About Us

Reading’s Adult Community College

Welcome to New Directions College

Reading Borough Council has offered Adult and Community Learning (ACL) for over 64 years in Reading. Today, the service is delivered by New Directions College. Starting out as Reading Technical College in 1958 we offered courses in Battle, EP Collier and Alfred Sutton Schools. These included fencing, shorthand, car maintenance and for Spring brides “special courses in cookery and needlecrafts.”

We became New Directions College in 2008 when Reading Adult and Community College and the Training Education Advice (TEA) Shop merged. We have taught from numerous premises over the years and now have our dedicated centre in Whitley. We continue to deliver adult education within our community and deliver from the Curious Lounge, Reading University (London Road Campus), in local schools, libraries, community hubs and children’s centres.

Thousands of people have benefited from our courses over the last 6 decades – finding their creative potential; gaining the skills to pursue a career or simply making friends and connections in their local community.

New Directions College offers a complete range of formal and informal education programmes that include; Traineeships, Apprenticeships, Kickstart Work Programmes and work experience. We specialise in delivering GCSEs and functional skills in English and Mathematics, English for Speakers of other Languages (ESOL) and essential and advanced digital skills qualifications. Furthermore, we offer a breadth of vocational qualifications in subjects such as business management, hospitality, Early Years and childcare, courses for teaching assistants and those who work in the education and training sector.  Our range of creative arts and crafts courses are also vibrant and includes ceramics, art, cartoons and animations, dressmaking, felting and textiles, cookery and languages to list a few.

In addition to our direct delivery, New Directions College also commission additional community learning programmes with a range of partners that include Reading Libraries, Brighter Futures for Children, and Reading Sport and Leisure. We also subcontract with a range of local providers such as  Autism Berkshire, Berkshire School of English, Reading Community Learning Centre, Rosetta Life and Food 4 Families to deliver bespoke community learning programmes that reach and meet local need.

Ofsted has graded the College Good for the past 6years (last inspected in June 2019) and the College is committed to delivering an outstanding quality of education to our local communities and businesses.

Our vision is to deliver an outstanding quality of education that supports individuals to achieve their personal aims and aspirations whether they are to gain employment, improve their skills and learn something new, or to help them be part of their community.

Term dates 2022/23


Mon 12th Sept to Fri 16th Dec, 2022

Half term:
Mon 24th Oct
to Fri 28th Oct, 2022

Spring Flower


Mon 9th Jan
to Fri 31st Mar 2023

Half term:
Mon 13th Feb
to Fri 17th Feb, 2023

Summer Sunshine


Mon 17th Apr to Wed 5th Jul, 2023

Half term:
Mon 29th May
to Fri 2 Jun, 2023