City of York Council (Logo)



Meeting date:

20 February 2024

Report of:

Corporate Director of Children and Education

Portfolio of:

Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education

Decision Report: Children and Young People’s Plan

Subject of Report


1.           This report presents a new Children and Young People’s Plan (2024-2027). The Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP) represents the overarching strategic plan for all partners working in the city. It sets our shared ambition and priorities for children and young people in the city. As a partnership document the work of all agencies should be informed by vision and priorities contained within the CYPP.


2.           The Executive is asked to commit the council to delivering the Children and Young People’s Plan as a key partner in the city.


Benefits and Challenges


3.           We know that for many children, young people and families York is a great place to live and grow up. We also know that isn’t the story for everyone. Still too often difficulties in families lives mean children don’t achieve their full potential.


4.           We want York to be a place where outcomes are good for all children but with a clear focus on closing gaps in outcomes for children and young people who don’t have the same opportunities as their peers.


5.           The Children and Young People’s Plan places a strong emphasis on York being a place that children and young people have a sense of ‘belonging’. The plan sets out the fundamental building blocks all children and young people need to belong and thrive. It is important that everyone in the city plays their part in ensuring children feel that they belong in the city and the support and care they need to develop.


6.           The Children and Young People’s Plan is a call to arms for all partners working with families. We can only achieve our shared aims by working together to a common vision and set of priorities.


7.           Without a Children and Young People’s Plan we are at risk of partners not working together, missing opportunities and not making the most of the resources in the city. Ultimately this leads to poorer outcomes for children and young people not just in childhood but throughout their lives.


8.           The Children and Young People’s Plan sets out our vision that:

All children and young people get the best start in life, are happy and healthy, stay safe and develop the skills and relationships they need to thrive into adulthood.


Policy Basis for Decision


9.           The Children and Young People’s Plan is listed in the council’s constitution as one of the partnership and community plans requiring agreement at Executive.


10.        The development of a Children and Young People’s Plan was originally a requirement of the Children Act 2004. This placed a responsibility on partners to work together to improve the well-being of children in their area.   Whilst it is no longer a statutory responsibility to produce a Children and Young People’s Plan, York has agreed it is helpful in ensuring partners work together on key priorities for the city.


11.        The Children and Young People’s Plan belongs to the city. It spans across our entire strategic landscape for children and young people and should influence our work at all levels. The coordination of the partners delivering the Children and Young People’s Plan sits with the City of York Safeguarding Children’s Partnership (CYSCP) and will reach across other relevant strategic partnerships in our city.


12.        One City, for all, the City of York Council's Council Plan (2023-2027), sets a strong ambition to increase opportunities for everyone living in York to live healthy and fulfilling lives. Under the priority of ‘a health generating city, for children and adult’s the council is will:

a)   Start good health and wellbeing young:

b)   Continue our improvement journey to deliver good and outstanding children’s services with the voice of the child heard throughout all council operations.


13.        Given its nature the CYPP also has strong links to other local strategies including:

a)   The Health and Wellbeing Strategy

b)   The York Economic Strategy

c)   The Climate Change Strategy


14.        York’s Economic Strategy 2022-2032 sets out a clear vision for a stronger economy, recognising the need to enable young people to thrive and take advantage of the opportunities our city provides.  It includes commitments to work with industry to enable young people to get involved in the sectors of the future and make the most of the many job opportunities that York offers.  This will involve further strengthening links between education and the economy.

15.        The Economic Strategy also recognises that a wide range of employment is needed to enable all to thrive, and the York Skills and Employment Plan looks at how best to develop routes into employment for all, regardless of their educational attainment.


Financial Strategy Implications


16.        There are no direct financial implications over adopting the Children and Young People’s Plan. The purpose of the plan is to make clear shared priorities for the city. By doing so the expectation is partners are able to demonstrate their contribution to the delivery of the plan and to use the plan to guide them in deciding how they work and deliver services.  


Recommendation and Reasons


17.        It is recommended that the Executive agree the Children and Young People’s Plan provided as Annex A.


18.        This is to enable the implementation of the Children and Young People’s Plan alongside partners.




19.        In 2023 a multi-agency task and finish group came together to help develop the new Children and Young People’s Plan. The task and finish group:


a)   Reviewed existing strategic plans across the city.


b)   Reviewed existing data from the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment and other sources.


c)   Reviewed existing messages from children and young people.


d)   Piloted the use of a co-production toolkit with children and young people.


20.        During the development of the Children and Young People’s Plan the task and finish group engaged the then Children and Young People’s Programme Board that reported to the Health and Well-Being Board along with the City of York Safeguarding Partnership (CYSCP).


21.        In September 2023 the CYSCP reviewed the proposed plan. The partnership agreed their commitment to the new Children and Young People’s Plan. This is reflected in the foreword provided by key strategic leads in the city.


22.        The Children and Young People’s Plan is provided in Annex A. The plan covers the period 2024 – 2027 and aligns with other related strategic plans.


23.        The City of York Safeguarding Children Partnership will coordinate the work of partners and review what difference we are making through our Children and Young People’s Plan. To understand what difference the plan is making the partnership will bring together intelligence from three different sources:


a)   What children, young people and families tell us

We will draw together messages from children, young people and families about their experience of living and growing up in York and use this to understand what difference is being made in people’s lives.


b)  What our data tells us

A scorecard of data indicators has been agreed to help us understand if we are making a difference.  This is provided in Annex B. This data will provide valuable insight but the partnership must analyse and understand the story behind the data by triangulating it with what families say and system assurance from partners.


c)   System Assurance

We will check and challenge partners to demonstrate the work they have done to deliver the Children and Young People’s Plan and what they understand to be the difference they have made.


