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The structure of Scout Network has changed. We found that many young adults aged 18 to 25 in Scouting had no access to Scout Network and so the structure has changed to improve this.

The transition to District Scout Networks across the UK is central to providing local access to exciting programme opportunities for these members. Exceptions can be sought to the District based model*.

All Districts are required to have one District Scout Network, this is a membership point and where programme can be delivered. To support Districts and the transient nature of the age range a UK Scout Network will also be in place, supported by a UK Scout Network Commissioner.
The UK Scout Network is also a membership point and will host programme for members. All members of District Networks are also members of the UK Scout Network.

For diagrams showing how District Scout Networks and the UK Scout Network are structured, click here.

Counties and Scout Network
Although the organisational structure of Scout Network focuses on Districts, Counties still have an important role to play. For example, Counties can continue to develop projects for Members of all District Scout Networks across the County to participate in. This may be particularly helpful for larger projects e.g. County wide community action projects, international expeditions etc.

As well as projects, the ACC (Scout Network) can play an important role in meeting regularly with District Scout Network Commissioners and discussing how to grow and develop the provision.

UK Scout Network
A UK Scout Network will be established and be the membership point for Scout Network members not associating themselves with a District.

Countries and Scout Network
Countries should have a Country level Scout Network Commissioner, who will ensure a quality Scout Network provision operates within the Country, and line manage any Programme Coordinators at Country level if applicable.

Link Agreements
The District Scout Network will have a Link Agreement with the totality of the Explorer Scout provision in the District. An example link agreement is being worked on and will be available shortly.

*Exception Process

It is a rule that every District will have a District Scout Network and that all those involved in Scouting, aged 18-25, will be members. The rationale for moving Scout Network to Districts is to ensure that the links between the Explorer Scout provision in the District and the District Scout Network improve.

However, it has been recognised from the outset of discussions regarding the future structure of the Scout Network that flexibility would be required for situations where a District may find it challenging to operate a District Scout Network for some local reason. The issue of a District's geography may not be a sufficient reason for an exception to be made, as it's widely anticipated that District Scout Networks may not necessarily meet all together in one place on a regular basis, but are more likely to gather in Project Teams. In circumstances where an exception is considered necessary, and subject to agreement by the relevant Commissioner (or in some cases, their nominee), a time-limited exception may be granted.

Applying for an Exception
A District cannot decide on its own to not have a District Scout Network. The District Commissioner, together with the District Scout Network Commissioner (if appointed), and having consulted with all those aged 18-25 in the District, must make an application to have an exception considered. Any application for an exception needs to outline the steps a District will take to work towards making a District Scout Network viable in the future.

The request for an exception has to come from the District. Any level above the District cannot impose an exception on a District.

Step 1
The reason for an exception is generated at District with an indication of the measures that will be taken to work towards making a District Scout Network viable in the future.
This would involve: District Commissioner, District Scout Network Commissioner, District Youth Commissioner, Members aged 18-25

Step 2
The Exception Application is reviewed by the County Commissioner (England/Northern Ireland), Area/Region Commissioner (Wales) or Regional Commissioner (Scotland).
This would involve: County Commissioner (or equivalent), ACC Scout Network (or equivalent), other District Commissioners

Step 3
If the Exception Application is considered appropriate by the County Commissioner (England/Northern Ireland), Area Commissioner (Wales) or Regional Commissioner (Scotland) it will be passed to the Regional Commissioner (England), Chief Commissioner for Northern Ireland (or nominee), Chief Commissioners for Wales (or nominee) or Chief Commissioner for Scotland (nominee)  for decision.
This would involve: Regional Commissioners (for England), Chief Commissioners for Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland (or their nominees) and Deputy UK Commissioner for Programme (14-25)

How it will work in practice
An Exception Application form will be available on the UK Scout Network website, along with guidance on the Exception Application process.

Alternatives to District Scout Networks
After discussion and agreement by the various parties concerned, exceptions could lead to the time-limited establishment of:

County (England/Northern Ireland), Area (Wales), Region (Scotland) Scout Networks
This could be where all Districts in a County, Area or Region have made an Exception Application and had it approved.

Cross District Scout Networks
This could be where more than one but not all Districts in a County, Area or Region have made an Exception Application and had it approved. This would also involve agreement between the Districts concerned as to which one would have primacy for the appointment of a District Scout Network Commissioner serving the provision across multiple Districts.


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