The Albemarle Report: recommendations and priorities

Chiltern Youth Club, Amerham

The Albemarle Report (1960) provided youth work in England and Wales with a very influential rationale and framework – and was a key element in substantially increasing funding for youth work. Here we reproduce the report’s main recommendations and priorities (originally Chapter 10 of the report).

The Committee responsible for this report was chaired by the Countess of Albemarle and was appointed by the Minister of Education in November, 1958. It was given the following terms of reference:

To review the contribution which the Youth Service of England and Wales can make in assisting young people to play their part in the life of the community, in the light of changing social and industrial conditions and of current trends in other branches of the education service; and to advise according to what priorities best value can be obtained for the money spent.

The Committee’s report was presented to Parliament in February 1960. For a discussion of the background of the Report and its significance go to: The Albemarle Report and the development of youth work in England and Wales

Chapters from the report:  chapter 1: the youth service yesterday and today; chapter 3: justification and aims of the youth service; chapter 5: activities and facilities; and Chapter 10:  recommendations and priorities

  1. For convenience we give below a list of our main recommendations [page 108].

The youth service tomorrow (chapter 4)

(1)        The Youth Service should be available for all young people aged 14 to 20 inclusive. (Paragraphs 149—153.)

(2)        The Minister of Education should initiate a ten-year development programme for the Youth Service, divided into two stages of five years each. For this period of development the Minister should appoint a small advisory committee, of not more than twelve persons, to be called the Youth Service Development Council. It should be composed of men and women who have special qualities and experience to offer, among whom at least two should have knowledge of the special problems of Wales. The Council members should not be appointed on a representative basis. (Paragraph 157.)

(3)        The Minister should make certain that his administrative arrangements will ensure that decisions on matters relating to the Service can be taken at an appropriately high level and can be implemented quickly. (Paragraph 159.)

(4)        Local education authorities should ensure that in each area and at least for the ten-year period of development, a sub-committee of the education committee itself (not a sub-committee of a sub-committee) is charged with responsibility for the Youth Service. This sub-committee should have the advice of an advisory committee with full representation from the voluntary organisations. (Paragraphs 161—162.)

(5)        Local education authorities, in consultation with voluntary organisations, should review and bring up to date their further education schemes, so far as these concern provision for the leisure of young people. (Paragraph 163.)

(6)        The Standing Conference of National Voluntary Youth Organisations should work in the closest collaboration with the Development Council to strengthen and raise the standards of the voluntary partners in the Youth Service. (Paragraph 167.)

(7)        It is essential to develop the voluntary principle at every level of activity. And there should be a national campaign for more voluntary helpers, including people with skills to serve self-programming groups. (Paragraphs 170 and 193.)

(8)        Management Committees and Leaders should endeavour to establish supporters’ councils. (Paragraph 172.)

(9)        Young people should be given opportunities for participation as partners in the Youth Service, and particularly in the development of self-programming groups. (Paragraphs 173—176 and 193—195.) [page 109]

Activities and facilities (chapter 5)

(10)      The Youth Service should offer young people opportunities for association, training and challenge. (Paragraphs 183—219.)

(11)      Local education authorities should encourage a range of activities for the physical recreation of young people, by helping initially with finance and loan of equipment, by providing coaching at convenient centres, and by recognising the contribution which can be made by established sports clubs and specialist groups. (Paragraphs 197—198.)

(12)      A generous and imaginative building programme is essential to rehabilitate the Youth Service and to equip it for the expansion that is called for. The Minister, through the development group of the Architects and Buildings Branch of the Ministry, should give attention to the design of premises for youth work; if necessary there should be an increase of staff for this purpose. Local education authorities, in consultation with voluntary organisations, should prepare development plans for their areas, when reviewing their schemes of further education. (Paragraphs 224—225.)

(13)      Local education authorities should allow for the needs of the Youth Service in planning new secondary schools and in the renovations which are entailed in the reorganisation of secondary education (e.g. by means of separate wings or buildings providing club facilities, and by the use of dual-purpose furniture). (Paragraph 226.)

(14)      The expansion of residential accommodation should have immediate attention. (Paragraph 232.)

(15)      There should be better furniture, lighting, decoration and equipment as well as better buildings for the Youth Service. (Paragraph 233.)

(16)      High priority should be given by Ministry, authorities and voluntary bodies, to remedying the general shortage of facilities for physical recreation, indoor and outdoor. (Paragraphs 234—238.)

Stafffing and training (chapter 6)

(17)      The Minister should set in hand long-term training arrangements for full-time leaders. For as many as possible there should be easy transfer from youth leadership to other professions. Full-time leaders should be recruited from three main categories: teachers, social workers, and mature persons with a natural gift for leadership. There should be four forms of training for the three categories of recruit, that included in the three-year teacher training courses; the three- or four-year courses for social workers; the three-month courses for those with professional qualifications recognised as suitable; and the one- and two-year courses for mature students. (Paragraphs 247—258.)

