Greater Manchester’s bold ambitions to ensure the city-region is the best place in the country to grow up, get on and grow old have been boosted by the publication of a comprehensive Children and Young People’s Plan.
Central to the new proposals is the commitment to secure everyone growing up in the city-region the skills, opportunities and aspirations necessary to negotiate early childhood, education and initial employment.
Each important area of work will be delivered at a local level, supported by Greater Manchester-wide programmes including last month’s unveiling of a significant new Care Leavers Guarantee, backed by more than half a million pounds of Government funding.
The Children and Young People’s Plan’s priorities for action include:
- School readiness: The best start in life and the right support to be ready to learn
- Quality education and outcomes: Increasing the quality of education and educational achievement
- Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
- Looked after children and care leavers
- Ready for life: Transition to adulthood
- Healthy children and young people
- Safe children and young people
Cllr Rishi Shori, Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) Lead on Young People and Social Cohesion, said: “Our vision is to make Greater Manchester a place where all children have the best start in life and young people grow up inspired to exceed expectations.
“Our city-region is home to 898,000 children and young people under the age of 25 – a number which is growing. The Greater Manchester population of under 25s is larger than the England average and children growing up across the city-region facing some of society’s biggest challenges.
“Devolution gives Greater Manchester the opportunity to take greater control of our services for children and young people. This will ensure that we develop the services that children and young people need and give them a greater say over how we invest our resources to provide them with the best possible care.”
Greater Manchester has secured £7.43m of investment from the Department for Education (DfE) to invest in improvement of children and young people’s services including the spreading and scaling of innovative practice, plus establishing a Greater Manchester Standards Board.
An essential component of implementing the plan will be engaging children and young people and incorporating their views.
Rishi explained: “Essential to the successful delivery of this plan is involving young people of all ages, listening to what they have to say, giving them opportunities to share their views and experiences, and co-designing plans that affect them.
“Young people are the key to the sustained success of Greater Manchester and they have a great contribution to make.”
Greater Manchester already has a well-established Youth Combined Authority, the first of its kind in the country, which debates critical issues affecting children and young people including being ready for life after education and environmental issues.
In a further prime example of joined-up partnership working across the city-region the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSCP) recently published its Greater Manchester Youth Agreement, outlining what children and young people can expect from health and social care providers.
Among the pledges includes promises to ensure those using services have access to facilities that are safe and welcoming, that users know the range of services which are available and that all the staff users meet have got the right skills and knowledge.
Jon Rouse, Chief Officer, Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “It is a stark fact that Greater Manchester is one of the hardest places in the country to grow up.
“We owe it to young people across the city-region to change that. No-one’s aspirations, or potential, should be stifled simply because of their background or where they live.
“Tackling such entrenched problems is ambitious, but all of us across the city-region must work together to affect real change.
“Progress is being made. For example, we are starting to see improvements in support for children and young people’s mental health and in levels of school readiness. However, in these and other areas such as educational attainment, obesity, special educational needs, child safeguarding and youth justice, there is much work to be done.
“For the first time in Greater Manchester we have a single plan for our children and young people that is based on what they have told us are their priorities. It is now incumbent on all of us to get behind this plan and ensure it is delivered.”
To view the new Children and Young People’s Plan click here.
Article Published: 03/06/2019 11:49 AM