24.        The safeguarding partnership will use its annual reporting cycle to demonstrate the progress in implementing the plan and its impact for children and young people.


Consultation Analysis


25.        York has made a commitment to involve children and young people in the development and delivery of services.


26.        In developing our Children and Young People's Plan we drew together key messages from children and young people through different forums. These are summarised below:


a)   2023 Co-Production and Joint Partnership with children, young people and families

b)   2023 Annual Show Me That I Matter and I Still Matter reports

c)   2023 Annual Advocacy Report

d)   2023 UMatter Report

e)   2023 City of York Safeguarding Children's Partnership Development Day

f)     2023 York Youth Council

g)   Access4All

h)   2022 Public Health Survey

i)     2021 Voice and Involvement Strategy Evaluation

j)     2021 York Human Rights Indicator Report


27.        To support the development of the Children and Young People's Plan a children's rights co-production toolkit was developed. The toolkit raises awareness of children's rights and helped children and young people explore priorities in the context of children's rights. The feedback gathered through these sessions have added to existing messages from young people.


28.        In Autumn 2023 the Children's Rights Co-Production toolkit was launched to support all partners engage children and young people understand their rights. The toolkit uses and Appreciative Inquiry approach to introduce the concept of children’s rights and support services to work with young people to agree how to better meet children’s needs.  The toolkit is available through the safeguarding partnership website (   

Options Analysis and Evidential Basis


29.        Agree the new Children and Young People’s Plan
This is the recommended option and would allow the implementation of the plan alongside partners in the city.

Organisational Impact and Implications


·                    Financial, There are no direct financial implication from the recommendations in this report, any indirect implications may be addressed in other reports or through the council’s annual budget process.

·                    Human Resources (HR), There are no associated staffing and / or HR implications relating to this.

·                    Legal, The children and young people plan is listed as one of the policies to be reviewed and monitored  by full council in the scheme of delegation. Whilst the duty to provide a plan such as this has changed there remains a duty under s10 Children Act 2004 on the Local Authority to cooperate with its relevant partners to improve the wellbeing of children in its area and the relevant partners are also required to cooperate with this and there is evidence that there has been collaboration with the safeguarding partnership to generate this plan including in particular obtaining the voice of the children and their families themselves.


The plan sets out the manner in which the local authority will aim to discharge its statutory functions and enshrines the principles it aims to implement and is aspirational in its intentions.

·                    Procurement, There are no procurement implications in relation to this.

·                    Health and Wellbeing, Every baby, child and young person, regardless of the circumstances into which they are born, can be supported to maximise their potential and future life chances, through a whole-system, collective response that prevents ill health and injury, protects against disease and risks, and promotes healthy behaviours and environments.


The actions taken by services must be informed by the voice of children, young people, their parents and caregivers, and underpinned by collective system responsibility. City of York Council are committed to a ‘Health in all policies’ approach which systematically and explicitly takes into account the health implications of the decisions services and organisations make.


To achieve significant change in population health, the environment in which people grow, live and work needs to promote good health both for communities and individuals. Positive health behaviours must be embedded at a young age, and ensure they form parts of the social norms that children are exposed to when growing up.


As there is a social gradient in health, action should be taken to reduce the resulting inequalities by following the principles of proportionate universalism. This means that focusing on the most disadvantaged people and communities will not reduce inequalities sufficiently; instead action must be universal but with scale and intensity that is proportionate to the disadvantage (Marmot, 2010).


The proposals in this strategy aim to contribute to reducing health inequalities in the city and giving children the best start in life, which are both aspirations of the Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2022-2032.

·                    Environment and Climate action, The environment and climate change was identified as a common concern amongst young children, with York Youth Council making the environment a priority area for focus. The Council will continue to tackle the challenges posed by climate change and adhere to the principles in the Climate Change Strategy to enhance our environment for future generations.

·                    Affordability, This report and the Plan will contribute to  York being a place where outcomes are good for all children but with a clear focus on closing gaps in outcomes for children and young people who don’t have the same opportunities as their peers including ensuring the best start in life, reducing health inequalities,  and developing  skills and resilience to be successful in adult life..

·                    Equalities and Human Rights – A copy of the Equalities Impact Assessment has been provided as Annex B.

·                    Data Protection and Privacy, As there is no new personal data, special categories of personal data or criminal offence data being processed for this report, there is no requirement to complete a DPIA. This is evidenced by completion of DPIA screening questions - reference – AD-02922.

·                    Communications, contact: Head of Communications.

·                    Economy, There are clear links between the Children and Young People's Plan and the Economic Strategy and Skills Plan.  The young people of York are the future of the York economy and this report provides a plan for how the city will coordinate its work to help young people get ready for that future.

Risks and Mitigations


30.        There are no identified risks in adopting the Children and Young People’s Plan. The delivery of the Children and Young People’s Plan is a means by which to improve outcomes across the city.


Wards Impacted


31.        All wards will be impacted.




Contact details


For further information please contact the authors of this Decision Report.





Niall McVicar

Job Title:

Head of Innovation and Children’s Champion

Service Area:

Children’s Services



Report approved:






·        Background paper: Annex A – Children and Young People’s Plan

·        Background paper: Annex B – Children and Young People’s Plan Scorecard

·        Background paper: Annex C – Children and Young People’s Plan Equality Impact Assessment