(18)      National voluntary organisations wishing to have their schemes of training for youth leaders recognised as providing a professional qualification, should submit their schemes to the Minister, who should obtain the advice of the Development Council before recognising them. (Paragraph 263.)

(19)      The Minister should increase the number of his grants to meet the increased numbers of students who may be expected to take the courses for mature students; and should make special grants for trained social workers who will attend the three-month courses. (Paragraph 264.) [page 110]

(20) The Minister should take steps to increase the present force of 700 full-time leaders to a provisional one of 1,300 by 1966. An emergency training college should therefore be opened, offenng a one-year course for men and women in youth leadership. The college should open not later than September, 1961, and sooner if possible; it should offer 90 places at least in the first year, rising to 144) in the later years of the five-year period. (Paragraph 266 and Appendix 10.)

(21)      The Minister should invite the appropriate Area Training Organisations to undertake the responsibility for supervising all recognised courses of training for youth leadership, and for recommending successful students for recognition by the Minister as qualified leaders. (Paragraph 275.)

(22)      Local education authorities should recommend to the Minister, for recognition as qualified by experience, those full-time leaders already in post who have completed five years of full-time service as youth leaders to the satisfaction of the authorities. (Paragraph 276.)

(23)      The Minister should appoint a day after which no new entrant to full-time youth leadership shall be able to claim qualification by experience alone. (Paragraph 276.)

(24)      The Minister should appoint a committee to negotiate scales of salaries and to review superannuation arrangements; it should be representative of statutory and voluntary employing bodies and of leaders employed by both types of body. A rough parallel is the existing Com     mittee on Scales of Salaries for the Teaching Staff of Training Colleges (the      Pelham Committee). (Paragraphs 279—285.)

(25)      Local education authorities should increase the number of part-time paid leaders, where such appointments are justified by genuine need; the           pay of these leaders should match the quality of the job. After 1966 many more authorities should be able to appoint teachers specifically to spend half their time in schools and half in club leadership. (Paragraph 287.)

(26)      Local education authorities and voluntary organisations should, in close  co-operation, organise schemes of part-time training for part-time leaders, paid and voluntary. (Paragraph 289.)

(27)      Local education authorities should have flexible arrangements for the  provision of paid instructors for youth clubs, groups and units. (Paragraph 292.)

(28)      Local education authorities who do not employ Youth Service officers, or the equivalent, should review their need for such appointments. (Paragraphs 294—297.)

Finance (chapter 7)

(29)      The Minister should offer two kinds of grant to national voluntary bodies under the Social and Physical Training Grant Regulations, 1939:

(i)        basic grants towards headquarters administration and training expenses amounting normally to not more than 75 per cent. of the whole cost of such provision for the 14—20 age range as may be accepted by the Ministry for grant purposes;

(ii)       special grants, particularly for experimental or pioneering work in respect of the 14—20 age range. [page 111]

Servicing organisations without a specific membership should be eligible for special grants. (Paragraphs 303-306.)

(30)      The Minister should end the anomaly inherent in his policy concerning grants to national voluntary bodies with denominational allegiances; the sole criterion should be the value of the social and educational work which they are doing for young people in the 14—20 age range. (Paragraph 307.)

(31)      The Minister should consider the extent to which he can extend his grants for the training of professional youth leaders, particularly if any part of the cost of an emergency training scheme is to be met by his direct grants. Paragraph 308.)

(32)      The Minister should, after the first five-year development period, cease to make capital grants to local voluntary bodies under the Social and Physical Training Grant Regulations, 1939. (Paragraph 309.)

(33)      Local education authorities should exercise their powers fully under the Education Act, 1944, to make capital grants to voluntary youth groups, particularly when Ministry grants cease after the first five-year development period. (Paragraph 309.)

(34)      The Minister should remove altogether the present ceiling of £5,000 on capital grants to local voluntary bodies under the Social and Physical Training Grant Regulations, 1939, and also in respect of any capital grant under the Physical Training and Recreation Act, 1937, for a project especially designed to benefit young people in the 14—20 age range as well as those who are older. (Paragraphs 310 and 315.)

(35)      The Minister should expand his provision for grants in aid of coaching schemes administered by the governing bodies of sport. Paragraph 314.)

(36)      The Minister should ensure that additional expenditure on the Youth Service by local education authorities is matched by central grants, either in the form of additional general grants or by separate percentage grants. (Paragraph 317.)

(37)      The Minister should revise his capital investment control arrangements to enable authorities to proceed with individual proposals for Youth Service premises costing more than £20,000. The Minister should also ensure that authorities have sufficient allocation for “minor works” to enable them to make the necessary provision for the Youth Service. (Paragraphs 318—319.)

(38)      Local education authorities should give greater and more consistent financial support to those local voluntary bodies which merit it. (Paragraph 320.)

(39)      Local education authorities should ensure that there is adequate administrative and clerical staff for their Youth Service departments, so that trained organisers can be kept in the field. (Paragraph 321.)

