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Durham Gateway was established in 2018 and is part of Bishop Auckland College Group, a key provider of further and higher education in south Durham, with a 60-year track record of providing high quality education and training for young people and adults. Building on this experience, Durham Gateway was established to provide inclusive learning opportunities for young people of secondary school age who may have experienced barriers in mainstream learning. This has been achieved through strong networks and partnerships with schools, local authorities, employers, universities and other stakeholders.

A particular aim of Durham Gateway is to develop within young people a strong “line of sight” to a meaningful career pathway through vocational learning, apprenticeships, higher education and employment. In doing so, young people of all abilities will be equipped with a career plan that brings fulfilment and prosperity.

Durham Gateway is a unique alternative provision centre that integrates academic and vocational learning with the development of social life and employability skills.

Durham Gateway is for young people aged 14-16 who are not presently flourishing in mainstream secondary education, but who will thrive in a setting that offers practical, skills-based learning and a clear route towards apprenticeships and employment. This includes young people who may be vulnerable or at risk of exclusion from their current school. Our numbers gradually increased from around 40 in the first year to up to 60 this year. We have plans to expand to a maximum of 120 full-time equivalent places where we will be full to capacity.

Alongside the core curriculum of English, mathematics and science, students will be offered the opportunity to benefit from training in industry-standard facilities, with subjects on offer including: motor vehicle; construction; catering; sport; hairdressing and beauty therapy. All students will participate in vocational studies, activities to develop social and employability skills as well as PE. Appropriate support will be provided where necessary across all of the curriculum.

Equal Opportunities

Durham Gateway is committed to equal opportunities and admits students across the full spectrum of academic abilities. All students have equal access to the curriculum and there is a learning support programme for students with special needs.