Decision Session – Executive Member for

Culture, Leisure & Communities


31 January 2023


Report of the Assistant Director (Customer and Communities)




York Learning – Self Assessment Report 2021/2022




1.           This report presents York Learning’s Self-Assessment Report (SAR) for the academic year 2021/22.  The full report is attached at Annex 1 with performance data contained within.   The report shows how York Learning performs in relation to the Education Inspection Framework and this final report is sent to Ofsted on 31 January 2023. 



2.           The Executive Member is asked to consider and approve the service’s self-assessment report for submission to Ofsted.

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



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.


4.        This report, which is for the academic year 2021/2022, is an important element in enabling the service to demonstrate to Ofsted that it has secure and robust governance arrangements in place.




5.        The report has been consulted upon and robustly challenged and by various members of York Learning, a peer challenge from regional providers and the York Learning Improvement Board.   This is now presented for final consultation and approval.




6.           The attached self-assessment is presented for comment and approval, the submission can be amended in light of any comments.




7.        Performance of York Learning continues to be good and overall achievement is above national benchmarks.   Learners enjoy learning with York Learning, they feel well supported, achieve their goals, become committed learners and progress well.   There is a wide curriculum offer with highly skilled tutors, which ensures York residents receive a good choice of learning opportunities and York Learning work hard to support learners to identify their skills and opportunities towards employment.   Partnership working with a wide variety of local charities, services and employers has created new co-designed courses which meet their clients needs. 


8.        Functional Skills performance has dropped this year due to the impact of some small classes affecting overall retention and achievement.   Online learning has also had an impact in this area where learners have not fully understood the time they need to commit to study when learning online.  New induction processes are already in place and performance is already improving. 


9.        The 16-18 study programme continues to be good, but recruitment has been slow to recover since the pandemic.  Post pandemic there has been a negative increase in the social and emotional health of young people, and more specialist teaching and 1-1 work has been needed to support those young people who are nervous of leaving their homes.   Tutors have taken on specialist training in ‘Trauma Informed Teaching’ to deliver teaching in a way that better supports these young people.   78% of these learners’ progress with positive outcomes which is a testament to the commitment and dedication of the managers and teaching team.


10.    Apprenticeships remain good but recruitment to apprenticeship programmes has been slower in the last two years and more learners are taking on loans or accessing provision by the Free Skills for Jobs funding.  Employers are still struggling to recruit in the industries of Childcare and Adult Care and we are proposing to start boot camps to support the city in these areas.


11.    Learner voice feedback has dropped off post pandemic and new approaches have  been developed for face to face classroom based learning.   Progression information from learners has also been slow to be received and again new approaches are being developed. 


Council Plan


12.       York Learning’s offer supports the regional and local skills plans as well as the Council 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 will adapt to the asks that come out of the Local Skills Improvement Partnership.


13.       Financial -   The service is fully funded via external contracts and grants.  The budget remains challenging, and the service will continue to seek additional income streams.


14.       Human Resources (HR) - The report has no Human Resources implications.


15.       Equalities - 9.7% of York Learning Learners are from black and minority ethnic community groups which is above the city’s profile of 5.7% and 18.6% has a learning difficulty or disability which is above the York profile of 15.3%.  This would suggest we work well to reach across the city and give good and equal access to skills development.  This report has no impact on reducing that demographic reach.


16.       Legal - The report has no Legal, Crime and Disorder, Information Technology, Property or other implications.


17.       Risk Management

In compliance with the Council’s risk management strategy the main risks identified associated with the areas of work covered in this report are operational:  affecting delivery of the Council’s business objectives and its image and reputation.  Measured in terms of impact and likelihood, the risk score has been assessed at 10 which equates to “Low”.  This is acceptable but means that regular monitoring will be required of the Quality Improvement Plans.

Contact Details


Angela Padfield

Head of Service

York Learning

Tel No. 01904 554277


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Laura Williams

Assistant Director Customer and Communities



Co-Author’s Name

Paul Cliff

Title Joint Strategic Head of York and North Yorkshire Adult Learning and Skills

York Learning

Tel No.  01904 554277


                  Report Approved












Wards Affected: [List wards or tick box to indicate all]






For further information please contact the author of the report



Background Papers: n/a



Annex 1 York Learning Self-Assessment Report 2021_22


List of Abbreviations Used in this Report

FE  - Further Education

HE – Higher Education

ILP – Individual Learning Plan

RARPA – Recognising and Recording Progress and Achievement

OTL – Observations of Teaching and Learning

CL – Community Learning

HNS – High Needs Students

SEND – Special Education Needs

EHCP – Educational Health and Care Plan

IAG – Information Advice and Guidance (Careers Guidance)

ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages

ICT – Information Communication Technology (computing)

CYC – City of York Council

LSIP – Local Skills Improvement Partnership

EPA – End Point Assessment

AEB – Adult Education Budget

NEET – Not in Employment Education Employment or Training