Spot the difference: Morgan Inquiry and Russell Commission

The other week I received an invitation to contribute evidence to the Morgan Inquiry. According to their website the Morgan Inquiry is explained as follows:

Baroness Morgan of Huyton, in conjunction with a cross-party panel, is holding an independent inquiry on the future of young adult volunteering between the ages of 18 and 24. The Scout Association (TSA), in conjunction with the All-Party Parliamentary Scouting Group (APPSG), is supporting the Morgan Inquiry.

The Morgan Inquiry aims to produce a report which looks at the real reasons for more young people to volunteer, the barriers that prevent young people from doing so – and to produce a series of practical recommendations for change.

After reading this I was left scratching my head. It all sounded familiar but I couldn't quite put my finger on it… 

It seemed improbable that an inquiry with objectives as close to the Russell Commission as it had did not even reference the Russell Commission's report from 2005. When I wrote for clarification from the Morgan Inquiry, I received the following reply:

The Morgan Inquiry has a very different scope and remit to the Russell Commission but will seek to build on its excellent recommendations, which given your concern over duplication have clearly withstood the test of time. That said, any recommendations made by this inquiry would depend on the evidence received, which we would not wish to pre-judge.  

The key differences are that Morgan Inquiry is independent from Government funding and will focus more specifically on what business, employers and education establishments can do to encourage 18-24 years olds to become active volunteers.

The online questionnaire sets out a series of questions in detail but the themes this inquiry will focus on are:

  • the role the business community can play in supporting voluntary schemes across the UK;
  • the feasibility of statutory time off, either work or education, to actively facilitate volunteering;
  • how volunteering can develop non-academic skills, such as leadership, and the benefits this brings to the work place;
  • why volunteering is vital for young people’s social integration, society in general and in helping to develop skills for future careers.

The Morgan Inquiry is not seeking to cover the broad spectrum of issues or organisations covered by the Russell Commission. The report produced will focus on a handful of practical, achievable, recommendations to enable change, with a strong focus on the 18-24-age bracket.

Representatives from v, which was established to implement the findings of the Russell Commission, have been invited to contribute to this Inquiry.

There you go. Are you clear on what the differences are? Do we focus enough on actual implementation, rather than investigating what can be proposed? Forgive the triteness but doesn't Morgan sound similar to Russell except with less cash and a smaller remit?

If you want to let them know what you think (about "the future of young adult volunteering" amongst other things) here's more information on submitting evidence to the Morgan Inquiry.


One thought on “Spot the difference: Morgan Inquiry and Russell Commission

  1. The two Russell Commissions are the same, ok so ones a little smaller and called the Morgan Inquiry. I expect to see nothing but duplicated findings.
    Only difference I can really see is that the Morgan Inquiry don’t appear to be asking young people’s opinions, but i could be wrong.
    Ironically though, one of the questions was about how the structure of the voluntary sector could be improved, or wtte. Maybe by the very good piece of advice i’m sure we all got given at primary school, “Less talk, more work”

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