York Learning Strategic Service Plan :  Actions 2020/21 Academic Year  -  Outcomes




Target date

Perform-ance 19/20

Target for 20/21

Progress to date



Consolidate partnership working with North Yorkshire County Council and agree a strategy for future collaborative working

Oct 20

New Joint Head of Service to be recruited

New structure to be Place to allow joint working

Permanent Joint Head should start Sept 21

The first postholder resigned as Joint Head of Service in January and a New Joint Strategic Head with North Yorkshire and York should be in place from the beginning of August 21.   This has delayed a strategy for joint working but has not stopped the team from progressing forwards with the following:

Joint Strategies in Digital Skills and Inclusion, Information Advice and Guidance, Marketing and Quality.  This person will be fully involved in the devolution process of the adult community learning Adult Education Budget.


Continue to secure and extend provision for High needs support students as part of a “Personalised Learning”  for 16-19 year olds and for 19-24 with learning difficulties and disabilities





This year has been a challenging one. The service has continued to deliver the vast majority of its offer as blended learning, a format with which the wider team and its learning community has become familiar.

Operating this way allows for continued contact with learners, keeps our colleagues safe and lends the opportunity for all to develop their skills in creating, delivering and assessing learning online.

Learners affected by the Covid-19 situation have received extended time. Our high quality provision is subject to ever increasing demand. The service is hampered by its limited Education Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) funding contract and we have put a robust business case forward to our regional ESFA contact in support of growth.   At the time of writing the report we do not know if we are successful.

As part of the ESFA funding rules our Improvement board have oversight of this subcontracted provision

 There will also continue to be challenge from the ESFA on subcontracting and continued support from representatives is required to ensure subcontracting for this specialised style of delivery is allowed to continue as it allows our most vulnerable residents choices they would not have otherwise.

About 13 learners will be extended into 21/22 to account for lack of work experience and placement capacity due to lockdown restrictions affecting those doing Supported Internships.

Potential new providers from September are Evolve Sports Academy and Goget.


Deliver 4 jobs fair as part of a strategy to support York residents into work

July 20



Not possible to meet during Covid.

 Virtual events with job centre and employers have been discussed.

The current restrictions on gathering have inevitably put these events on hold.  Various discussions have taken place over the year with employers, job centre plus, apprenticeship and skills teams but employers have not struggled to fill vacancies and felt there was no need of a job fair this year.  We have started this conversation again to see if there is potential for one in October / November and guidance from Public Health is being sought to decide whether this is feasible.

To support residents we have co-ordinated the community learning partnership to put on a ‘Learning in York’ week to support those unemployed find courses and skills development opportunities to help them put themselves in to the best light for employment opportunities.


Continuing to develop further English for Speakers of Other Languages programmes in response to demand

June 20



68 learners

(Doing a mixture of accredited and non-accredited modules)

46 accredited

56 non- accredited

The new refugee resettlement intake has slowed for the moment but families continue to progress with their English skills.  12 have progressed into employment although some were affected by Covid furloughing and lay-offs.  We are setting up IAG (information, advice and guidance) interviews as part of the offer to resettlement learners and the wider ESOL groups.    Teaching ESOL during Covid has been particularly challenging.  Not being able to hold these classes face to face has hindered our provision this year and reduced numbers of new learners.  Provision is slowly returning to the classroom but with small classes and few rooms available, online learning continues.   ESOL would normally include a huge amount of interaction, paired work, and movement, which has been harder to manage online, particularly for lower skills levels.

During Lockdown, tutors actively worked in the community on doorsteps etc. and delivering learning packs (to support Zoom learning).

The Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Coordination group continues to make good progress particularly in the identified “gap” areas of support for employment and access to services/general wellbeing.


Revise and develop new Family Learning Programmes to reinvigorate the programme and develop further support for learners





Learner numbers continue to be low in these courses with lockdown and home schooling/access to digital equipment having an impact with this. 

