Decision Session Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism

11 August 2020



Report of the Assistant Director (Communities and Culture)


York Learning – Strategic / Service Plan 2019/20



1.        This report presents York Learning’s position for the academic year 20/21, offers clear areas for development and highlights areas of provision that continue to grow and demonstrate success. Points of challenge and insecurity are also noted.


2.        The Executive Member is asked to consider the attached Strategic / Service Plan and approve it subject to any suggested changes.

Reason:  To help monitor the service and ensure sound governance arrangement for York Learning Services.


3.        York Learning is a council service which delivers a range of learning programmes to support people into employment, to improve their skills and to support their personal development.  The service is funded almost exclusively from external contract funding and fee income. For the academic year 2020/2021 this will be £3.2m.

4.        This report is an important element in enabling the service to demonstrate to Ofsted that it has secure and robust governance arrangements in place.


5.        The plan is presented for consultation and approval. It has been consulted upon with senior managers from the service and is in part as a result of a rigorous self-assessment process which is ongoing. It will also be considered by a group of “peer” partners as part of an external challenge.

Options and Analysis

6.        The attached plan is presented for comment and amendment by the Executive Member prior to approval.

Monitoring and Review

7.        Performance against the action plan is monitored and discussed by the Stakeholder Governance Board and then reported by the chair of the board to the Children, Education and Communities Scrutiny Committee.

8.        In January, the Executive Member receives the service’s self-assessment report which draws on performance in the previous academic year and helps to shape the strategic plan for the following academic year.

Corporate Objectives

9.        York Learning’s plan is set within the context of the Council Plan and the new Skills Plan.  The service promotes an offer that supports the overall health and wellbeing of communities affording York residents the opportunity to secure well paid jobs within an inclusive economy; a better start for children and young people; safe communities and culture for all.  The service responds to a number of sub regional, regional and national policy objectives.  The service will adapt to the asks that come out of the Local Enterprise Partnership objectives and will be central to the skills statement as part of the devolution process.  

10.    The service will work with schools, FE and HEI partners and this is viewed as an opportunity to challenge our current provision and shape it to allow conduits to higher level qualifications and all the opportunities that brings for individuals and their chances to lead healthier and wealthier lives.


11.    Finance:  The service is fully funded via external contracts and grants.  The budget remains challenging and the service continues to seek additional income streams.

12.    Crime and Disorder:  Whilst there are no direct crime and disorder implications contained within the plan, the service has a strategy to support the “Prevent” strand of the Governments Anti-Terrorism strategy, and this is part of clear contractual and legal requirements. 

13.    Equalities:  The service focusses on supporting adults to improve their life chances as well as on improving skills to support young people, particularly through Family Learning.  It supports people to achieve the best they possibly can, by delivering learning, skills and employability programmes to suit their needs. Key priorities for the service remain around developing skills for employment, to support health and well-being and creating learning opportunities in our communities. The service continues to focus on core skills of English, maths and ICT as these are the building blocks for the development of other skills and are ‘key’ to the development of further learning alongside a general focus on supporting people skills to gain employment.

14.    The report has no additional Human Resources, Equalities, Legal, Crime and Disorder, Information Technology, Property or other implications beyond those shown in the attached plan.

Risk Management

15.    In compliance with the Council’s risk management strategy the main risks that have been identified associated with the proposals contained in this report are those which could lead to the inability to meet business objectives and to deliver services, leading to damage to the Council’s reputation and failure to meet stakeholders’ expectations.  The level of risk is assessed as “Low”.  This is acceptable but means that regular monitoring is required of the operation of the new arrangements.


1.    Annex 1 – York Learning Strategic Plan

2.    Annex 2 – Forecast Income 2020-2021




Contact Details


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Harriet Serra

Joint Executive Head of Service – York Learning

Charlie Croft

Assistant Director (Communities & Equalities)

Report Approved



30th July 2020

Wards Affected: 



For further information please contact the author of the report