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National Citizen Service (NCS)

The NCS will be re-commissioned over the next few months and the NCS Trust intend to commission providers to coordinate and deliver the service in 9 lots across England.  These lots will be very large (£65m – £125m pa each) and will require provision of: Adventure activity; Personal development activity and; Social action work. 3SC is exploring ways to be involved either as a subcontractor or through a consortium of providers and we expect to put out a call for expressions on interest in the coming weeks

MoJ Dynamic Purchasing System

The MoJ are currently tendering the Prison Education Framework (PEF) which will mainly cover the provision of a core curriculum of English, maths and ICT. The PEF may also contain some specific sector skills qualification and could also include employability interventions. 

The MoJ also intend to create a DPS to sit alongside the PEF and this will be the mechanism that they will use to commission pilots and innovative services for individual prisons the focus of these services will be employability work and personal development. This tender was due to be launched in August but there has been a delay and will now go live in September. 3SC intend to be active on the DPS and will be seeking delivery organisations to work with us in due course.   


Fifteen different organisations – housing campaign groups and think-tanks – have sent a letter to the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire (pictured above), asking for reforms to be introduced to the 1961 Land Compensation Act. The signatories comprise large well-known organisations such as Shelter, Crisis, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, National Housing Federation, National Landlords Association, Generation Rent and the Campaign to Protect Rural England.  They hope to introduce reforms such that local authorities can capture the increase in the value of land when they win permission to build new homes. Under the Land Compensation Act councils are only permitted to buy agricultural land at a value which is calculated as if the land already has planning permission – which means the land can be many times more expensive than would have been the case. This is regarded by the signatories of the letter as representing a serious obstacle to building new affordable homes. By some estimates the cost of building 100,000 affordable homes could be reduced by £9 billion, assuming that the public sector could purchase land at its original value. The Government also published a Green Paper on Social Housing, which envisaged a role for social housing as a safety net for people in need, and a springboard into homeownership for those who can afford it, but failed to address the question of those who cannot afford to live on the National Living Wage. 

School exclusions

The Department of Education published figures over the summer which show a 15% rise in the number of pupils expelled from state schools between 2015/16 and 2016/17, from 6,685 to 7,720 – the total expulsion rate being 0.1%, slightly up from the 0.08% of a year earlier. With about 40 pupils per day being expelled, the overwhelming majority – 83% – occur in secondary schools. Boys are three times more likely to be expelled than girls, and those on free school meals are four times more likely be permanently excluded. Black Caribbean pupils have an exclusion rate three times higher than the school population as a whole. The commonest cited cause for expulsions was ‘persistent disruptive behaviour’. While the total number of expulsions is relatively low, it is important to recognise the personal and social long-term cost of being expelled from school. Expulsion may not signal the end of hope to gain a meaningful and stable future, but it certainly does not help. The statistics tell us that it is a complex set of factors that underlie most expulsions – a nexus of poverty, low aspirations, adolescent development and hopelessness all interweave and make their contribution. It is not merely the case that more money needs to be spent, but that a more particular focus needs to be made on the lives of the expelled prior to their expulsion, to assist such children to cope with the problems that are often not of their making.

Photo: Jon Tyson, Unsplash

Youth employment

The Careers & Enterprise Company (CEC) – established by the Government in 2014 to help students move more smoothly into working life – said that around 3.3 million work experience placements are offered each year to schoolchildren, and that this is far fewer than the 5 million that is necessary if official targets for each child to have seven encounters during their schooldays are to be met. The chief executive of the Careers & Enterprise Company, Claudia Harris, said: “English businesses need to engage with schools on a major scale to get young people ready for the world of work. Just doing what we’re already doing won’t be enough.” The CEC has itself been attacked by a House of Commons education select committee for being what it called an “over-bloated quango”; it only agreed in July this year to publish the minutes of its board meetings. The organisation is expected to have received more than £70 million from central coffers by 2020. The UK Government’s hopes that three million apprenticeships will be created by 2020 took a further blow in mid-August, when the Department for Education published data showing that the number of apprenticeship starts fell by 141,300, to 315,900 between August 2017 and May 2018.

