Youth Select Committee launch inquiry into education and life skills

23 April 2013

The Youth Select Committee today announces a new inquiry into the role of the education system and the national curriculum in equipping young people with the skills for later life.

The inquiry will look at the support currently available in schools to develop young people’s 'life skills' such as personal finance, political education and cultural awareness.

The Youth Select Committee (YSC) - a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons - will look at the following issues as part of its inquiry:

  • The responsibility of the education system to equip young people with 'life skills' such as political education, personal finance and cultural awareness.
  • The current state of 'life skills' provision in schools.
  • The support currently available for teachers to deliver lessons and programmes on life skills.
  • Whether the school education system gets the balance right between academia and 'life skills'.
  • Whether the teaching of 'life skills' should lie within core subjects or as a separate part of the curriculum?
  • How much involvement young people have in shaping the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) and citizenship curriculum.
  • How PSHE and citizenship teaching is implemented differently in schools.
  • What the UK government can learn from others about the teaching of 'life skills' to young people.

Natasha Browne, Chair of the Youth Select Committee (18, MYP for Solihull), said:

"It’s important that young people get the right support to equip us with the skills to be successful in later life. Schools are the focus of young people’s lives and, as a Committee, we look forward to hearing what people have to say about the role of the education system in equipping young people with skills for life."

The Committee call for evidence closes on 4 June. It will hold oral evidence sessions in the House of Commons in June and July 2013.

The Committee has a clear mandate to focus on 'A curriculum for Life', the issue having been voted as the priority campaign of the UK Youth Parliament at their annual House of Commons debate in November 2012.

Call for evidence - how to respond

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to submit written evidence to the inquiry. Responses should be submitted by no later than noon on the 4 June 2013.

Responses should ideally be e-mailed to The body of the e-mail should include a name and contact details.

It should be clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.

If you do not have access to e-mail, you may send a paper copy of your response to the Second Clerk, Public Administration Select Committee, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA.

It will assist the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Written submissions should be in Word or Rich Text Format wherever possible;
  • Submissions should as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to 2,000 words (about 6 pages) or less;
  • Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference.
  • A summary of the main points at the start of the submission is helpful.

Evidence that is submitted will be published on the British Youth Council website.

For an inquiry-related questions, please contact the inquiry team on

Further information

The YSC is a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons. The eleven committee members are aged 15-18 and include two Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs), two youth councillors, the Young Mayor of Bristol, one elected representative from each of the devolved nations and three reserved seats for groups who may be otherwise under-represented.

The 2012 YSC inquiry into transport and young people included public evidence sessions from the Children’s and Transport Ministers, and was followed by a final report and Government response.

Image: (from left to right) Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow; Natasha Browne (aged 18), Chair of the Youth Select Committee and Member of the Youth Parliament (MYP ) for Solihull; Nathan Jordan (aged 16), Vice Chair of the Youth Select Committee and representing  Academies; and Robert Rogers, Clerk of the House of Commons. Copyright: UK Parliament - Catherine Bebbington.

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