We have continued to develop Early Start for parents and carers with 1-2 year olds to align with the NSPCC Look, Say, Sing, Play initiative and being set up to follow the local area team Child Journey Groups. Learn Together –a range of short courses covering phonics, early reading and number skills continues to support early year’s development.

Significant work has gone on this year relating to participation in the following groups:- Social Mobility, Early Years Strategy and Schools Covid response work has created new and stronger links with schools and settings, wider teams and project groups.. These stronger links have led to schools supporting a new offer linked to the ‘Early Talk for York’ Project which will hopefully turn this area around from September 21. We have also been offered support from Huntington Research School in terms of monitoring impact of parent participation on children’s attainment


Introduce new digital skills entry points to target those digitally excluded

New Action


Entry to Level 1



From August 2020 everyone has been entitled to achieve digital skills knowledge up to level 1 for free.

It became apparent during Covid many of those digitally disengaged have found themselves forced to engage online in a way they never envisaged.     Whilst we have dealt with significant support for residents to enable them to get online and access apps, video call software and general support these do not always count as ‘courses’ which is what this target relates to.  Unfortunately, this has not translated into the usual learner numbers we would expect and digital skills has suffered in learner numbers through the pandemic.  This is an extremely difficult skill area to learn, if you have no IT skills, so it is understandable that people have struggled.    

To help boost recruitment and support residents a variety of marketing and recruitment strategies have helped to increase interest since we offered Level 2’s for free from December to those furloughed or facing redundancy.  We have now returned to face-to-face teaching in the libraries to get those most digitally excluded back into the classroom.  


Secure a new MIS system for the service to improve and develop data compliance and competence

Feb 20

New Booking system live Dec-ember 19

Continue to develop to meet recording learner progress and ability to produce reports to tutors & managers to improve quality and efficiency.

Successful implementation of:-

Online Booking


Online Registers


Learner Pastoral Logs

It was incredible fortuitous that we were already in a process of changing our paper systems into a full online system so that when Covid hit we had the tools available to support us with the online processes needed. Learners are able to find, book and pay for their courses online. Payments are dealt with securely via the cyc-preferred method.  Tutors can access their registers and learner information online to support requirements also.  Over the last year, there has been less support required to learners as self-booking becomes embedded.

A Pastoral log system has been introduced to record learner’s aims, progression and outcomes all within their accounts and register area. 


Continue to improve success rates in those programmes that are at risk of falling below minimum standards particularly apprenticeships


13 areas in Minimum Stan-dards

9 areas out of Minimum standards

Out of minimum standards

Apprenticeships programmes are no longer in minimum standards relating to their levels of performance.  Although the margins are this year low again it is at 68% which is still above the rate of minimum standards.    This has been a difficult year for our learning working in care and childcare and their additional hours or working has had a large knock on effect on their ability to do their work, inability to be assessed at time and wellbeing issues have caused many to leave.

Health & Adult Care qualifications continue to be risky due to large staff changes but we continue to work with the care sector to support their staff training in ways that reduce risk to ourselves.

We continue to meet regularly with the ESFA to update them on the MS situation and are cognisant of the matters arising. Our local ESFA contact is supportive and positive on our position.  







From Mid-March all of the York Learning offer went online to support existing learners to complete their courses.

612 additional enrolments were made between March and the end of July to a fully online offer created in response to Lockdown 1.

In September when many of the accredited courses started recruitment again we had 1,235 new enrolments for our fully online offer.  







Performance Targets 2020/21


The following are some general performance information that the service uses as part of its performance management measures.  These are further split into smaller “subject targets” for individual managers and monitored on a quarterly basis.



Target area






Full year




Fee income





Unlike most of the targets in this plan, this is a financial year target. Due to Covid-19 it was significantly reduced. However, we have over hit this target and this is due to the hard work of the team to change programmes online and promote an offer that still attracted residents.


Student enrolments to non-qualification bearing courses





Inevitably, due to the impact of taking learning out of the community settings, we  didn’t think we would be anywhere near this target when setting but are pleased to announce that we have come close to last year in spite of Covid.  

