be disseminated across London to improve the capacity and knowledge of the sector and create legacy for future activities.
    5. The Campaign will be delivered from January 2019 to September 2019 to ensure that as many families as possible can access childcare at the start of the 2019-20 academic year and as many children as possible can benefit from two-year-old vacancies that are available at the start of the academic year. 
    6. The Early Years Campaign will consist of two strands:
  • Social media and marketing campaign
  • Grant funding to local communities. 

Social media and marketing campaign

We are working closely with the GLA Marketing Team to develop the campaign. This strand will target London working families, to raise awareness of available support with childcare. It will target families for whom the cost of childcare is one of the main barriers to increasing working hours or entering employment.

We will also work with the Marketing and Digital Teams to shape the messages and to create digital assets that will link with the government information service. The social media campaign will expand on the marketing campaign for working parents as well as target families eligible for free early education and childcare for two-year-olds with messages shaped by focus groups with parents run in August 2018.  The campaign will be informed by findings from the early years entitlements target group analysis being undertaken by the GLA’s Intelligence Unit using YouGov profiles. We are planning to allocate £50,000 to the social media and marketing campaign.

Grant funding to local communities

To deliver creative activities to engage disadvantaged families and increase their awareness and take-up of the free early years entitlements we are proposing to run a competitive process to award a number of small grants to community groups and other organisations that work with parents and children aged under five-years.  We will expect the successful bidders to work in partnership with local authorities to identify the areas of low take up and to have links with early years providers so that eligible families can access funded places. Applicants will be asked to show how they will creatively reach out and engage parents and help them to access their free entitlement.  Projects will engage harder to reach families and communities with the aim to change their perception of formal childcare and early education which can act as a barrier to access.   We are planning to allocate between ten and 15 grants of between £10,000 and £15,000 each.

Outputs and outcomes

Programme area



Early Years Campaign

Social Media and marketing campaign delivered from January 2019 to September 2019


Number of families engaged through local grant funded activities


Improved awareness of the early years entitlements amongst Londoners

Improved awareness of benefits of early learning amongst harder to engage group of parents

Increased take up of free early education amongst the most disadvantaged groups


Expenditure of up to £92,000 in 2018-19 and £108,000 in 2019-20 on the Early Years Campaign.



    1. Research and consultation, alongside dissemination of the findings, will continue to provide a rigorous evidence base for development of Mayoral policies and programme delivery.
    2. New research in 2018-19 will take forward activity to support the Mayoral priorities to increase take-up of STEM subjects by girls and under-represented groups and to create a child friendly London.
    3. To shape the Mayor’s London Scientist programme, the GLA used research from a range of high-profile studies including the Institute of Physics (IOP) reports on girls’ progression with physics (including their ‘Opening Doors’ report), and the UCL Institute of Education Science Capital ASPIRES project on facilitating an interest in science-based careers by under-represented groups. To further embed and build on IOP’s extensive research and the Science Capital Project we are proposing to:
  • Support the pilot of a gender equality charter mark in London schools. This will build on the IOP ‘Opening Doors’ work to test a framework, evaluation, and accreditation process for a whole school approach towards tackling gender stereotypes. The GLA will provide grant funding to the Institute of Physics and will work closely with the project steering group which includes Kings College London and UCL Institute of Education. In supporting the testing of the gender equality charter mark, London will act as a trailblazer before plans for a national roll-out.
  • Refresh the content of our existing Key Stage 3 London Curriculum STEM units. The GLA’s award-winning London Curriculum supports teachers in bringing learning to life inspired by the people, places and heritage of London. We will add case studies to the STEM units which highlight the careers of role models who have broken down stereotypes in STEM, including women, and those from a BAME, or poorer background.  The refresh will implement UCL IOE’s Science Capital ASPIRE research findings. Science Capital found that personalising and localising science content helps students see that their interests, attitudes and experience at home and in the community relate to aspects of science.  The London Curriculum already helps ‘localise’ science; the GLA will update the units so that they also help teachers personalise their teaching.  The refresh will ensure our resources fully support teachers to engage with students who are typically hard to reach in STEM, using the latest evidence-based teaching practice.
    1.     These combined projects will represent £60,000 of the proposed expenditure.

2.19     To advocate a child friendly London, we will be commissioning research, via a competitive process, on designing for children’s independent mobility.  This work is part of the Good Growth by Design (GGbD) programme and seeks to inform the implementation of Mayoral policy and related strategies and contribute to the creation of a child friendly London. This GGbD research commission will focus on how the design of the built environment can facilitate greater independent mobility for children (under 18’s), in particular the freedom they have to explore and play in their local neighbourhood and the wider city. This research should be undertaken within the context of making London a child-friendly city and has been assigned £25,000 of the proposed expenditure.