Photo: Unsplash

Disability and exclusion

The charity Scope published a survey of 2,000 working-age disabled adults, asking them about their sense of exclusion from society. The results are disturbing. Less than half – just 42% – feel that the UK is a good place for disabled people; 49% feel excluded from society; and 41% said they do not feel valued. The report – Independent. Confident. Connected. – is a jarring reminder that, despite the Equality Act of 2010 (which states that the disabled should have equal treatment) many of the 14 million people who are disabled in Britain today feel anything but equally treated. Finding work is of particular importance according to the reports, which says: “63 percent of respondents to our polling said that paid employment is, or would be, helpful or very helpful in aiding independence. Work seems to be of particular importance to younger disabled people, with paid employment being seen as helpful to three quarters of 18 – 34 year olds, compared with just four in ten of 55 – 65 year olds. We need to put to rest once and for all the myth that the majority of disabled people don’t want to work. The reverse is true: for many, work is of fundamental importance to who they are.”


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) published a consultation document which describes the changes that they want to make to the probation service. The current contracts are proving difficult to deliver for many reasons but the driver for change is that the volume of offenders being funnelled to the CRCs are significantly lower than predicted and payment is closely linked to volume. This has resulted in the prime providers making significant losses and key driver for change is the unsustainable nature of the contract.

The consultation makes it clear that the current contracts will end Q4 of 2020 (2 years early) and the new contracts will have a number of new features:

The number of CRCs will be cut from 21 to 10 and these will be coterminous with NPS areas.

Wales will see the CRC being merged with the NPS and the activity taken back into the public sector. Rehabilitation work will be tendered out to support the work of the new NPS/CRC.

In England the new CRC’s will be funded under a different formula but will retain the responsibilities they currently have. It is expected that there will be greater use of the Voluntary Sector and this may be achieved through ringfencing and separate commissioning.

There will be a stronger focus on ensuring that criminogenic factors are addressed (e.g. Homelessness, Substance mis-use etc.)

The consultation will run until 21/9/18 and 3SC is working up its response.

Photo: Feifei Peng, Unsplash

Toxic charities

Research by Populus conducted on behalf of the communications company Kin&Co into the charity sector found that 37% of respondents said the recent well-publicised scandals had deterred them from seeking charity jobs. The survey – which took information from 1,000 people – additionally discovered that only 29% of respondents said the culture in charities appealed to them. The drop in trust in the charity sector is not reflected in a collapse in ethical motivation however. According to Populus, 53% of respondents “believe they could make a positive impact on the world at a business compared with just 35% for a charity.

The importance of Corporate Social Responsibility cannot be understated. 85% of FTSE 100 businesses explicitly refer to sustainability, corporate responsibility or similar issues on the front page of their corporate websites, suggesting that all businesses, and not just those set up with an explicitly ethical purpose, recognise the benefits of a visible commitment to sustainability and ethics.”

Photo: The TabletAlberto Pezzali/NurPhoto/Sipa USA

Big Society 2.0

The Government published its Civil Society Strategy – the first in 15 years, it claimed – which “proposes significant reforms across the public and private sectors to build a fairer society”, in its own words. There are several strands to this grand scheme, including:

• Unlocking £20 million from inactive charitable trusts (those which spend less than 30% of their annual income) to support community organisations over the next two years.

• Launching an ‘Innovation in Democracy’ pilot scheme in six regions across the country, looking at ways that people could take a more direct role in decisions that affect their local area.

• Establishing an independent organisation that will distribute £90 million from dormant bank accounts to get disadvantaged young people into employment.

• Creating an independent organisation to use £55 million from dormant bank accounts to tackle financial exclusion and the problem of access to affordable credit.

• Supporting charities to make their voices heard on issues that matter to them and ensuring that charitable trustees reflect the diversity of the society they serve.

• Strengthening Britain’s values of corporate responsibility, through the launch of a major new Leadership Group, formed of senior figures from the business, investment and social sectors, to put social and environmental responsibility at the heart of company decisions. Using digital technology to improve the work charities can provide to support healthy ageing, bolster online safety and better connect people in an effort to tackle loneliness.

• Improving the use of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to ensure that organisations can generate more social value for communities when spending public money on government contracts.

The responses to this from the Third Sector range from ‘good start, could do more’, (especially in terms of mobilising the estimated £2 billion of dormant assets identified by the Dormant Assets Commission) to outright scepticism. Peter Holbrook, chief executive of Social Enterprise UK (pictured above), said that the strategy could be “a good springboard for social enterprise,” adding: “we must turn that ambition into action”.


