Decision Session – Executive Member for

Culture, Leisure and Communities


2 February 2021

Report of the Assistant Director (Communities and Culture)


 York Learning – Self Assessment Report 2019/20



1.        This report presents a high level summary of York Learning’s Self-Assessment Report (SAR) for the academic year 19/20.  It presents the high level findings from its annual review which are drawn from a number of contributory reports.  The full report is attached at Annex 1 with performance data at the end of the report. 

2.        The services SAR leads to a number of Quality improvement plans (QIPs) which are dynamic documents used to monitor and record quality improvement actions at a service level. These are still in a draft form and not available for this meeting.

3.        This report forms part of the service’s governance arrangements which are crucially important for the service in demonstrating to Ofsted that it has secure and robust governance arrangements in place.  The report will be sent to Ofsted early February 2020.


4.        The Executive Member is asked to consider the findings of the service’s self-assessment report and make comments and recommendations for the production and publication of the final report.

Reason:  To help monitor the service and ensure robust governance arrangements.


5.        York Learning is a council service which delivers a range of learning programmes to support people into employment, improve their skills and to support their personal development, health and wellbeing.   The service is funded almost exclusively from external contract funding and fee income. 


6.        This report presents a high level summary of the service’s Self-Assessment report, primarily the high level information and judgements. A number of more detailed curriculum level reports underpin this and are used to develop a detailed improvement plan for each area of the service.

7.        Within the report (pages 12-17) is found performance data of the service, respectively 19+ classroom based accredited learning, community learning and apprenticeships.  Data is organised in Sector Subject Areas (SSA) with learner voice information at the back. This shows the service performance by type of qualification and is used by the Education and Skills Funding Agency to judge the performance of the service.

8.        It should be noted that Apprenticeships who had been reporting minimum standards for over two years now and been subject to sanctions from the ESFA have improved their achievement rate from 50.7% to 71.9% and are successfully now out of minimum standards.

9.        Covid has had an impact on our performance over this last year and for the most part was outside of our control, for ease of reference we have highlighted those successes and challenges separately on page 7.


10.    This document has been presented and discussed with our Governance Board and their recommendations for changes have been taken into account and included.


11.    This document has also been presented and challenged by our peer review group, which is made up of other local education providers who have agreed with our grade assessment based on the report.


Key Strengths

·          Very good teaching and learning is provided through knowledgeable, innovative, responsive and talented tutors to ensure good outcomes for learners in the delivery of the curriculum planned.

·        Responsive and relevant curriculum enables multiple access points to learning at a variety of entry levels and progression routes whilst also providing opportunities that help support physical and mental wellbeing.

·        Excellent relationships are developed and nurtured between management and tutors and peer relationships between tutors-tutors and learners-learners which creates highly supportive, non-judgemental, safe learning environments.

·        Effective collaborative partnership working through sub-contractors, partners and other agencies ensure effective strategies are in place and learning opportunities are relevant to learners and employers’ needs.

·        Excellent leadership and management enabled the service to respond quickly and effectively to fully switch to an online offer within one week of lockdown to continue the opportunity for learners to engage and finish their learning.

12.    We are not yet outstanding due to the following key areas for improvement:

Key Areas for Improvement

·          Engage and support more hard to reach learners in communities through collaboration with partners.

·          Continue to ensure those learners who struggle to engage with online learning have ‘kit’ and data available to support them

·          Further work is required to ensure effective mechanisms are in place to establish learners’ aims and record progress within online learning.

·          Improve achievement rates in those areas that struggled during Covid



13.    There are no options to consider; however, it is open to the Executive Member to make comments and recommendations for the production and publication of the final report.



14.    The key performance strengths and areas for improvements provide an overview of the analysis contained in the report.

Council Plan

15.    The York Learning plan is set within the context of the council plan but also responds to a number of sub regional, regional and national policy objectives.   This report sets out our performance in meeting the objectives to support people to develop skills to help them into employment or into better, well-paid jobs.  Our offer also supports and engages our community with their good health and wellbeing by increasing adult’s physical activity, meeting within communities and creating communities of interest to support people’s wellbeing, reducing isolation and loneliness.   Significant papers have been written in the last two years on the benefits of adult community education in reaching those furthest away from the job market, developing self-esteem and confidence, improving skills and job outcomes whilst also having a significant part to play in a communities health and wellbeing and reducing demand on social care and NHS services.


16.    Financial – York Learning service is funded via external contracts.

17.    The report has no additional Human Resources, Equalities, Legal, Crime and Disorder, Information Technology, Property or other implications.

Risk Management

18.    This report is for information only and there are no risk to be considered.

Contact Details




Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Angela Padfield

Interim Head of Service

York Learning

(Adult Community Learning)


Tel No. 01904 555987

Charlie Croft

Assistant Director (Communities & Culture)


Report Approved


22 January, 2021

Wards Affected: 






For further information please contact the author of the report





Annex A – Full York Learning Self-Assessment Report – High Level Summary


List of Abbreviations Used in this Report

ESFA – Education Skills Funding Agency

SEND – Special Educational Needs and disabilities

RARPA – Recognising Achievement and Recording Progress in Non-Accredited Learning

ILP – Individual Learning Plan

PFA – preparing for Adulthood

CPD – Continuous Professional Development

PSD – Personal and Social Development

OTLA – Observations of Teaching and Learning Assessment

MSEH – Mental Social and Emotional Health