    1. In 2018-2019 further activity will be undertaken to support dissemination through seminars and conferences of the new research outlined above, and also of research that has been completed over the last year. This includes research to improve educational outcomes for the largest underperforming groups of pupils which are Black Caribbean boys and white boys who are eligible for free school meals; on teacher recruitment and retention; on pupil demand and projections; and on young peoples’ experience and attainment at Key Stage 5. The remainder of the expenditure of is allocated for dissemination.
    2. We will continue to focus on sharing evaluation and building an evidence base for the education and youth sectors. Future years’ research and knowledge dissemination activity will ensure that our programmes are evidence based and that we widely share learnings and data to make a strong case for investment in what works in improving social mobility. Future activity will be confirmed annually and the relevant approval sought.



Outputs and outcomes

Programme area



Evidence based research & knowledge dissemination

Publication of research reports


Conferences and roundtables


Programme evaluations

Activity is evidence based

Learning is shared

The GLA has an enhanced and more rigorous evidence base to speak up for London and young Londoners




  1. Expenditure of up to £100,000 in 2018-19 on research and knowledge dissemination to ensure that our programmes are evidence based, we have a strong case for change and that we widely share learnings.

Supporting youth engagement and increasing awareness of youth activities

  1. Our consultation with the youth sector and with young people has consistently highlighted the issue that children and young people find it hard to find out what support is available to them.  Youth organisations and funders of youth activities recognise that there is more they could do to reach out to all young Londoners and to ensure that funded activities reach those that can benefit most from them.In August 2018, the Mayor published the first version of an interactive map for young Londoners maps activities to help young Londoners and their families search for activities including sport, education, art, dance, music and technology. The Mayor wants the simple-to-use map to be a one-stop shop for people to find activities, not just over the summer, but all year round. We will work with the Marketing and Digital Team to further develop, ensuring that it meets the needs of young people and their families, holds sufficient information on Young Londoners Fund projects, other GLA-funded youth activities  and other youth activities, and that it is kept up to date, and is used by young people.

To complement the online digital map and the Young Londoners Fund delivery we will scope out ways to better lever and promote opportunities across the GLA group programmes which promote lifelong learning and out of school activity (for example through European Social Funded projects, social action, sports, culture, music, science and digital activity) for young people who are most disadvantaged.  We will establish a participatory mechanism working with young people to understand how we can better share information on activities that can support them, through social media and other routes.

  1. We’ll work with the GLA’s Marketing and Opinion Research teams together with our Peer Outreach Team to run focus groups with children and young people so that we can better understand the messages we should use to reach them, and what the channels are that they use to find out about positive activities.  Feedback from the focus groups will shape our next steps.  Initial plans are to develop ‘live’ case studies; videos which are led and produced by the young people who are taking part in or running City Hall funded youth projects.   We also plan to reach out to other youth networks across the capital, possibly supporting them through grant funding to test out new ways of reaching disadvantaged children and young people. We are proposing that this budget is added to the ‘Impact for Youth’ element of the Young Londoners Fund, funded through a budget transfer from the Youth Innovation Fund.   Impact for Youth is being developed to support organisations who are planning to apply for the Young Londoners Fund or who are delivering activity funded through the Young Londoners Fund. MD2265 approved funds for Impact for Youth to help local organisations generate and deliver grassroots proposals for the Young Londoners Fund.  This additional funding will help communicate the activities and support available through the Young Londoners Fund, as well as bringing together information on complementary support funded elsewhere in the GLA or by others.  

         Outputs and outcomes

Programme area



Supporting youth engagement and awareness of youth activities

Number of organisations publishing information on


Number of clicks through to organisation information


Young people, their carers and youth organisations have a good awareness of Young Londoners Fund projects and other activities that can benefit them

Young Londoners Fund projects meet their targets for the number of young people they plan to support



  1. A budget virement of £150,000 from the Youth Innovation Fund to the Young Londoners Fund ‘Impact for Youth’ project to be spent on youth engagement and awareness activities, with expenditure of up to £20,000 in 2018-19, £65,000 in 2019-20, and £65,000 in 2020-21.
Equality comments

Under s149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the Equality Act), as a public authority the Mayor must have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and any conduct that is prohibited by or under the Equality Act; and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.

London’s over two million children and young people aged 0-19 face an unequal start in life and this sector of the population is increasing.

The first years of our lives are vital. Often, it is the poorest children who miss out. In 2017, only 58 per cent of eligible two-year olds took up a free early education place in London, compared with 71 per cent nationally. By aged five, children entitled to free school meals are almost three months behind their better off peers. Our report Early Years in London, published in 2018 sets out more details on the key measures to monitor progress across early years and childcare and the key activity to be undertaken to address quality and access to early years provision.

We also know that careers aspirations begin early and can be fixed by gender and socioeconomic background. Challenging stereotypes around careers-related topics and skills – particularly girls and STEM - can support young people into sectors in which they are underrepresented.

