Last Updated: Monday, August 01, 2022

Lost in Translation? Working towards a shared language between schools and youth work.

What is this?

A learning resource developed by YouthLink Scotland and Education Scotland to support structured professional dialogue between youth work/community learning and development (CLD) and school practitioners who are looking to build a greater shared understanding of roles, responsibilities and approaches.

It includes advice and guidance on building a shared understanding of terminology and includes learning from practice. It builds on a national conversation session hosted by Education Scotland in June 2021 and includes an input from Hawick High School, Scottish Borders Council where partnership working is breaking down barriers and encouraging different types of relationship with the most vulnerable young people in the school community.

Who is this for?

Education practitioners including teachers, school leaders, youth workers, community learning and development (CLD) workers and leaders.

IntroductionYouthLink Lost in Translation poster

Youth workers and school staff often work with the same children and young people but don’t always fully understand each other’s aims and approaches. As we rebuild from the Pandemic, a whole system approach is more important than ever to support young people’s health and wellbeing and attainment.

The National Improvement Framework (NIF) outlines the need for a collaborative system to achieve excellence and equity in Scottish education. A continued collaborative approach is also central to the Scottish Attainment Challenge (SAC). The Framework for Recovery and Accelerating Progress (2022) highlights that: "Head teachers should endeavour to work in partnership with their local community partners, such as youth work, to develop approaches to utilising the (PEF) funding to best effect".

About this resource

Lost in Translation is a resource to support structured professional dialogue between youth work and school practitioners who are looking to build a greater shared understanding of roles, responsibilities and approaches. The accompanying powerpoint presentation provides additional support materials to guide these discussions. The Glossary provides a useful 'at a glance' summary of commonly used terms in formal education and youth work.

Lost in Translation is intended to support youth workers and teachers to:

  • build a shared understanding of each other’s roles and some of the different terminology they use
  • share and learn from collaborative practice.

Each section contains an activity, suggested challenge questions, and links to additional resources. It is suggested that:

  • the resource is used as a framework for discussion between youth work and school practitioners together
  • someone facilitates the discussion
  • between 1.5 and 2 hours is allocated for the session.

YouthWork Delivering curriculum entitlements diagram

Next steps

The following questions might help education practitioners to continue their collaborative conversations:Five young people sitting on a wall

The following questions might help education practitioners to continue their collaborative conversations:

  1. Is there anything we might do differently, as a result of using this resource?
  2. What opportunities are there in our context to continue to develop a shared language?
  3. How might this support our joint planning, tracking achievement and measuring improvement?
  4. In what ways could we continue to strengthen our school and youth work partnership?
  5. How can we ensure that young people voices are representative, heard and valued in our partnerships?