Rough sleeping

Saying he would make homelessness a “thing of the past” the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire published in August the Government’s strategy to deal with rough sleeping, with a budget purportedly of £100 million. But the novelty of the announced plans rapidly came under scrutiny – and a degree of hostility – for what seems like re-jigging previously announced expenditure. Back in March this year the then Communities Secretary Sajid Javid publicised a very similar plan, pegged to the Homelessness Reduction Act which came into effect on 3 April 2018, with a target similar to Brokenshire’s, of completely eliminating homelessness by 2027 – almost a decade away and five years after the next scheduled general election. Brokenshire then announced in June that 83 councils around England with the highest numbers of rough sleepers will receive a share of £30 million to provide an additional 1,750 additional bed spaces for rough sleepers and an additional 531 dedicated homelessness workers. Making the latest announcement Brokenshire said: “half of that [£100 million] has already been committed to homelessness and rough sleeping. The other remaining half of this is money that is new to rough sleeping and homelessness, reflecting and recognising the priorities and importance of taxes.” In other words of the ‘new’ £100 million, half was already assigned to rough sleeping problems and the other half has been transferred from other budgets. The most recent count of rough sleeping numbers – from a year ago – puts the total at 4,751 in England, 15% higher year-on-year, although the charity Crisis puts the figure at 8,000.

Photo: Jon Tyson, Unsplash

Welsh charity

Charitable income per capita in Wales is approximately half that of English charities – £386 compared to £767 according to the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA). There was a small increase in overall income from £1.1bn to £1.2bn between 2014-15 and 2015-16. Wales also has few charities per person – 2.3 per 1,000 people against 3.6 per 1,000 people in Scotland, for example. About one in 22 people in the UK live in Wales; the region accounts for only £1 of every £45 generated by the voluntary sector. Despite the passage of the Social Services and Wellbeing Act in Wales in 2014, Welsh Government funding of the sector has fallen by 27% since 2010, and the value of contracts between the government and charities has dropped by almost 60%. “The third sector in Wales continues to operate at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the UK,” said WCVA Chief Executive Ruth Marks (pictured above). In June Marks wrote that “money is just one part of the equation. When times are tough there’s a tendency for the pursuit of funds to subsume all else and there’s a danger that, by focusing on income alone, charity leaders end up dealing with immediate crises rather than pursuing long-term decisions.”

Photo: YouTube

Welcome to our September issue

Welcome to the fifth – the September – issue of 3SC’s Impact. Up to now Impact has existed on a separate site but from next month will be subsumed within 3SC’s own website. Once upon a time August could be discounted – it was a dead month for news, the ‘silly’ season. But any idea you could safely disappear for a month has bitten the dust – as September’s Impact stories show. Even without the question of Brexit, the remarkable decline of public confidence in conventional politics is the age’s great ‘disrupter’. Come next March, things – for better or worse – will never be the same again. Even though we have considerable political turmoil the government has made a number of important announcements over the summer, including the launches of, the consultation on the future of the probation service, the female offender strategy and the civil society strategy. These are all significant developments that will have an impact on public service delivery for years to come.

John Swinney, Chair of 3SC.

3SC – Bid Development Manager

3SC’s vision is to enable the third sector to deliver an ever-increasing share of public services. We bring voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE)  organisations to public service procurement opportunities that they might otherwise not be able to access, develop bid winning consortia and manage their performance when in contract.

This is based on the conviction that the priorities and needs of people using public services in our communities, particularly those who are hardest-to-reach, are best met by experienced, local, passionate and mission-driven organisations who can deliver effective outcomes.

We are looking for an experienced Bid Development Manager to:

  • Monitor and maintain all tender and tracker websites/systems/portals and identify and flag any new market opportunities for the business.
  • Liaise with potential supply chain delivery and prime organisations in the planning, writing, development and delivery of bid submissions.
  • Produce professionally written bid submission copy that clearly articulates 3SC’s value proposition and wins contracts in response to invitations to tender and other solicited and unsolicited tender opportunities as required.
  • Liaise with the relevant 3SC Operations Teams, Finance Team and other internal and external stakeholders as applicable in the creation of tender/ bid opportunities.
  • Take responsibility for the creation, writing, production and submission of bids/tender/proposal responses, ensuring they meet all relevant bid specifications including deadline requirements in order to win new contracts.

You must have a good understanding of the VCSE sector, public service procurement systems and delivery, and preferably, experience working in Government funded market sectors and programmes including employment, justice, young people, disabilities and health and social care.