Children from some groups and communities still do much worse than their peers, with initial gaps in development widening, as those children get older. Looked after children have some of the poorest outcomes at school of any group and there are increasing numbers of children with special educational needs. The Mayor’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy notes that children in care, those with special educational needs (SEN), and children from low-income white and black ethnic groups, are less likely to do well at school. Whilst girls, black pupils and Muslims face greater barriers in turning school performance into careers. Overall London schools and pupils outperform other regions, but London still needs to do more to close the gap and raise attainment for the most disadvantaged pupils. The research already underway will identify specific actions which are most relevant to the London context and London pupils.

Currently, not all children and young people enjoy equal access to London’s cultural, sporting, arts, historic, scientific and business opportunities. Taking part in these types of opportunities helps the development of essential life skills such as confidence, motivation, resilience and communication; attributes which are associated with better academic outcomes and better prospects in the workplace. This builds social capital and is part of activity to develop non-academic skills to support young Londoners’ transition to post 16 education and training.

Informal, non-statutory services have an important preventative role to play. Getting good support to young people in their teenage years is vital – especially to support the most disadvantaged young people. Youth services are vital to young people who have been left behind or marginalised. They enable them to reach their potential and play a valuable role in helping them avoid being sucked into crime. MOPAC’s data on knife crime demonstrates that BAME young people are over-represented as both victims and perpetrators and are overwhelmingly male with many and complex vulnerabilities.

Other considerations

Key risks





Early Years Campaign does not reach the anticipated number of families



We are consulting with our early years stakeholder group to shape the campaign. By delivering two different strands we aim to mitigate against the risk that the marketing campaign does not reach the more disadvantaged.

Insufficient bids are received to deliver the early years grant funded projects.



We will work closely with local authorities and the GLA’s community engagement team to disseminate information on the grants.

Inability to engage with schools on the Gender Equality pilot.



The previous research by Institute of Physics is well known in the sector and they already have strong relationships with London schools.

Youth organisations do not post information on



The number of organisations posting has been steadily increasing since the launch of the beta version of the site.




Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities


4.1       The proposed early years activity and the research and dissemination will contribute directly to the   Mayor’s strategies and manifesto pledges. The Health Inequality Strategy identifies the importance of support to parents in the early years and the impact that quality early years provision can have on a child’s development and school readiness. The draft Economic Development Strategy identifies the importance of early years and childcare, the education workforce, schools provision and improving young people’s successful transition to post 16 education and training.  The alignment of activity to the Mayor’s Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and the Skills for Londoners Strategy is noted above at 3.4 and 3.5.

The Mayor has launched the Young Londoners Fund to help and support children and young people to fulfil their potential. We particularly want to help those at risk of getting caught up in crime.  We want to ensure that those young people who are most disadvantaged understand how to access support provided by the Young Londoners Fund and other complementary activity.

Impact assessments and consultations


 Consultation took place through engagement with a range of children and young people’s service providers with a series of roundtables hosted at City Hall in November 2017. Attendees were from a wide range of sectors; the topic areas were: children in care, youth work and the youth sector, education and skills, a child friendly city. Two events were held for young people facilitated by the Peer Outreach Team.

A well-attended focus group from key stakeholders in the early years sector took place in July 2018 to discuss options for increasing take-up of the free early years entitlement.  A strong consensus emerged for a campaign with pan London messaging accompanied by local community interventions.

Financial comments

Approval is sought for expenditure of £450,000 over three financial years on: an early years education campaign, research and dissemination, and youth engagement and awareness activities. Below is a breakdown of cost for each year.


Approval is also requested for the budget transfer of £150,000 over three financial years from the ‘Youth Innovation Fund’ programme to the Young Londoners Fund ‘Impact for Youth’ project to fund the youth engagement and awareness activities spend mentioned above.


The 2018-19 cost of £212,000 will be funded from the Education and Youth Team’s budget for 2018-19. Future years’ budgets are indicative and still subject to the GLA’s annual budget setting process.












Early Years Education Campaign





Research and Dissemination





Youth engagement and awareness activities










Activity table



Early Years


Undertake focus group with early years stakeholders

Summer 2018

Undertake focus groups with parents from different backgrounds to shape the campaign messaged

Summer 2018

Launch request for proposal for community grants to increase FEEE-take up

Autumn 2018

Design social media and marketing campaign 

Autumn 2018

Campaign begins

January 2019

Campaign ends

September 2019

Research and dissemination


Grant fund  a pilot whole-school approach to gender equality

October 2018

Commission Good Growth by Design - independent mobility work

October 2018

Seminar on underperforming pupil  research

December 2018

Supporting youth engagement and awareness of youth activities


Respond to user feedback and enhance beta version of

Autumn 2018

Scope methods of how best to promote activities to young people

Autumn 2018

Share information on round 1 Young Londoners Fund projects (informed by results of scoping in Autumn 2018)

Spring 2019 onwards

Build campaign to share information on other GLA activities to align with launch of new GLA run ESF projects

Autumn 2019

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