Where does the third sector fit in?
TSNLA is engaged at a national, strategic level to represent third sector interests. At local level, third sector organisations are usually represented on Children‘s Trusts and 14-19 Partnerships, both of which link to Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs). For information about third sector representation on your LSP or Children‘s Trust, contact your local Council for Voluntary Service (CVS).
Regional Planning Groups have been established in each of the nine Government Office regions8 and bring together local authorities with representatives from the RDA and Skills Funding Agency. Their remit is to undertake standardised data collection and analysis, set regional priorities and ensure provision fits national, regional and local budgets. The effective representation of third sector interests is still being established at regional and sub-regional levels and capacity building is a significant issue for the sector. To find out more about how third sector representation is being co-ordinated at this level contact your regional networks, NAVCA or TSNLA — contact details are provided in the Contacts and References section.
Local Planning Groups take shape through the Local Strategic Partnership‘s 14-19 Partnership and the Children‘s Trust to develop and evaluate area-wide strategies that meet local need in terms of quality, quantity and range of learning opportunities. Third and private sector representation on these partnerships varies; in some areas sub–groups have been established to provide a focus for dialogue between the local authority and third sector partners, but there is no set model for engagement.
What is essential is that local planning groups maintain a fully inclusive membership as emphasised in the React guidance and that third sector organisations play their part in shaping and delivering the training offer. The DCSF is clear that both service users and providers, including those from the third sector, need to be involved in planning and designing services to meet local needs.9
8 9 Delivering 14-19 Reform: Next Steps http://publications.everychildmatters.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/00699-2009BKT- EN.pdf
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