ADD2230 HeadStart Action 2018

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
21 May 2018
Decision by: 

Executive summary

HeadStart Action provides bespoke support to young people in disadvantaged areas, helping them to gain confidence through social action and developing employability and soft skills. The programme builds on the award winning HeadStart London, which helps to bridge the gap between school and work for 16-18 year-olds in education who require more tailored support.

The programme will be managed by The Challenge, a leading social integration charity which designs and delivers programmes that bring different people together to develop understanding and connecting with others. The Challenge has successfully delivered HeadStart London since its launch in 2014 and co-developed HeadStart Action with Team London.

MD2265 approved a £200,000 grant for Headstart Action through Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund. This ADD is seeking approval to award a further £45,000 to Headstart Action to fund the costs of managing the programme.


That the Assistant Director of Team London approves a grant of £45,000 to The Challenge to fund its management of the HeadStart Action programme, part of the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund. This will take the total grant awarded to £245,000.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

HeadStart Action is a geographically and demographically focused personal and social development programme targeted at young people who are at risk of becoming NEET (not in employment, education or training) and require greater support to be in education, employment or training. The programme was designed and piloted in 2018 by The Challenge in partnership with The Mayor of London and Lendlease, supporting young people in Southwark.

HeadStart Action builds on the success of HeadStart, a programme created by The Challenge in partnership with Team London and leading businesses to help young people become socially active in their local community, whilst gaining the skills, experience and networks they need to get ahead. To date HeadStart has supported over 6,000 young people to commit over 140,000 hours of volunteering to improve their local community, over 4,000 young people have attended employability workshops, over 3,000 have attended an interview for job or an internship and over 80% of young people who have attended an interview are considered job ready by HeadStart employer partners.

MD2265 approved the Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund, to help children and young people fulfil their potential, particularly those who are at risk of getting caught up in crime. The fund will support a range of education, sport, cultural and other activities for young people aged 10 to 21. £45m will be committed over a three-year period from 2018, including £15m which will be invested to scale up existing projects funded by City Hall.

Delivery and commissioning of activity will vary across each City Hall scale up project. Activity will be commissioned following procurement guidelines. MD2265 approved expenditure of £200,000 to scale HeadStart Action across five London areas, supporting at least 100 young people per area in 2018/2019.We are requesting approval to work with at least 85 young people per area, as we know from the first pilot cohort that for this group of young people more one to one and intensive work is required, which means that smaller groups are preferable. We have therefore reduced our numbers slightly in order to achieve better outcomes.

This decision requests approval for an additional £45,000, which will be used for the management of the programme. The Challenge will manage implementation and delivery of the programme delivery, monitor progress of KPIs, milestones and outputs, manage the budget and payments to the delivery partners and oversee the overall monitoring and evaluation of the programme.

The Challenge will receive £245,000 via a Funding Agreement. £200,000 will be distributed to five delivery partners which will deliver HeadStart Action. Each delivery partner will be required to provide a match of £10,000 per project from a corporate partner either in cash, in-kind or in match-fund equivalent. Team London will provide high level strategic programme development. The Challenge will report on progress of outcomes, outputs and milestones to the GLA.

The Challenge will manage the procurement of localised delivery partners, including the issuing of funding agreements, setting KPIs and ensuring delivery partners are able to provide the £10k match fund per project. Team London will support The Challenge with the implementation of the procurement process, which will include developing the Request For Proposals and guidance documentation, assessing and shortlisting applications, holding clarification meetings and selecting the delivery partners. The Challenge will manage stakeholders and monitor and track the delivery of KPIs, outcomes and milestones, compile project and budget monitoring reports as well as collecting and presenting data as part of the monitoring and evaluation framework.

Objectives and expected outcomes


(a) To work with The Challenge and local partners to deliver a higher-level support HeadStart programme – HeadStart Action Young Londoners Fund – targeting young people who are at risk of becoming NEET.

(b) To procure and work with local delivery partners and corporate partners to:

• ensure the programme connects with and strengthens the local community, whilst also raising awareness of the role of business in improving young people’s employability;
• prepare young people to make the most of their volunteering and HeadStart Action experience;
• inspire and prepare young people for a potential work experience placement with a corporate partner;
• prepare young people to excel in a stressful interview situation;
• reflect on learnings, and prepare for next steps beyond HeadStart Action;
• review and evaluate the five projects in order to shape the future direction of the GLA’s work in this area

Expected Outputs to achieve outcomes (per project/area)

(a) 85 young people per project (425 in total) will complete:

• A one-to-one assessment to understand their needs and development goals.
• At least 3 one-to-one mentoring sessions to review – and support further progress against – development goals.
• At least 16 hours of social action.
• At least 10 hours of employability skills training.
• At least one workshop co-designed and delivered with your corporate partner.
• An interview with an employer for a paid job or work experience opportunity.

