Numeracy In Education

Good Essays
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ (Nelson Mandela)

There have been numerous policy initiatives since the adult literacy campaign in the 1970s that recognised the need for integrating English and numeracy in a way that was worthwhile for learners. These policies aimed to raise standards, improve employability and ensure learners had skills necessary to function confidently, effectively and independently in life and work.
The influential Moser report (DfEE, 1999) identified the scale of need in England. It estimated seven million people had skills significantly below the national average, despite the availability of literacy, language and numeracy (LLN) provision in the preceding 30 years. The report
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The strategy involved finding better opportunities for learning, thereby attracting and motivating people to develop their LLN skills in a relevant and useful context. The approach to embedding LLN required enormous expansion of learning provisions e.g. in community-based, work-based setting or vocational training programmes.
Ruth Kelly’s report (DfES, 2006) reiterated the nation’s on-going functional LLN problems and outlined improvements to the FE system to change the situation. This led to the New Overarching Professional Standards (LLUK, 2006) and the revised minimum core specifications for trainee teachers to recognise some of the personal, social and cultural influences on LLN development (Hickey, 2008).
The LLN issues in England today are still similar to those at the time of the Moser report.
To facilitate development of learners’ skills in LLN, FE teachers must demonstrate their own competency in these areas. By improving these skills, it enables teachers to find appropriate methods to adequately support their learners’ development and ultimately lead to positives outcomes. Addressing the LLN needs of students, and improving ones own skills, is part of the professional role of a teacher and fulfils two professional skills
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If people have limited key skills or fear change, they may lack confidence and/or motivation. By having open communication, teachers are in a position to reassure learners and allay any concerns, helping learners to feel more positive about their learning experience.
There are practical barriers affecting access to learning e.g. childcare responsibilities that affects learners’ attendance. It requires teachers to be flexible regarding attendance and punctuality policies so as not to deter learners. If teachers show this empathy and where possible help learners catch up with any missed work, it encourages learner retention on the course.
Some cultural issues restrict access to learning also. For instance, if English is a second language it could limit achievement even if they are highly competent in their own language it does not reflect in their LLN skills. Learners may have the desire to access learning opportunities but are unsure what learning pathway to follow in order to achieve their goals. Teachers are in a position to signpost learners to beneficial supplementary courses that they could attend concurrently with another

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