York Learning Strategic Plan










Areas covered across City

Whilst there isn’t a course running in every ward, all residents have a choice from a range of offer they can attend centrally, online or nearby


Last Ofsted Rating

Good (Nov 20)

Self-Assessment Rating

Good (Jan 22)


Total Learner Enrolment numbers 21/22


Total Learner Enrolment numbers 22/23



York Learning identifies the following key priorities from the Council Plan that we support and contribute towards.


Safe Communities and Cultures for All

Nos/Enrolments 21/22

Target for 22/23

Progress to date




Modern Foreign Languages








































































Understanding and participating in a language develops an understanding of other cultures and encourages a more equal and diverse approach to others.   We believe that this helps encourage a mutual respect within communities.  


Unfortunately, numbers continue to decline in languages across the region.  This is believed to be due to fewer people going on holiday and therefore less wanting to learn a language before they go.   We are retaining languages as a subject area as many other local providers have dropped it and we may therefore pick up some other learners from them.   But our Target is realistically set below this years numbers due to the drop in recruitments generally.


The new course in Ukrainian Language and Culture with host families and employers of incoming Ukrainian refugees has been a slow start but we are hopeful now that the summer holidays are over it will pick up   


ESOL however (English for speakers of other Languages) is a growing area which has continued to increase due to Syrian, Afghan refugees and Hong Kong Nationals arriving. 


Supporting individuals who are not natural English speakers to effectively communicate supports wider community cohesion but also increases the opportunities for those individuals to progress / engage with greater employment opportunities.


ESOL is also a key gateway point into other provision


Heritage Skills &


Visual Arts






This wide offer develops personal interest and skills to support the cultural visual arts and crafts environment that York has to offer.  Many learners go on to become self-employed artist, designers or benefit from improved mental health and wider social interactions to prevent feelings of isolation.   


Learner numbers have recovered post covid, but financial pressures are expected to affect numbers for next year. 


We continue to investigate ways to grow an accredited arm of this provision (difficult due to no fixed premises of our own)


As we seek wider engagement points and ‘hooks’ for learning. Culture and cultural opportunities can provide these but can also bring a greater sense of shared community developing the skills to lead or participate in these activities is a key objective for the service


Community Arts Events

8 events



There are varieties of events that run as introductory free activities to engage with residents.  they enable us to engage with a wide range of groups across our communities particularly;

·           different style of craft groups,

·           schools,

·           charities etc.  


These events can include Adult Learning in York Week, Inspirations Art Show, International Women’s Week; York City Festival; A Fashion Show; Place Where I Live and Flight.  These events enable us to engage with a wide range of community groups and bring them together.


Due to building new Multiply initiatives and reduced capacity in teams at present we expect to run only two events to happen this year and to participate in other group events through the year such as the coming 50+ festival.


Prevent, Safeguarding, Digital Safeguarding

355 Tutor Talks

216 online views

600 tutor talks/video


York Learning has good Prevent and Safeguarding processes, all tutors are trained 3 yearly and highlight these to all learners as part of course induction.  This supports our learners and partner organisations.  Prevent and safeguarding both feed into safer communities and supports our residents understanding of what to do if the need should arise.   


Well paid Jobs and an inclusive Economy

Nos/Enrolments 21/22

Target for 22/23

Progress to date




Improve Essential Skills – English, maths, Digital, Employability





There is a clear expectation and desire to be in the classroom more than online so the planned offer in the classroom has grown again this year.   We continue to get back to pre-pandemic numbers but must bear in mind that the cost of living crisis may slow this down as residents take on additional jobs and/or hours in the workplace which will create a barrier to gaining new skills.


The development of a core set of skills is vital to career development which in turn can support wider career progression increasing the pool of candidates for job vacancies


1-1 Careers Information Advice & Guidance

And + full assessments






All accredited courses provide individual advice & guidance and assessment opportunities.  There is also a free careers guidance sessions residents can book into which supports individuals to understand their skills, identify gaps and what opportunities are available in the city for employment, volunteering, progression.   


