Adult learning in York must face up to COVID challenge

Shine programme

The Council will consider an update report tomorrow on how well its York Learning (further education) service is performing. Not surprisingly, courses have been interrupted with many of the venues used by the service not being available for hire.

The Council produced a “Shine” booklet recently outlining what was available this summer. Mainly aimed at families, it can be accessed by clicking here

Much of the York Learning’s £3 million budget is spent on providing educational opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

Some performance information has now been published click

It reveals that events such as “job fairs” have been shelved in the wake of the health scare. Given the likely increase in unemployment in the City, providing services like this must have a high priority even if they have to be established initially on a “virtual” basis.

Reskilling the workforce will be a challenge as the City – and country – tries to emerge from recession. Judging by the published report, York Learning has yet to adapt its priorities to address that challenge.

The report reveals a decline in student numbers – including refugees – undertaking English language courses. This is partly explained by the lower number of inward migrants to the area. Some courses are also now available on line using “zoom”.

The report to the meeting acknowledges that during recent months some residents have become more isolated than they needed to be because of lack of IT skills. Many services were only available “on line” during the crisis and libraries were closed.

Filling that skills gap is a top priority for the service

The learning team have been criticised in the past for being slightly remote from local communities. Residents Associations rarely receive any information about upcoming local activities.

The Council will need to engage more effectively in the future if those in greatest need of skills training are to receive  the support that they need.

Coronavirus York updates; 12th June 2020

York Minster reopening its doors

click for more information

Following the Government’s weekend announcement that places of worship will be permitted to reopen for individual prayer from the week beginning Monday 15th June, York Minster will reopen for individual prayer starting on Tuesday 16th June.

The Minster will be open from 4.30 to 6.30pm, Tuesdays to Saturday and 2.30 to 4.30pm on Sunday for people to come in, light a candle and speak to a member of the Clergy if they need pastoral support and care.

The Minster will be closed on Mondays for the time being.

Social distancing protocols will be in place.

The Minster is expected to announce how it will respond to any further government relaxation of restrictions including the recommencement of services and more general events aimed at the broader local community

In the meantime services are available to view on line and via zoom.

The Minster offers a virtual Sunday Evensong service each week at 4;00pm via Facebook:, YouTube: or the website:


Sad to report that the York Trust hospitals have recorded their first death of the week. The total local coronavirus hospital deaths are now 212.

There have been no more positive corona virus lab test results.

What’s on in York: Peterloo – the aftermath, York Lent Assizes, March 1820

Monday March 16th
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 
On March 16, 1820 the trial of ten of the leaders at Peterloo, charged with conspiracy to overturn the government, opened in York. The trial was nationally reported and the government’s position widely discredited.  In spite this, five were convicted … but of the lesser charge of seditious intent.

Inspired by family history, The Road to Peterloo is about a Britain where the 1815 Peace has rewarded the few but penalised the many, where workers are drawn into mass protest meetings and soldiers, billeted in London to prevent revolution, become caught up in a secretive world of plots and spies.

Join local author, Jacqueline Everett, to discuss the historical background to the Peterloo massacre of August 16, 1820 and its aftermath, and hear readings from her novel The Road to Peterloo.