29.8% of average respondents (aged 16-34), skills are below level 2 but for England this rises to 48%. The report acknowledges the large number of school leavers with weak skills in maths and English entering the FE sector, with three times more low-skilled 16-19 year olds in England compared to best-performing countries. It calls for standards to be raised for all young people, including those with GCSEs and university entrants.
The report welcomes the Government’s focus to raise standards in maths and English for the education and training sector, stating that it’s ‘too early to evaluate the success of these reforms, but their objectives are clearly the right ones’. It also acknowledges that we need to support a teaching workforce who are required to support learners who ‘often have a long history of struggling in school’.
Responding to the report, the Education and Training Foundation recognises the need to support the teaching workforce to raise standards in maths and English. We have developed a range of resources and continuing professional development to support personal skills and teaching approaches through our maths and English Pipelines. Our Regional Specialist Leads help signpost teachers and trainers and our Joint Practice Development programmes support individuals and those specifically working in the secure estate.
We are also leading the Maths and English Functional Skills Reform Programme to update the National Adult Literacy and Numeracy Standards so they are fit for today’s and tomorrow’s workforce. These qualifications will enable contextualised learning that can be integrated into Apprenticeships, Traineeships and adult and community learning programmes.