Widening this personal celebration of skills is a key objective for the service and essential in building a robust and resilient workforce economy



Apprenticeships, Work Based (wbl)/ Vocational Learning   &

Level 3+ skills

46 (new starts)

66 WBL starts




Providing both apprenticeships and higher-level learner loans to support learning in the workplace.  Covering Childcare, Adult Care, Business Admin, Management. Recruitment to L3 Skills is growing (35 Learners)


There has been a nationwide drop in apprenticeships and high drop out.  We hope to improve recruitment this year to figures more reflective of pre-pandemic.  However, the industry in general has dropped recruitment and employers in these key industries (childcare, adult care, business admin) are struggling to recruit due to the traditional low wages of apprentices and the current cost of living crisis.  We are supporting employers with recruitment and working hard to keep learners engaged and motivated and to see the long term aim rather than a short term pay rise by leaving.


We continue to explore the opportunities to support CYC recruitment through the provision of a responsive apprenticeship offer 



Job fairs




This year we aim to return to the smaller local job fairs and hope to increase the current planned job fairs with at least 2 local job fairs in Acomb and one other area.


Counselling Programme  L2,L3,L4




Most learners progress from L2 up to L4 to gain employment or self-employment in counselling. The area is hoping to launch a Level 5 Children & Young People Counselling Studies in September 2023 due to local demand.  The programme has increased its offer with an additional 2-year cohort of level 4 and level 3 and hope to run an additional level 2 next year.


Vocational courses aimed at employment or to support Self Employment




These are a range of courses to support those who want to reskill when not in the workplace or to become self-employed.  These include Bookkeeping and Payroll L1-L3; Putting a Business together/tax/marketing etc.; web design and Coding;  This year we are running one bootcamp in coding and hope to repeat it in the new year.


Partnership working with FE colleges and universities are aimed to develop the range of wider industry pathways for learners.




Good Health and Wellbeing

Nos/Enrolments 21/22

Target for 22/23

Progress to date




Arts, Crafts, Fitness and Leisure opportunities




Courses are supported with small part of the Community Learning Funding to support those who have low income, target group activities, classes that haven’t ‘quite’ filled enough to cover all the costs and to fund residents who are being socially prescribed onto our courses to support their wellbeing.


Learners articulate that these classes support them in a variety of ways including: -

·        Getting out of the house and reducing Loneliness and Isolation.

·        Improve their mental health and keep the brain ticking over and memory recall.

·        Chance to meet other people and/or new people.

·        A chance to concentrate on themselves rather than family/work/life issues such as caring responsibilities.


We have been cautious with numbers due to the cost of living crisis and the likely impact to our learners who may feel paying for a course may push the budget too far.


Positive Progressions (PP), Action Towards Inclusion (ATI),




ESF funded projects that enable us to work with those furthest away from the job market.  These projects enable us to engage on a 1-1 basis to discuss barriers to employment and learning we can support them by setting targets and actions to enable participants to improve their life opportunities.  


At present these projects are due to end March 2023.  We are waiting to hear if ATI at least gets some bridge funding but expected recruitment numbers are reflective of that.


We are exploring how current and secured funding (e.g,. Multiply) can be used to offer aspects of this provision so that individuals can be supported in some capacity should funding be withdrawn


Better start for Children and Young People

Nos/Enrolments 21/22

Target for 22/23

Progress to date




Family Learning




The Family Learning team is continuing to work directly with seven of our primary schools specifically looking at key areas such as parent input in developing wider reading with younger children and supporting the Early Talk York project.


A wide key stage linked offer and support through Multiply is a core aspect of our strategy.


Routes 16-19 Study programme


Positive Outcomes











The study programme runs at Winterscale House near Fishergate and is targeted at those young people who have struggled with school and are not yet ready for an apprenticeship or college and do not have the life skills to get a job.   Capacity had to reduce over the 2 yr Covid period to allow social distancing and this has reduced recruitment opportunities for this year.  Currently this offer is under subscribed.  We are reaching out to new partners to support recruitment and looking at a late group of entrants for October or January if we can, to boost numbers.


There has been a change in the landscape for NEET over the last two years, and we are seeing a greater divide in our young people.  There appears to be a greater gap between those able to go straight to college and those who have more social and emotional health needs.  


With the changing needs of our young learners, we realise we need greater access to resources that support ‘living skills’.  We are developing partnerships with York college and United Response which will, develop easier access to those resources.   Whilst also changing some of the equipment at Winterscale to support adults with Living skills development in the wider community area.



