Education and Skills: the best learning opportunities for all.

We want Newcastle to be recognised as a great place to be born, grow up, raise a family and develop a career. Having the best start in life sets us up for better learning, improved opportunities for life and better career prospects.

Working in partnership with schools enables us to raise standards and educational attainment. We are aiming to tackle long-term educational challenges of attendance, improving attainment in our secondary schools and enabling more young people to access higher education.

Working with partners to offer help services to families who need them, ensures we are protecting the most vulnerable in our city. Intervening early to tackle problems before they escalate is a key component of our approach.


  • A city that gives the young people the best start in life
  • A city which shields the most vulnerable from harm


What are we doing to achieve this priority during 2018-19?

  • Embedding a new school-led model of educational improvement and further developing the Newcastle Promise Board to fulfil the Newcastle Promise.
  • Improving the support provided to schools for the most vulnerable pupils to reduce the number of fixed term and permanent exclusions they receive, raise their attendance and improve their educational outcomes.
  • Implementing the outcomes of the High Needs Review, including increasing the proportion of pupils with special educational needs that are educated, with appropriate support, in mainstream schools.
  • Continuing our programme of investment to create additional good quality school places where they are needed, supporting the city’s ambitious plans for housing growth.
  • Continuing our work with education providers and businesses to ensure that all young people can access good quality education, employment or training.
  • Introducing our “Build a Future” fostering programme, designed to build supportive placements for children and young people with more challenging needs so that they can live in a home environment closer to Newcastle. This will sit alongside our “Foster a Future” programme to create more places for children and young people who need to be looked after.
  • Further developing the Newcastle Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hub in partnership with Northumbria Police.
  • Reviewing our offer to care leavers in line with new legislative requirements, to keep in touch with and provide support for care leavers until they are 25.
  • Continuing to raise the profile of our Corporate Parenting responsibilities.
  • Continuing to strengthen the interface between early help services and statutory intervention.
  • Embedding the work commenced by the Newcastle Safeguarding Children Board to ensure that thresholds for children’s social care are well understood across all partner agencies.
  • Working with UNICEF to progress the work towards becoming a Child Friendly City.
  • Introducing MoMo (Mind of My Own), a new on-line app for seeking the views of all children and young people involved with Children’s Social Care.
  • Increasing the focus on the Troubled Families programme to maximise outcomes for families and our payment by results funding.
  • Continuing to deliver multi-agency whole-family approach through our Community Family Hub model, working together with adult social care to support parents with complex needs.


How will we measure our progress?

  • Newcastle Education Annual Report
  • Proportion of young people not in employment, education or training / activity unknown compared to England
  • The proportion of children reaching a good level of development In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFSP)
  • Proportion of young people achieving good qualifications compared to England
  • Overall access to integrated early childhood services and Ofsted judgement
  • Proportion of schools judged to be ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ compared to statistical neighbours
  • Rate of child and young people on child protection plans compared to statistical neighbours and England average
  • Rate of children and young people living in care compared to statistical neighbours and England average
  • Total number of children supported on Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP)
  • Total number / rate of Children in Need (CiN) living in Newcastle
  • Proportion of children living in Newcastle on repeat Child Protection plans


Some of our achievements in 2017-18

  • Outcomes for primary pupils in the Early Years Foundation Stage, Year 1 Phonics, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 remain strong. In some subjects, our performance is amongst the best nationally. We have also narrowed the gap between the lowest attaining pupils and the rest from 28.2% in 2015-16 to 27.6% in 2016-17.
  • The proportion of pre-school settings and childminders judged by OFSTED to be good and outstanding is very high at around 95% and 100% of children eligible to take up the 2-year-old offer (1,331) are benefiting from it.
  • The proportion of good and outstanding primary and first schools is around 86%.
  • The very high quality of our special schools has, again, been reflected in the OFSTED judgements made following inspection with 100% judged to be good or outstanding.
  • The Newcastle Virtual School for looked after children was praised by OFSTED for its leadership and management and the excellent work it carried out on improving attendance and raising standards for looked after children.
  • The number of children benefiting from early intervention through an early help plan increased to from 1,159 in 2016-17 to 1,182 in 2017-18 with 64% closing with a positive outcome.
  • Early help pathway revised to ensure one single route into early help, supported by three locality teams via the Community Family Hub model.
  • We received funding from the Department for Work and Pensions to continue our work to reduce inter-parental conflict; Newcastle is increasingly recognised as a national leader at this.
  • Community Family Hub achieved the UNICEF baby friendly Stage 3, alongside health visiting.
  • Our short break home at Bedeburn was judged outstanding by OFSTED in March 2018 and our long-term home at Airey Terrace was judged outstanding by Ofsted in January 2018.
  • Implemented the action plan arising from the OFSTED Single Inspection for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers. OFSTED judged adoption performance, experience and progress of care leavers and leadership, management and governance as good.
  • Newcastle’s Serious Case Review was published in February 2018, following which we have embarked on a series of staff briefings to highlight recommendations and embed learning.
  • The care leavers “Moving In” project was nominated for a Children and Young People Now award in December 2017.
  • The Newcastle Sexual Exploitation Hub, a partnership with Northumbria Police, won a Children and Young People Now Award for the initiative that has made the biggest contribution to prevent and protect children and young people from abuse and neglect through exceptional team work and multi-agency working.
Page last updated: 
17 July 2018
Was this page useful?