Yet more Youth Offending Teams from around the country have successfully gained Quality Lead and Quality Mark awards for their efforts to secure better outcomes for young people with SEND in the youth justice system.

Since the first round of successful applications* last year, screened and endorsed by Achievement for All and the Association of Youth Offending Team Managers, the following teams have made significant progress towards the coveted awards:

Quality Mark: Stockport, Telford and Wrekin, Gloucestershire, Manchester, Nottingham City, Hackney and Norfolk

Quality Lead: Wakefield, Havering, Blackburn with Darwen, Kirklees, St Helens and only this week, Knowsley


Quality Mark status was created to recognise the development of relationships, networks, protocols, policy and practice to support children and young people with SEND in the youth justice system while Quality Lead status was created to recognise widespread embedded and sustained practice supported by innovative ideas that can be shared with other partnerships to stimulate creative thinking and improvement.

Marius Frank, Project Leader at Achievement for All said: ““Few people outside the youth justice system realise the significant numbers of young people with special educational needs who end up in trouble with the police, in front of magistrates, or worse, end up in custody.

“The reasons are manifold: some of these young people have been excluded from school for poor behaviour; some know that they are ‘different’ to other children, but they might not know why - as a result, over time, they have learned to ‘camouflage’ their learning disabilities behind layer upon layer of ‘front’ which you see as poor behaviour.

“Our awards acknowledge and celebrate the Youth Offending Teams who work in close and effective partnerships with schools, academies, other organisations to put policies, processes and practice in place that creates a team around a child, either diverting them away from youth justice pathways or preventing them from entering the youth justice system in the first place.”

Achievement for All continues to develop partnership work with the Association of Youth Offending Team managers, adapting, adopting and innovating some of the latest evidence-based approaches for securing better outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.

Professor Sonia Blandford, CEO, Achievement for All said: “Our aim is to continue supporting youth justice partnerships, which aligns with our mission to support all children and young people regardless of their background, challenge or need. We will continue to engage with all the areas where we have formed a partnership, and extend our offer to youth offending teams with the latest in trauma-informed practice.”

*Teams from Birmingham, Brent, Cheshire East, Islington, Lancashire, Salford, Somerset, Kirklees, Bedford and Bedfordshire, Southampton, Slough and Wiltshire received Quality Mark status in June 2018, whilst teams in Buckinghamshire, County Durham, Milton Keynes, Nottinghamshire, Sheffield, Southwark, Staffordshire, Stockton-on-Tees, Warwickshire, and West Berkshire originally received Quality Lead status at the same time.