ESB: Our Repsonse and Guidance for Covid-19 (coronavirus)

Our general guidance is below but any internal University changes to exceptional arrangements take precedence over this and we will review at the end of October as the situation becomes clearer across the HE sector.

As a response to the ongoing developments for HEIs in readiness and response to COVI-19 (Coronavirus) preparations, the following guidelines are being applied by ESB:

The potential consequences of COVID-19 (including the temporary closure of settings) are that some students may be prevented from completing the required assessed professional practice as part of their ESB endorsed programme. This ESB guidance is intended to assist with managing and minimising disruption to students and HEIs while seeking to ensure that the quality of degree programmes is not compromised.
The assumption in the guidance is that programme design will not change as a result of an outbreak of Covid-19 but that HEI’s will use flexibility in how practice is embedded in the curriculum over the duration of a programme. In all situations, we are keen to work alongside HEIs to ensure that no students are at risk of not achieving the standards because insufficient time had been afforded to practice, whilst ensuring care to trainees’ wellbeing and safety.

Guidance for Non-Final Year Students:
For students at levels 4 and 5 of their programme whose practice is disrupted, we suggest that universities progress them to the next year/level without having completed all the required fieldwork, on condition that they undertake additional supervised fieldwork to make up the hours, and the learning outcomes associated with them, at a later stage in their programme. Individual universities should work with placements and the student to best identify when this could be possible – including the use of time outside typical University teaching terms/semesters.

Guidance for Final Year Students and Postgraduate Students:
Final-year (Level 6) students are more likely to have completed most of their practice hours but will also face difficulty in meeting ESBs requirement for demonstrating competence in the 6 standards in Key Area 1 of CD NOS. ESB recommends that a process of Recognition of student practice is implemented. This can be achieved by using the existing ESB template for Recognition which requires students to state what they have done to achieve this standard (from work, volunteering, planning for placement, what knowledge and skills they have used) and then to reflect on this. This small practice portfolio would be verified by the tutor and would replace the final placement report. ESB would organise a process of sampling to assist quality assurance.

For postgraduate students, a disruption of 2-3 months could risk non-completion of the programme. However, there is potentially less flexibility to gather evidence of activity as part of the process. Universities in this case may need to consider extending the programme and review the graduation date to ensure students have time to complete assessed professional practice. Alternatively, as with final year students, the ESB process of recognition of student practice could be implemented.

ESB can provide guidance via phone and email to enable programmes to quickly set up this recognition process for final year or post graduate students. Contact us  for documents to complete and process to adopt to use this reflection process. Please contact us so that our sampling support for the quality process can be planned for timescales. Alternatively, if you are intending to put other systems into place, please contact us to ensure they will meet our requirements.
This guidance is intended to run between March 2020 and July 2020 and ESB will revise it in due course.

ESB Annual Report 2018/9


This year has been quite busy with more Recognition programmes running in the North East. Our work to endorse programmes remains core area of work, we are involved more with the dual validation of Youth and Community Development programmes with the NYA through their ETS committee. We continue to be active members of the ETS and contribute to their development and updating work. Board members have continued to be involved with the Local Trust research and with PALCYW, otherwise known as TAG – the group representing lecturers running youth and community work programmes. Through this work we  make a substantial difference to the programmes being offered to people interested I a CD approach to their work in communities. We welcomed some new people who are getting involved in the work of ESB, especially around the idea of running regional workshops or working within specific area such as housing.

Read more: ESB Annual Report 2018/9

All Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Affairs

The National Youth Agency (NYA) is delighted to support the All Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Affairs (APPG) to lead a full national inquiry into youth work. As the national body for youth work NYA is working hard to champion our profession and to constantly highlight the need for youth work. The NYA is grateful to the cross party group of MP’s who will lead this inquiry and special thanks also to the APPG secretariat British Youth Council and YMCA England and Wales for supporting this endeavour.

The inquiry is seeking to address the following four points:

1. What is the role of youth work in addressing the needs and opportunities for young people?

2. Are the key issues and challenges faced by young people being addressed by current youth service provisions?

3. Are there sufficient youth workers to support youth services and other delivery models for good quality youth work?

4. What are the training and workforce development needs to secure and sustain youth work?

The inquiry is being launched today by the Chairman of the APPG, Lloyd Russell-Moyle with the NYA. The NYA is calling on the youth sector to respond passionately and comprehensively to our call for evidence. Evidence can be submitted to the inquiry team via the NYA’s website:

We will be supporting the sector to submit as much evidence as possible to enable the cross-party group of MP’s to draw conclusions. The APPG MP’s will also be conducting a number of hearings and visits to youth projects across the country. Organisations can nominate themselves for an MP visit via the link above also.


Validation of Professional Youth Work Programmes

ETS and NYA have been conducting a review of the requirements that underpin the validation of professional youth work programmes in England. Given the challenging circumstances for both the youth work field and the institutions delivering programmes, it was felt to be timely to reflect on the clarity and relevance of requirements and consider how our validation processes align to and support wider institutional review activity. There is also work to review NYA and ETS approaches, quality assurance and support to programmes.

A copy of the revised guidance which remains in a draft format and contains some explanatory narrative to assist in this consultation can be downloaded here. A survey monkey form has been created to aid the gathering of feedback to ensure all comments are captured:

We are keen for as many of our stakeholders to respond as possible as this really helps inform the final version with confidence that we have met the aim of the review to produce clear and concise guidance  that continues to support robust professional formation whilst being accommodating to the changes and challenges within the sector.

Please could all comments be shared by the 4th July.

Localis: Place matters: How communities in England are changing

This report from neo-localist think tank Localis outlines some of the key trends shaping three distinct communities (market and new towns, urban north and rural communities) now and, in the future.

"Four times a year, figures outlining the country’s economic performance are published. Sometimes the bulletins bring good news, sometimes they bring bad news, yet national measures matter little when they seem out of step with local circumstance. In Sheffield, for instance, the economy has in recent years had a similar trajectory to Greece’s. Questions of national GDP are of little significance in a place that has faced a decade-long recession..." Read more of this report on the Local trust website