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Volume 405: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills whether young people are involved in the decision-making boards of Connexions partners; and what plans he has to increase such involvement. [109731]

Young people are at the heart of the Connexions Service. It is their commitment and support which has helped build an innovative service for young people.Many young people have been involved in the governance of Connexions Partnerships as Board members, on Local Management Committees and as Youth or Shadow Board Members. Over 50 young people worked with the Connexions Service National Unit to produce guidance to Connexions Partnerships on involving young people in governance.Young people are making a valuable contribution to the decisions made by Partnerships and local management committees. They are involved in helping to define the measures against which the organisation will be judged, in decisions about strategic direction and in helping to develop Business Plans. Young people are involved in assessing bids from potential contractors and in the selection of key personnel including Partnership Chief Executives and the Deputy Chief Executive of the Connexions Service National Unit.We will continue to promote the active involvement of young people in all aspects of the Connnexions Service including in governance. Ofsted inspections of Partnerships include inspecting the involvement of young people and their impact on Partnerships. We are supporting Partnerships to ensure that any issues on the involvement of young people in decision-making highlighted by Ofsted inspections are addressed.

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills for what reasons the connexions card is not available for all students in Staffordshire. [112615]

The Connexions Card is available to all 16–19 year olds in England. 3,220 young people in Staffordshire currently have a Connexions Card.The Connexions Card team is actively working with schools, colleges, work based training organisations and the Connexions Partnership in Staffordshire to increase the number of young people who have the Card.