About Us

Reading’s Adult Community College

Welcome to New Directions College

Reading Borough Council has offered Adult and Community Learning (ACL) for over 65 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 a range of community venues across the Borough.

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;  Apprenticeships, Sector Based 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, recycled fashion, creative writing, dressmaking, felting and textiles, cookery and languages to list a few.

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 2023/24


Mon 11th Sept to Fri 15th Dec 2023

Half term:
Mon 23rd Oct to Friday 27th Oct 2023

Spring Flower


Mon 8th Jan
to Wed 27th Mar 2024

Half term:
Mon 12th Feb
to Fri 16th Feb 2024

Summer Sunshine


Mon 15th Apr to Fri 12th Jul 2024

Half term:
Mon 27th May
to Fri 31st May 2024

Academic Year 2023-24

Additional dates for your diary are:

Christmas 2023: The college will break for Christmas on 18th December 2023 until 5th January 2024

Inset Day: There will be a college inset day on 28th March 2024. No lessons will take place on this day and the college will be shut to learners. All learners will be set independent study.


Public Holidays 2023 – 24

The College will be closed for public holidays on the following dates:

  • Monday 25th December 2023
  • Tuesday 26th December 2023
  • Monday 1st January 2024
  • Friday 29th March 2024
  • Monday 1st April 2024
  • Monday 6th May 2024
  • Monday 27th May 2024
  • Monday 26th August 2024