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Children and Young People

The role of the Directorate for Children and Learners is to:

• assure Ministers that the Government Priorities for children and young people, Children’s Plan and the Every Child Matters (ECM) Outcomes Framework, are being delivered across the West Midlands; and

• inform/shape government national policy thinking with a regional perspective of the needs of Children and Young People in the West Midlands.


The Children and Learners Directorate at Government Office West Midlands works on behalf of the Department for Education in the region to improve outcomes for children and young people.

The Department for Education was formed on 12th May 2010 and is responsible for education and children’s services. 

This web page is currently being reviewed and new content will be published shortly.

To view the new Department for Education website,  http://www.education.gov.uk







How we work

Each year the Children and Learners Team agrees key priorities and activities with the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) for the West Midlands. These priorities include:

  • providing challenge and support to the way the 14 Children’s Trusts, Local Authorities and their partners deliver in the West Midlands;
  • improving and co-ordinating joined up strategic leadership across the system of agencies and partners working for children and young people;
  • bringing targeted focus on key priorities and policies; and
  • providing intelligence and focus to central government on the needs of the West Midlands.

Government Priorities are set out in Public Service Agreements (PSAs) and Departmental Strategic Objectives. These are underpinned by the Every Child Matters programme, which is a shared programme of change for all children and young people. It takes forward the government’s vision of radical reform of support for children and young people.
In our day-to-day business, we take an inclusive approach to working with others involved in the regional children and young people’s agenda.

We have also worked closely with the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership and other regional partners, including the Association of Directors of Children’s Services, to establish a regional architecture through the West Midlands Children and Young People’s Forum. This enables key regional agencies to agree joint action and support in respect of the main priorities to improve outcomes for children and young people in the West Midlands. (See the links to regional partners' web sites in the Internet links section below.)

A number of national policy developments around children and young people have significantly shaped the Government Office role in this important area of work:

Every Child Matters

Following the consultation, the Government published Every Child Matters: the Next Steps, and passed the Children Act 2004, providing the legislative spine for developing more effective and accessible services focused around the needs of children, young people and families.

Every Child Matters: Change for Children was published in November 2004 as the Government’s approach to improving the well-being of children and young people from birth to age 19.

The Government's aim is for every child, whatever their background or their circumstances, to have the support they need to:

  • Be healthy
  • Stay safe
  • Enjoy and achieve
  • Make a positive contribution
  • Achieve economic well-being

The Children’s Plan

The Children's Plan, announced in December 2007, is a ten-year strategy to make England the best place in the world for children and young people to grow up. The Children’s Plan set out the DCSF plans for the next ten years under each of the DCSF strategic objectives:

Happy & Healthy: secure the well-being and health of children and young people;
Safe & Sound: safeguard the young and vulnerable;
Excellence and equity: Individual progress to achieve world class standards and close the gap in educational achievement for disadvantaged children;
Leadership and collaboration: system reform to achieve world class standards and close the gap in educational achievement for disadvantaged children;
Staying on: ensure that young people are participating and achieving their potential to 18 and beyond;
On the right track: keeping children and young people on the path to success;
Making it happen: vision for 21st Century Children’s Services.

In the West Midlands

In the West Midlands we have identified the following overarching priorities for the next 3 – 5 years:

  • Reducing child obesity (ECM outcome: Be Healthy)
  • Reducing teenage pregnancy rates (ECM outcome: Positive contribution)
  • Supporting local authorities that are making insufficient progress towards national targets for educational attainment, particularly at the end of Key Stage 2 and the ‘floor target’ of 5 A* - C GCSEs including English & Maths. (ECM outcome: Enjoy and Achieve)
  • 14-19 agenda, in particular the Machinery of Government changes and 16-19 funding transfer (ECM outcome: Enjoy and Achieve)
  • Reducing the number of young people who are NEET (ECM outcome: Positive Contribution)
  • Reducing the number of children in poverty (ECM outcome: Achieve Economic Well being, PSA9, NI116)
  • Progressing safeguarding issues (ECM outcome: Stay Safe)
  • Increasing young people’s participation in positive activities (ECM outcome: Positive Contribution)
  • Developing the children’s workforce (cross-cutting issue)

See also on our website

Internet links

Contact information

Children and Learners Directorate
5 St Philip's Place
Colmore Row
B3 2PW
tel: 0121 352 5050 Option 4
fax: 0121 352 5194
email: childrenandlearners@gowm.gsi.gov.uk

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