Strategic Priorities 2021-22



Providing opportunities in Newcastle for all to learn, improve and grow.


Key Objectives 2021-2022


•    To continue to provide a relevant curriculum to meet the needs of adults, young people and employers' training needs from within the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

•    To continue to offer high-quality educational experiences and support to allow the residents, both young and old, to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence to realise better life chances moving forward.

•    To receive a positive judgement from our Ofsted re-inspection due this academic year.

•    To sustain our continued positive financial position in challenging circumstances post lock-down, to ensure the sustainability of the service within the city.

Newcastle City Learning is part of Newcastle City Council. Our staff share the values and behaviours of Newcastle City Council.


Newcastle City Learning sits within the Children, Education and Skills Directorate. It provides courses at two main sites Westgate College and The Heaton Centre as well as provision based in various smaller venues throughout the city. 


Newcastle City Learning provides a curriculum offer within the three main strands of adult education, including vocational, foundation learning and community learning.


In addition, the service has diversified in recent years to provide curriculum for young learners, both young people and adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, including those with High Needs funding.


In addition, the service has a small apprenticeship provision supporting the Council to deliver its objective of offering apprenticeship vacancies to Newcastle residents and providing opportunities for employment and development within the city. The service also works with a small number of employers in providing apprenticeship opportunities in leadership and management, business administration, customer service, health care practitioner and early years practitioner.


Newcastle City Council- values and behaviours



•    We take pride in and celebrate each other’s achievements
•    We have a positive, optimistic, can-do attitude
•    We do our very best to meet and exceed the expectations of our colleagues, customers, partners and residents
•    We help and support others to make a positive difference
•    We make sure that we celebrate and praise each other’s good work



• We are honest and treat people equal to their needs
• We respect and value every person as an individual
• We listen to other opinions and points of view and embrace difference
• We are decent, fair and compassionate
• We act with integrity in everything we do
• We are accountable for our actions and our performance


Ambitious We are passionate, determined, enthusiastic and want to succeed

•    We believe in making the most of opportunities to help us succeed
•    We achieve more when we work together
•    We are enthusiastic about change
•    We encourage others to be their best
•    We have the courage to change things for the better and make a difference
•    We are passionate about making Newcastle a great city


The service seeks to embed these values and behaviours in all that we do.


The service has had to adapt and meet the needs of the city’s residents during the recent pandemic and subsequent lockdown.


It is now emerging from that challenge and is adapting again to provide a curriculum which is more aligned with the needs of our residents and employers post-pandemic.


Much of our work is focused around supporting our residents to get back into work, and to find the confidence to once again, play a significant role within their local communities and families.


The Children, Education and Skill Directorate has the following ten priorities: -


1.    Support families to stay safely together

2.     Support babies and young children to have the best start in life

3.    Improve attendance and participation in learning

4.    Improve educational progress for all, and support vulnerable pupils, including those with SEND, to achieve

5.    Safely reduce the number of children and young people in our care

6.    For children and young people who are in our care, increase the number who stay in Newcastle 

7.    Improve children and young people’s social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing

8.    Help all young people into adulthood, to develop life skills and be ready for work

9.    Ensure opportunities for lifelong learning

10.  Reduce the number of children and young people living in poverty

Newcastle City Learning contributes directly to priorities 3,4,7,8 and 9.

Newcastle Upon Tyne in context

A growing population

300,196, of whom 61,852 are children 0 -18, of whom 34,071 are under 10 years.

There were 3,205 births in 2018


Overall population

 All  306,800
 Male  155,500
 Female  151,300




Labour supply

Unemployed Total no of people unemployed Newcastle upon Tyne National
 All  10,700  6.7%  4.9%
 Male  6,200  7.3%  5.2%
 Female  3,900  5.4%  4.5%

Figures as of April 20- March 21 accessed at Labour Market Profile-Nomis-Official Labour Market Statistics (  

Young people’s starting point-as at age 16

Education, Training and Employment in figures

  • 70.9% adults in employment
  • 80% of 16 - 17 year olds in employment, education or training
  • 102 state funded schools
  • 70.4% of Newcastle pupils achieved a Good Level of Development at the end of Reception
  • 43.6 was the average Attainment 8 score for children at Key Stage 4
  • 49.6% of 19 year olds qualified to Level 3


Young people progressing into our Programmes for Young People (PYP) at age 16 have very often not realised their full potential at school. They require a programme of learning to help them to make the important transition to be able to gain the most out of higher-level vocational programmes and/or employment.

In addition, the general levels of achievement in Newcastle tend to be lower than the national average- as shown in the table from the latest published figures for the academic year of 2019/20.


Key Stage 5 2019/20

  APS per A Level Entry % of students achieving grades AAB or better at A level % of students achieving grades AAB or better at A level, of which at least two are in facilitating APS per Applied General entry APS Tech level


 39.51  33.5  24.2  31.25  29.77

North East

 38.25  28.8  20.0  31.62  28.16

Statistical Neighbours

 37.29  25.5  17.4   30.94  29.85


 38.11  27.7  16.7  29.43  27.23

Source- A level and other 16-18 results, Academic Year 2019/20- Explore education statistics-GOV.UK (

Achievement of a level 2 and level 3 qualification by the age of 19.

Figures published in April 2021 for 2019/20 show that the proportion of 19 year-olds qualified to level 3 in Newcastle has decreased by 1.3 percentage points to 48.3%. The gap between Newcastle and the national average widened again in 2019/20.