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Agenda item

York Learning - Update and Progress Report 2016/17

This report presents the end of academic year performance report and data for York Learning.



The Head of York Learning provided an overview of the end of academic year performance and data for York Learning. He explained that the progress on the Strategic Service Plan with actions for the 2016/17 academic year had been provided as per Members’ request. He also clarified the following:

·        The last bullet point in Paragraph 5 should read: “Comment on the issues identified for the new academic year in paragraph 12”;

·        The word “passported” in Paragraph 6 should be replaced with “subcontracted”;

·        The new partnership organisation, Toolbox, had recently been added to the partnership agreement (Paragraph 6).


Members’ attention was drawn to the summary of the draft self-assessment judgement that York Learning had undertaken for 2016/17. It was pointed out that full-time NHS programmes to support the most vulnerable people across the City were well developed and good progression on other programmes such as counselling and modern foreign languages had been achieved. The Head of York Learning explained that the apprenticeship achievement was below minimum standards; this was attributed to the legacy issues such as the small number of learners and the local apprenticeship sectors being tough, with high staff turnaround rates.


Members sought clarification on a number of issues and the following was confirmed:

·               The provision for learners who did not pass their GCSE English and Maths exams consisted of a one-year-long full-time course.

·               The target for learners achieving a GCSE Maths was substantially exceeded (58 learners vs. the target of 38).

·               The “Making the most of your money” project attracted individuals who could not be effectively supported by the team (i.e. individuals requiring more in-depth support) which resulted in the decision to withdraw from that subcontracted project.

·               The fact that adults seeking opportunities to access learning needed to present proof of actively looking for work in order to be eligible could have contributed to the decrease in the overall interest in the provision, particularly at Level 2. However, there was an increased interest in enrolment in loan-funded Level 3 and 4 programmes which could be attributed to the opportunity of receiving a vocational qualification without the need to follow the rigorous criteria of other programmes such as apprenticeships.

·               ICT enrolment targets were difficult to achieve. There was an interest within the younger generation but these courses could not always be funded; older people were often not able to afford them.


Members discussed the possible reasons why the service’s success rates for apprenticeship were falling below minimum standards. It was explained that if 40% of the overall cohort were below standards, the whole cohort was judged to be below standards. It was added that York provided many health, social care and childcare courses which attracted people with low qualifications, for which the outcomes and retention rates were low nationally. It was also pointed out that it was not possible to change the CYC apprenticeship focus in York because specialist courses such as building or business administration were provided by colleges or private companies and CYC did not have facilities or expertise to implement such programmes.


Resolved:                     (i) That the report and the initial findings of the service’s self-assessment be noted.


                                      (ii) That the  opportunities and threats for the service identified within the latest Strategic Plan for 2017/18 be noted.


                                      (iii) That the issues identified for the new academic year in Paragraph 8 be commented on in advance of the strategic plan being signed off by the Executive Member.


Reason:                        To help monitor the service and guide and challenge managers to ensure robust and accountable governance arrangements.

Supporting documents:


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