Proven experience of working on complex public sector bids, bid-writing and management are essential as well as a proven track record in winning £multi-million bids.

This role requires an ability to work flexibly under pressure and to demanding deadlines which may require working outside normal office hours.

To apply please send your CV and a covering letter to Joanne Cholerton at

Job description.

The closing date for applications is 19 September 2018.

Ensuring High Quality Careers Guidance

Ensuring High Quality Careers Guidance:
Making the Most of Everyone’s Skills and Talents

Public Policy Exchange

Central London. Wednesday 14 November 2018

In December 2017 the Government published the long-awaited Careers Strategy, which envisages the creation of a thriving careers system that promotes social mobility. The new strategy is based around four key priorities: ensuring every school and college has a high-quality careers programme; providing opportunities for work experience; offering tailored support to students; and utilising appropriate sources of information about jobs and careers. It also aims for the appointment of a dedicated careers’ leader in every school and the creation of 20 careers hubs in disadvantaged areas. Moreover, the Minister of State for Apprenticeships and Skills announced her ambition to achieve a shift in attitude, by raising the profile of apprenticeships. Additionally, she called for the Institute for Apprenticeships to speed up the process of approving new apprenticeship standards, following a sharp decrease in apprenticeships starts since the introduction of the levy.

Despite these positive steps, significant progress is still required to ensure that everyone receives high-quality information that guarantees opportunities for future employment. A recent report from Education and Employers (Drawing the Future, 2018) found that children’s career aspirations have little in common with the projected workforce needs. The report also revealed that children’s career aspirations are vastly influenced by people they know, as less than 1% have interacted with people from the world of work visiting their schools. Moreover, it highlighted the issue of gender stereotyping which starts from a very young age and tends to lead to gendered career aspirations.

In light of the release of the new Government strategy, this timely symposium provides an invaluable opportunity for careers guidance advisors, head teachers, education professionals and local education authorities to review the new strategy, identify gaps and priorities and examine effective strategies to enhance the role of careers information and guidance in securing better outcomes for all young people.

Delegates will:

  • Evaluate the implementation of the Careers Strategy in its first year and identify challenges to overcome
  • Assess the implementation of the Gatsby benchmarks
  • Understand the importance of partnership working between schools and businesses
  • Examine effective ways to overcome variability in quality of careers guidance provision across the country
  • Determine how to overcome gender bias to enable pupils to make choices free of gendered stereotyped career choices
  • Analyse the role and responsibilities of local authorities in encouraging, enabling and assisting young people’s participation in education and training
  • Explore how to shift perceptions of apprenticeship and technical education

To view the Public Policy Exchnage’s brochure, including their full event programme, click here

For enquiries and bookings call 020 3137 8630

The Voluntary Data Conference

The Voluntary Data Conference. Thursday 11 October, Central London

With the Fundraising Regulator and NCVO leading in discussion, this pivotal conference provides the perfect platform to examine how all voluntary organisations can further strengthen their data protection protocols in line with new GDPR’s laws; and continue to maximise their social impact through effective data management.

Join data experts and senior charity officers to assess proven best practice from charities leading in delivering effective data-led approaches to inform strategic decisions, enhance data security and ensure adequate training for staff and volunteers to effectively manage and maintain data.


Gerald Oppenheim, Chief Executive, Fundraising Regulator
– The Future of GDPR and Data Protection in Voluntary Sector Fundraising
– Analysing the latest changes to the Code of Fundraising Practice in relation to data protection and GDPR
– Formulating a data policy which effectively communicates data usage to individuals and supports the “legitimate interest” condition when conducting direct marketing
– Assessing what constitutes effective data management when marketing, fundraising and reaching supporters and donors
– Ensuring that the voluntary sector is delivering effective professional development and training for all staff and volunteers dealing with fundraising data
– Delivering an effective consent and data transparency policy which complies with data protection regulations


Kristiana Wrixon, Head of Policy, Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations Chair’s Welcome Address

Elizabeth Chamberlain, Head of Policy, National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) Opening Keynote: The Next Steps for Data Management and Protection in the Voluntary Sector

Emma Prest, Executive Director, DataKind UK
Keynote: Harnessing Advanced Analytics and Data Science to Enhance Social Impact

Brian Shorten, Chairman, Charities Security Forum
Keynote: Supporting Information and Cyber Security Within the Voluntary Sector

And many more…

You can view the full agenda here.

*Please feel free to forward this invitation onto any of your colleagues that may be interested in attending.

