ADD2432 Embedding Social Action in Schools Research Project

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
25 February 2020
Decision by: 
Alice Wilcock, Assistant Director of Team London

Executive summary

Team London Young Ambassadors (TLYA) is a school volunteering programme which connects young Londoners with their communities through social action. The current programme will have supported over 800 schools and reached 39,000 young people by July 2020.

This research project, to be run in advance of the next phase of the programme (see MD2533), is to conduct an evaluation into the current programme, and to make recommendations for the next phase of delivery, especially concerning school leader and training for teachers.


That the Assistant Director of Team London and Sport approves:

Expenditure of up to £25,000 for externally commissioned research that will inform delivery of the GLA’s training for teachers programmes and enable more schools to better support social action and their local communities.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

Team London Young Ambassadors is the Mayor’s social action programme for schools, inspiring and supporting young people to take part in social action focused around the Mayor’s priorities. This includes presentations and workshops teaching young people to create their own social action plans. Since 2018, over 1,500 social action plans have been generated through the programme. A universal toolkit, created to facilitate school projects and future social action ideas has also been produced with issue cards on air quality, gender inequality, and gangs and serious youth violence. The programme is set to reach 39,000 young Londoners across 800 schools before July 2020.

Teachers continue to be integral drivers of Youth Social Action in schools. They are the biggest motivator for young people from the least affluent families. However, only 25% of teachers say that at least half of their students take part in YSA regularly. In addition, only 38% of existing TLYA schools use a whole school approach.

To address this, MD2533 approved a programme to develop training for teachers and whole school approaches to embedding youth social action. Over the two years the Team London Young Ambassadors programme will support 540 teachers through training and Continued Professional Development (which will impact over 8,000 young people), improve sustainability of the project and embed social action within schools.

In order to enhance the impact of this and future Team London programmes, this research project will seek to determine the most successful elements of current youth programmes and make recommendations for how the most impactful elements are amplified. The research will also seek to gather best practice and evidence for engaging with teachers and school leaders successfully. This will allow future programmes to become more effective at embedding youth social action in school cultures, therefore making them more sustainable.

This decision requests approval for expenditure of up to £25,000. We will seek proposals from at least three external evaluators and subsequently commission a research partner. This process will ensure a delivery partner offering suitable value for money, specialist knowledge and experience of working with in the education sector is appointed.

Objectives and expected outcomes

The main output of this project will be a written evaluation of research and best practice in relation to embedding high-quality youth social action in schools.

The questions that this research will seek to address are:

• what has been the impact of Team London Young Ambassadors on school culture so far? (including the strengths and limitations of the current model, accessibility, and unexpected impacts);
• what are the challenges and barriers facing schools in embedding high-quality youth social action? (including regional context, intra-school barriers, and the effect of these on depth of social action); and
• what are the most successful approaches for developing school culture and practice? (including examples of best practice, a review of the latest research and evidence, and where City Hall can add the most value).

The final report will contain a clear set of recommendations and learning points for developing programmes of teacher and school leader support, which will be used throughout Team London to increase the effectiveness of school and youth social action programmes, including TLYA, London Enterprise Adviser Network (LEAN), and HeadStart Action.

Equality comments

The public-sector equality duty requires the identification and evaluation of the likely potential impacts, both Under Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 (the “Equality Act”) as public authorities, the Mayor and the GLA must have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. Protected characteristics under the Equality Act comprise age, disability, gender re-assignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage or civil partnership status. Due to the nature of this proposed decision, no particular effects, positive or negative, are foreseen on persons with a protected characteristic under the Equality Act.

Equal Opportunities are enshrined within Team London’s programmes. Team London volunteering projects aim to ensure that all Londoners can access volunteering opportunities and indeed by doing so support other Londoners equally throughout the city. This will be mirrored in our recruitment of evaluation partners.

The project will provide flexibility to delivery partners with specific needs such as a disability or special educational needs, through ensuring the content of delivery is adapted to meet different needs and where support equipment is required that this is made available to meet individual needs. Physical access to learning will be considered for those with disabilities and therefore arrangements will be made where this is required.

The Team London Young Ambassadors programme, to which this information will inform, aims to work with disadvantaged young people and within that category we will be ensuring that access is provided to all young people regardless of age, gender, sex, race, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or pregnancy. Promotion, content and delivery of the project will ensure that it does not stereotype and provides an open access to individuals who are interested in joining the project and one which is of interest to them.

Other considerations

Key risks


Risk Description

Mitigation / Risk Response

Probability (1-4)





Not enough quality bids are received during the procurement process.

The GLA will produce guiding materials to ensure that applications meet the necessary requirements, as well as reaching out to a number of previous and associated partners.





The delivery partner does not produce outputs at given milestones as agreed.

Bidding organisations will be required to prove their capability to reach the intended outputs during the procurement process. There will be close management of delivery partner through regular meetings and review processes to identify and resolve issues.





Links to Mayoral strategies and priorities 


This programme will support community engagement by: 


  • Identifying barriers for schools and teachers in ensuring that youth social action programmes engage with those that stand to benefit most from the activity, including supporting young people to engage with their communities by becoming active citizens in their local area; 
  • Enabling future Team London programmes to support schools to increase their status as pillars of the community by generating more impact on their local areas; 
  • Supporting innovation in looking at ways to tackle barriers to participation in volunteering and social action by gathering best practice and evidence from throughout the sector.



This programme will support social integration by: 


  • Gathering and presenting evidence that will support schools to foster more resilient communities via the impact of youth social action projects. 



This programme will support inclusion and social mobility by: 


  • Collecting best practice and evidence that will help Team London programmes ensure social action provision is accessible to all, especially those from low-income backgrounds and at risk of exclusion; 
  • Helping future Team London youth programmes facilitate teachers to create youth social action that will generate young peoples’ personal, character, and skill development.


Impact Assessments and Consultations


The request for proposals will require that delivery partners will suitably consult current Team London stakeholders to ensure that findings and conclusions represent those likely to be most impacted by future programmes – including young people, teachers, parents, and third sector organisations.

There is an established Advisory Board for Team London to ensure we have the voice of all relevant parties shaping the future of the programme to ensure it is relevant, efficient and delivering the best volunteering related outcomes for Londoners.  


Due consideration has been given to any conflict of interest (both existing and that may arise) and none have been found to exist. A competitive process will be used to procure a delivery partner, therefore eliminating potential conflict of interest in that area.

Financial comments

Approval is being sought for expenditure of up to £25,000 to conduct an evaluation of the Team London Young Ambassadors school volunteering programme, making recommendations for the next phase of delivery which begins in 2020-21 (MD2533).

The expenditure will be profiled and funded by the Team London Young Ambassadors programme budget held within the Team London & Community Sports Unit across two financial years as follows; £17k in 2019-20 and £8k in 2020-21.

Activity table



Procurement of contract

March 2020

Delivery Start Date

March 2020

Delivery End Date

July 2020

Project Closure

September 2020

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