Turning the tide on UK’s “terrible” English and Maths figures

A report recently published by FE Week showed how the number of adults in education has reached a record breaking low. The figures show how those adults taking part in education and training has dropped by more than 4% between 2017/18 and 2018/19, with achievement levels also being hit. The chief executive of the Learning and Work Institute - an independent policy, research and development organisation called the findings “terrible”.1

Despite the discouraging data, it was reported earlier this month that the government – as committed in the Budget, will provide £4bn to post-16 education. The reasoning behind this investment lies in the government’s efforts to address a skills gap in the UK economy. Part of the budget will be spent on a new National Skills Fund, encouraging adults to continue to train throughout their lives, as well as pushing government and employers to keep investing to reduce the skills gap. In 2019, over 80% of employers informed Britain’s largest employers group (CBI) that the lack of technical and vocational skills at work was detrimentally impacting the UK’s competitiveness.2

Moulton College, a specialist land-based college in Northamptonshire is hoping to address these concerns by offering part time training courses in maths and English. The courses, designed specifically for adults in work, or those preparing to return to employment, are aiming to improve learner skills which can then be implemented back in the workplace. Often, employees are recruited without question of their ability to perform basic maths tasks, or write well. It is taken as given. With the majority of working environments requiring a basic understanding of these subjects, an increase in education providers offering to teach these skills will be fully welcomed.

Corrie Harris, Principal of Moulton College said:

“We’re delighted to be offering maths and English courses to adults, and want to encourage conversations about these skills, or the lack of them. There’s often a stigma associated with poor literacy and numeracy, and we want to change that. Anyone can join one of our training courses – whether you’re eager to help your children/grandchildren with their homework, or just interested to improve your skills in this area. There’s something positive to gain for everyone.”

The courses, which run on Wednesday evenings and Friday afternoons, have been offered on a part time basis to improve accessibility to most adults who may be in work. These latest courses are in addition to Moulton College’s existing repertoire of part time courses in Animal Welfare, Arboriculture, Construction, Countryside Management, Equine, Floristry, and Food and Drink. For further information about these courses, you can contact Moulton College directly via our student service email.4

To open up opportunities to adults who wish to study at degree level, Moulton College also offers Access courses in Sport Science and Land based studies. An Access to Higher Education Diploma is a full Level 3 qualification and is designed to provide learners with an insight into what is expected at higher education level study. The Diploma is widely recognised by universities across the UK, and every year approximately 20,000 Access to HE students achieve their qualification, and continue their studies at university 3. This diploma provides a great way for adults who have been out of education for a while to return to a learning environment, in a very supportive way.

Corrie added: “At Moulton College, our aims are to provide an inclusive environment for all people who want to learn something new. We want to keep people learning, and the courses we offer not only improve the skills of our learners, but their confidence too. We’re proud to support as many people as we can in achieving their goals whether this entails a one-day training course or a longer period of study through to degree level.”

Corrie Harris
Corrie Harris

For further information visit www.moulton.ac.uk or contact our student services team on student.services@moulton.ac.uk