High Needs Support and Special Educational Needs 16-24




The offer continues to be oversubscribed

Delivery partners are: - 

-         United Response    -    Blueberry

-         Tanghall Smart        -    Choose 2 Youth

-         Toolbox                    -    Ad Astra

-         Go Get

We provide all partners with good guidance and support alongside rigorous quality management systems.



Key Areas of Focus

Target Date


Performance 21/22

Target for 22/23

Progress to date


Owning our position as the gateway to learning and opportunity

January 2023

Strategy approved

Learners reporting choosing us or directed to us first to meet aims

Strategy approved by consultation in July 2022, final draft to be approved by executive. Team to produce working mission statement, purpose and values that underpin both services. This to become the hook of marketing, PR and IAG activity


Consolidate partnership working with North Yorkshire County Council and implement the new strategy relating to future collaborative working


June 2023

Strategy approved

Clear implementation plan devised and monitored for the strategy across both services.

The new strategy has been through consultation and is now ready to implement.  All teams will have an opportunity to input on ways to implement the strategy and all thoughts will be consolidated to bring a plan together.   Senior teams at both organisations will then work together on the creation of an operational plan for the strategy, to incorporate a greater number of ‘front door’ entry points into provision that are then able to map to skills plan outputs forcing collaboration with city skills partners, and through the work of the Development Manager for Engagement, the community and voluntary sectors and intra-authority opportunities.


Detail and strengthening of the relationship between the Adult learning and Skills strategy, our curriculum and skills strategies

November 2022


All courses to celebrate transferable skills gained and to use IAG best practices to encourage learning progression planning

The new strategy clearly articulates the importance of transferable skills to support the economic and recruitment needs of the city. Teaching and IAG colleagues have been briefed on the importance of enabling learners to understand the wider skills they are developing and to consider how those skills can support career development. Observation activity will start to monitor the embedding of this message with a greater level of emphasis based upon the setting and monitoring of progression aims.


Widening the demographic for learners engaging in adult learning courses

July 2023

LLDD 13%

Men 31%

Non white Ethnicity 18%

Age (tbc)

Flattening of demographic spreads

Recognition amongst managers that course programmes require a refresh to support a wider demographic. Partnership working both intra and inter authority to be developed to support a greater understanding of the motivations of a wider range of communities.  Desktop and focused research and a greater focus on targeted partnerships to be adopted to take learning to spaces that communities of interest come together. 


Multiply – maths initiative successfully planned and delivered



April 2023



20 courses



75 learners




Multiply investment plans have been approved and funding has now been received.   

Team are to consider the approved implementation activities to determine which opportunities they wish to lead and take forwards as part of the procurement activity.

The Multiply Operations manager (joint authority role) is to be appointed to ensure 100% spend in Year 1 and to develop intelligence on most effective approaches for year 2 and 3



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




Develop the job fairs to have a local feel and be delivered in the local area.  Still awaiting confirmation of funding available and preferred plan. 

Strengthened emphasis on the development of skills that lead to improved employment opportunities



Meet demand for English for Speakers of Other Languages programmes




ESOL (English for speakers of other Languages) is a growing area which has continued to increase due to Syrian, Afghan refugees Hong Kong Nationals and now Ukrainian families arriving.  The team have worked hard to support and develop a hub at The Citadel (old Salvation Army building on Gillygate) for the refugee communities that have been and are arriving.   


Increase enrolments to Essential skills in English

And maths accredited learning

170 English




230 maths






Enrolments were slow during 21_22 but had started to gain through the year as learners have gained confidence in coming back into the classroom.   We are still not back up to pre covid years, but we are hopeful that this will improve through this academic year.


Develop joint courses with local colleges to create entry pathways for adults in communities to higher level learning at college

5 courses identified



A working partnership is in development alongside York College, Askham Bryan and Selby College to deliver ‘introduction’ style courses to support progression to their offer.   We plan to develop introduction courses or stepping stone courses to pathways such as; Policing; Teaching; Hospitality; Painting and Decorating; Learner numbers and assessments of their entry level skills such as English, maths and Digital will be addressed by us to support those learners' progression as per the new proposed strategy.