(b) 20+ young people per project will secure a paid job or work experience opportunity

Expected Outcomes

For each of the five project/area, the minimum following outcomes will be achieved:

(a) 85 young people will be more motivated and engaged at school.
(b) 85 young people will have a more positive sense of who they are and what they can achieve.
(c) 85 young people will feel more connected with, and trusting off, people from different backgrounds in their local community.
(d) 85 young people will develop the skills and critical character traits needed to make a positive transition into further education or the world of work.

Equality comments

HeadStart Action works with disadvantaged young people aged 14-18. The programme focuses on young Londoners from diverse and deprived backgrounds who experience significant barriers to participating in social action and volunteering, education and achieving their full potential. The project is accessible to all young people regardless of age, gender reassignment, disability, race, sex, sexual orientation, religious or belief, pregnancy. Promotion, content and delivery of the project will ensure that it does not stereotype and provides open access to individuals who are interested in joining the project, in particular one which is of interest to them.

The project has been designed to include a needs assessment at the start of the project so that adjustments or additional support can be put in place for each young person to ensure access to the different elements of the programme. Where the project is unable to meet a young person’s needs because of the nature and complexity of need, young people will be signposted to the appropriate support services or projects.

HeadStart Action will support priority London Boroughs identified by MOPAC (Southwark, Newham, Lambeth, Haringey, Tower Hamlets, Croydon, Westminster, Hackney, Brent and Lewisham) ensuring a wide range of young people can benefit from the programme by becoming active citizens through volunteering and developing their employability skills in preparation for a path towards employment, education or training. The projects will be placed-based, ensuring they are delivered by localised partnerships making the delivery and content relevant to young people and addressing localised needs and barriers to education and employment.

Other considerations

Key risks and issues



Risk Description

Mitigation / Risk Response

Probability (1-4)





The Challenge do not manage the project satisfactorily


A grant agreement will be issued which will set out clear project management responsibilities in delivering the project objectives and measurable outputs and outcomes. Team London will manage the performance of

The Challenge through monthly project monitoring meetings, weekly, monthly and quarterly reporting of outputs and outcomes. Team London will also attend project review meetings with delivery partners led by The Challenge.





The delivery partners are underperforming against the agreed project outputs and outcomes.

The risk is low and will be mitigated through Team London working closely with The Challenge through reviewing project management and project monitoring through monthly meetings and review processes. Any issues will be identified, raised and dealt with through the reporting structure.





The delivery partners are unable to secure £10k match fund after the grant agreement has been signed.

A confirmation of the match will be requested during the procurement process from the organisation.





4.2       Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities


  • The Mayor’s Young Londoners Fund will enable the GLA to support the delivery of objectives set out in his new vision for young Londoners ‘City for All Young Londoners’ to be published for public consultation later in the spring.


  • The Young Londoners Fund will have a major focus on improving the safety of young Londoners, help schools and local communities improve young people’s resilience, aspiration and ambition and develop new preventative solutions to tackling violence and knife crime. The YLF will therefore play a role in delivery of the Mayor’s Thrive London programme and his Knife Crime Prevention Strategy.


  • The programme will also increase social mobility. HeadStart Action will work with a wide demographic of Londoners, encouraging active participation in community and civic life. It will support young Londoners in volunteering and will help them to take action to improve our city.


  • It will support young Londoners with the employment, education and training that they need, as well as meeting the business needs of our ever-growing city. HeadStart Action will work to improve the skills system here, ensuring provision more closely matches the needs of businesses in growth sectors, so that all Londoners can contribute fully and benefit from the opportunities that our world-class economy generates.
Financial comments

The expenditure of up to £45,000, will be funded from the 2018-19 Youth (Community) Programme budget held within the Team London & Sports Unit.

Planned delivery approach and next steps



Grant agreement signed and returned by the Challenge


Grant agreement signed and returned by The Challenge


YLF Guidance and application forms published


 Final date for submission of applications


 Applicants notified of decisions


Signed funding agreements returned


 Project Delivery begins


Project completion


Quarter 1 Monitoring Report


Quarter 2 Monitoring Report 


Quarter 3 Monitoring Report


Quarter 4 Monitoring Report


Final evaluation


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