Vision, Mission and Ethos


A key strength of the vision for Durham Gateway is its potential to accelerate the progress of its students through vocational routes to employment, versus the progress that is possible for students entering vocational learning post-16. Whilst the academic core of the curriculum remains central, the potential for students to complete a wide range of vocational qualifications during years 10 and 11 at Durham Gateway means that they could commence either full-time studies or apprenticeships from age 16. Combined with well-established employer links for apprenticeships in a wide range of industries, this unique vocational learning offer will provide a springboard to employment and bright futures for Durham Gateway students.

Our team is dedicated to, and passionate about, working with those young people who find difficulty in engaging with traditional mainstream education. These young people often have tremendous potential; gifts and talents that will emerge through a different, more practical type of learning. A dedicated and professional team of caring staff establish and maintain a very distinctive ethos within the Durham Gateway. 

We believe that Durham Gateway will help to transform the lives of our young people, supporting them in taking control of their own lives and making the most of their work, life and social opportunities. It will enable these young people to play an active role – both socially and economically. This will centre on:

• Building relationships with students that are based on respect, trust and clear boundaries 

 • Raising the aspirations, self-confidence and self-esteem of young people 

 • Inspirational small-group teaching in both practical and academic core subjects (mathematics, English and science), with a typical group-size of between 8 and 10 students 

 • Setting high expectations of student performance 

 • Providing not only encouragement, but also intensive support, where this is needed 

 • Development of social, life and employability skills.