Places at this conference are limited to facilitate active discussion between speakers and delegates. Early booking advised.

The PO can be sent after your booking. You will receive a CPD Certificate and all speaker presentations after the event.

For group booking discounts or further information, please contact Justine Evans via or call 0203 770 6580.

Book Review

The Third Sector As A Renewable Resource for Europe: Concepts, Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities by Bernard Enjolras, Lester M. Salamon and Karl Henrik Sivesind. Published by Palgrave Macmillan and available as a free download here.

More than a decade ago, Jacques Delors, former President of the European Commission, reflecting on how he sought to promote the Third Sector in his position as the head of the European Commission, emphasised the “poor recognition of the Third Sector” at the European Union level. More than 10 years later, and the situation is no better; recognition of the Third Sector in Europe is still poor.

Furthermore, the Third Sector in Europe lacks a clear identity and there is no articulated, shared understanding across Europe and within the European Union regarding what exactly the Third Sector is and what its role is in the European public space. A prime reason for this lack of common identity is that the manifold self-organised citizen-based initiatives that make up the Third Sector are not sufficiently aware of being part of a ‘sector’ sharing common attributes, values and what economists call a common “objective function” or underlying objectives, regardless of their specific field of activity.

Although at times a rather dense tome, the book provides a critical account of the Third Sector and its future in Europe. It offers an original conceptualisation of the sector in its European manifestations alongside an overview of its major contours, including its structure, sources of support, and recent trends.

It also assesses the impact of this sector in Europe, which considers its contributions to European economic development, citizen wellbeing and human development.

The Third Sector As A Renewable Resource for Europe presents the findings of the Third Sector Impact (TSI) project funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7). It recognises that in a time of social and economic distress, as well as enormous pressures on governmental budgets, the Third Sector and volunteering represent a unique ‘renewable resource’ for social and economic problem-solving and civic engagement in Europe.

About the Authors

Bernard Enjolras is Research Professor and Director of the Center for Research on Civil Society and Voluntary Sector in Norway

Lester M. Salamon is a Professor at the Johns Hopkins University, USA and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

Karl Henrik Sivesind is Research Professor at the Institute for Social Research, Norway

Annette Zimmer is Professor of Social Policy and Comparative Politics and Lead Researcher for Third Sector Impact work at Münster University, Germany

Brexit and the Third Sector

With the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union, on 29 March 2019, fast approaching, Third Sector organisations are expressing alarm at what is perceived to be a lack of preparedness. One of the consequences of the withdrawal is that the UK will lose its more than €4 billion a year funding from the European Social Fund, which is the EU’s main instrument for job creation and improvement. Although, as we have argued in ourPosition Paper, Brexit “offers a unique opportunity to break away from the bureaucracy and restrictions of current procurement models”, in other areas of our work the uncertainties of Brexit are unhelpful.

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published a study of the charity workforce in a post-Brexit Britain, which considers the impact of the cessation of the principle of free movement. It estimates the number of EU workers in the UK’s charity sector to be 31,000 or roughly 3.8% of the total, with around half of those concentrated in London. Around 15,000 of those EU charity workers are in the social care sector. It’s the uncertainty of what the rules will be regarding movement that is perturbing some Third Sector entities. The UK and EU have negotiated a transition period whereby free movement will continue to December 2020; but after that date the IPPR research suggests that any of the possible rule changes would mean that “significant numbers of EU employees currently working in the charity sector would be ineligible” to work in the UK.

Perhaps the biggest challenge, given the high proportion of EU nationals working in social care, will be what happens in that sector which – given the demographic changes happening – will see a significant expansion. The rising demand for social care could see an increase of 31% by 2030 in the number of jobs in the adult social care workforce, to a total of 500,000. There will be, suggests the IPPR, a “recruitment crunch” and the question is – who will fill these vital jobs in caring for the old and the sick?

Photo by Unsplash

Working Wales

The Working Wales tender is about to move into the ITT phase with a shortlist of up to five bidders per lot invited to work up full bids.

The service aims to support people of all ages to overcome barriers and gain the skills to achieve and maintain good quality, sustainable employment. The provision will be funded for a period of up to seven years, will have an expected value in the first year of £56 million, and will be let in seven lots.

3SC are talking to a number of bidders and hope to be in a position to develop a delivery partnership as the bid progresses. The final submission of proposals is due by the10th September 2018 with delivery commencing on 1 April 2019.