The why

Doncaster's children and young people have high, varied, achievable and grounded aspirations.

Some aspire to contribute to the public sector as teachers and nurses. Others are eager to pursue traditional professional careers in local industries. Some even want careers as olympic athletes and YouTube vloggers.

But for too many young people, traditional schooling and learning isn’t setting them on a track to success.

Doncaster has some of the highest rates of fixed term exclusion and persistent absence in the country. At the same time, there exists a significant skills gap in Doncaster. There is a discontinuity between the offer of school and the level 4 skill requirements that the vibrant local economy increasingly demands. Too many young people aren’t ready for the world of work. Resolving these two challenges is a priority for Doncaster.

The council are committed to matching the high aspirations of young people in the borough, with clear and engaging pathways to new and exciting learning opportunities.


The what

Part of the response is to bring new school designs with proven impact from around the world to the metropolitan borough. New alternative provision for young people who are disengaged in learning is the first port of call, and will see Doncaster become the first site in the United Kingdom to adopt Big Picture Learning. 

The how

Doncaster will be introducing Big Picture Learning for a cohort of up to 60 disengaged students per year, starting in 2019. To make this a success, we will need to mobilise everything that Doncaster has to offer: 

  • Motivated and ambitious teachers who are prepared to go above and beyond

  • School leaders who share the values of Big Picture Learning

  • Businesses and other organisations which are ready to host Real-World-Learning placements

  • Mentors within businesses and other organisations who are ready to inspire, support and be role models to young people.

The ask

It takes a city to raise a child and prepare them for the challenges and opportunities of the future. If you or your colleagues are interested in helping us to make Doncaster a learning city, please get in touch with us.