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Experimental Projects

Volume 959: debated on Wednesday 29 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what is the purpose of the Experimental Projects Group;(2) if she will outline the criteria to be used when applying for grants from the fund administered by the Experimental Projects Group; what has been the budget of this fund for the last complete financial year; and how much has been spent in each year;(3) if she will list each and every project financed out of the Experimental Projects Fund in the last three years, specifying the amount awarded to each;(4) if she will name the members of the Experimental Projects Fund committee and detail their experience in youth work,(5) with regard to grants awarded by the Experimental Projects Group, how many of the projects financed over the last three years were visited by officials of her Department to assess the degree of experimentation and innovation.

The Experimental Projects Group is a small informal committee set up by my Department to advise us on the award of grant to experimental projects likely to be of value to the youth service.The membership of the group varies. At present it comprises one representative of each of the following:The National Council for Voluntary Youth ServicesThe Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services

SponsorDescriptionGrant awarded (£)
National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs." Countryside projects ": local initiatives to improve the environment.1975–768,000
1976–774,300
1977–78700
Young Men's Christian Association.The Perry Common Project: to provide accommodation and help for homeless young people.1975–762,300
National Youth Bureau A study of current provision and future need for the training of part-time youth and community workers.1975–7610,800
1976–7712,900
1977–784,300
Young Women's Christian Association." Avenues unlimited ": the effectiveness of a team approach to neighbourhood problems.1975–767,200
1976–779,400
Albany TrustThe appointment of a youth officer to advise Youth Service training agencies on the counselling of young people with sexual problems.1976–775,700
1977–787,800
National Association of Youth Clubs.An inner city action project to help girls and young women at risk.1977–785,500
Church of England Board of Education.A follow-up study of young people who have stayed at the Boot night shelter for the homeless.1975–762,800
1976–774,200
1977–78500
This list does not represent the sum total of the Department's support for innovation in youth work, since grants towards the headquarters expenditure of national voluntary youth organisations may be especially supplemented in recognition of planned work of a developmental nature.

  • The National Association of Youth Clubs
  • The Scouts' Association
  • Her Majesty's Inspectorate
  • Department of Education and Science
  • Welsh Office

Most of the membership have considerable practical experience and knowledge of youth work.

Projects must normally be sponsored by a national voluntary youth organisation or a recognised research organisation. The main criteria are that they should be:

  • (i) of national significance, even if locally based
  • (ii) breaking new ground, not covered by previous work
  • (iii) limited in duration, and never exceeding three years
  • (iv) economic, adequately staffed and properly supervised.
  • The budget for experimental projects is not distinguished within the total resources made available each year for grants to national vountary youth organisations. Expenditure on experimental projects in the past three years was as follows:

    1975–76£31,100
    1976–77£36,400
    1977–78£18,800

    Experimental projects for which grants have been made in the past three years are as follows:

    I have no detailed record of the amount of contact which my Department has had with particular projects which we have funded. The Department does, however, participate in the monitoring of all work and is represented by HMI on the steering group which it is normal practice to set up for each project.