(40)      The Minister should draw the attention of all local authorities, including minor authorities, to their powers to make grants and loans under the Physical Training and Recreation Acts, 1937 and 1958, and to the desirability of using them for the benefit of young people in the 14—20 age range. (Paragraph 323.) [page 112]

(41) The Standing Conference of National Voluntary Youth Organisations should urge all national voluntary youth organisations to commend to their affiliated members the proposal that supporters’ councils and management committees should relieve skilled leaders of the burden of raising money and thus allow them to concentrate on giving practical help to young people. (Paragraph 326.)

(42)      The Minister should ask local education authorities to review the charges which they make in the youth clubs and centres which they maintain. (Paragraph 328.)

(43) The Standing Conference should urge its members to arrange for a similar review of charges. (Paragraph 328.)

The youth service and society (chapter 9)

(44)      Local education authorities and voluntary organisations should consider what approaches they can make to those young people who find it difficult to come to terms with society. The Youth Service Development Council should collect and collate the results of such research and experiment. (Paragraph 356.)


  1. Our terms of reference require us to advise “according to what priorities best value can be obtained for the money spent “. In so doing we must draw attention to two important features of the recommendations we have just listed. The first is that they all depend for their success on one cardinal assumption: that the Government intends to make the Youth Service adequate to the needs of young people today. This, then, seems to us to command the highest priority of all; if the Youth Service is to be enabled to produce a generous return for the money spent, ‘the Minister must declare it his policy to advance the Service. The second feature is that many of our recommendations are inter-dependent and that the development of the various aspects of the work needs to be synchronised; there is no point in considering unilateral development which cannot be properly serviced: for example, better facilities without the leaders to ensure they are used well, more leaders without an expansion of training, or training arrangements without the prospects of satisfactory conditions of service and a career structure to attract the recruits. We believe therefore that the Youth Service needs to advance on all fronts, but that once this policy is accepted there are broad financial priorities which can reasonably be applied.
  2. The first of these priorities should be the setting in hand of arrangements for both the emergency and the long-term training of professional leaders. The former is urgently required to make good present deficiencies and prepare for the increasing numbers of young people in the early 1960s. The latter equally needs immediate attention in order to produce results in time for the second five-year period of development in the middle 1960s. However, we are convinced that enough recruits of quality will be attracted to emergency and long-term training courses only if the Minister appoints a negotiating committee for salaries and conditions of service. The Minister should also set up the Youth Service Development Council at once, in [page 113] order to have its advice at the vital early stages. He should ask local education authorities without delay to bring their further education schemes up to date and expand, in consultation with the voluntary organisations, their arrangements for the training of part-time paid and voluntary leaders. We therefore recommend that these measures be taken immediately.
  3. Next, we think there should be material improvements, planned and phased, in every sector of the Youth Service field. The Minister should at an early date urge local education authorities to see that their expenditure on maintained and aided services is sufficient to sustain the momentum of development; and at the same time he should expand his own aid to national voluntary bodies, particularly in the form of special grants for pioneering work of direct significance to an expanding service. In the first five years we hope to see considerable extension of premises and facilities for the Youth Service, improvised if necessary, but this provision will chiefly be of an experimental nature. We have indicated elsewhere that in the second five-year period there should be a substantial amount of carefully planned building. In our view, such development, if phased for the ten-year period 1960—1970, could be adequately serviced through the training arrangements we have already recommended.
  4. We do not feel we can give any more detailed guidance on priorities at this juncture. Much needs to be learnt in the light of experience, and it is for this reason above all that we have recommended the setting up of a Development Council. The Minister will need the advice of such a body if the Youth Service is to be re-fashioned in order to match the progress made in other branches of education.


  1. It has been of great benefit to us to have Mr. R. D. Salter Davies, H.M.I. and Mr. E. B. H. Baker of the Ministry of Education with us at our meetings. Their expert advice has been of much help to us. To our Secretary, Mr. E. J. Sidebottom, H.M.I., to Mr. E. B. Granshaw and to the clerical staff we wish to express our gratitude for their enthusiastic and devoted service. In our anxiety to complete our enquiry in the shortest time possible we have made great demands upon them and they have never failed us. We have indeed been most fortunate in our secretariat.

(Signed) Diana Albemarle (Chairman).

Dennis Vosper.

Michael Clapham.

Richard Hoggart.

Denis H. Howell.

Roy A. Jackson.

Pearl Jephcott.

John Marsh.

Leslie Paul.

Eric A. Shipman.

Arthur G. Watkins.

James Welch.

Ethel M. Wormald.

22nd October, 1959

First published as Chapter 5 of Ministry of Education (1960) The Youth Service in England and Wales (‘The Albemarle Report’), London: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office.

This piece has been reproduced here by the informal education homepage under licence from from the Controller of HMSO and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland. The informal education homepage holds a licence to reproduce public service information and another to reproduce Parliamentary material.

First placed in the archives: July 2002