These are reduced learner numbers from pre Covid years, but we feel this reflects the hard work and dedication the team have put in to create new and creative courses to capture people’s imagination.  This number reflects 40% of learners, which are all very new to the service, and is a percentage maintained from previous years for new engagements.  

Not having our own premises has had an impact on returning to the classroom and will continue to challenge us until we do so.  We have found that many hired venues cannot commit to the Covid secure standards required.   This undoubtedly has greater impact on vulnerable groups.


Total number of 16-18 Apprenticeships

( Starts)

(Carried over)





14 new

9 carried over

Even though it has been a challenging year for apprenticeships, we have managed to still recruit and maintain existing learners in learning.   Number had been decreased due to ESFA sanctions were still in affect earlier this year.


Total number of 19+ Apprenticeships (Starts)

Carried over





15 new

50 carried over

Below targets for this year due to ESFA sanctions on all H&S frameworks & standards. Supporting in Schools, Childcare at L2 and L3 since last year due to minimum standards. We restarted recruitment to Childcare in 2020/2021.

As a counter to this the service has focussed on Leaner Loan provision, which is proving popular and offers much more stability. 


GCSE English








Targets are determined by funding which is shared across accredited programmes and has not increased. These numbers represent individual qualification aims and not learners.   Interest has grown in GCSE’s through lockdown.  There has been a significant increase in workload to the teaching team over the last year with assessed grading and additional marking of assessments whilst also having to deliver all of the marking two weeks earlier than normal.


GCSE Maths








See above

This number includes 19 Apprentices who have been doing their GCSE.


Functional English





Targets determined as above. Numbers in community venues have decreased this year mainly due to covid restrictions and an inability to do outreach. This is countered from a funding point of view by increase in ESOL numbers.

We have various publicity campaigns and increasing routes for learners to get to us for these qualifications from 1-1 Skills Guidance sessions.   We expect numbers to grow once we are back in venues, furlough ends and able to recruit via our traditional referral routes.


Functional Maths





See above


Full time 16-18 Foundation Learning Programme






This programme has undergone a change in curriculum with revised eligibility criteria and induction process.  This has increased both retention rates and achievement rates.   

Unfortunately, recruitment has had to be low due to Covid restrictions and classroom sizes.  It has been incredibly challenging to keep learners engaged through home schooling, especially, as this is a group that has found learning difficult.   However, on the whole we have managed and all returned to the classroom full time after Easter.


Full time 16-24 High Needs Support students  personalised learning programmes







There continues to be an increase in number of High Needs Students coming through our provision. The majority of this provision is sub-contracted with the following providers:- Blueberry Academy, Choose2youth, United Response, Tanghall Smart, ToolBox, Ad Astra


Functional Skills English 16-18





These represent a very small cohort of learners within our foundation learning and personalised learning programmes


Functional Skills Maths 16-18





See above



Overall success  rate for service






Too early to predict

At this time of year, the service cannot accurately report this data set. The impact of Covid-19 has affected retention and achievement rates due to home schooling, lack of IT access and inability to learner from home due to life/work balances. 

Many subject areas such as Apprenticeships, ICT and Bookkeeping had to delay exams due to restrictions not lifted until August/September time.  Some learners have been coaxed back now that life is resuming some normality.


Overall Funded Budget



New addition




Made up of a wide range of different funding strands from the ESFA, ESF, Your Consortium, Manchester Growth Company.  Funding for the 16-18 Study Programme and the High needs Support programme does not always cover the costs but this delivery is part of CYC’s statutory requirement.

The ESFA funding model requires us to meet an allocation target to avoid clawback.  However, due to Covid this is going to be hard to meet and there is risk of a £20,000 clawback due to coming in at 85% rather than meeting the new lower expectation of 90%. 

Earlier in the year the service was successful in being award a funding from Manchester Growth Company to deliver and plan a programme of events to help rehabilitation of offenders back into the community.