Raising standards in maths

Raising standards through recruitment, staff development and the provision of effective learning resources.

Case Studies

How are other providers meeting the challenge of delivering maths GCSE?  The case studies give an insight into what works in a variety of contexts.  You can scroll down the page to find case studies from your sub-sector or select a category from the right.

Case studies: Further education colleges

Sunderland College - Preparing for inspection

Sunderland College is a large Further Education college, established over 120 years ago and spread over five sites. It has a wide range of students and courses, from Higher Education and Advanced Level study to adult and part time courses, and bespoke employer training. 

Stoke on Trent College-Whole organisation approaches of the transition to functional skills

trainer delivering a session to teachers

Stoke on Trent College applied to LSIS for three days support from the English, maths and ESOL support programme, using their virtual account. The focus of the package was for advice and support with:

  • a whole organisation approach to improving the quality of English and maths provision;
  • embedding literacy, language and numeracy into Apprenticeship delivery; and 
  • developing assessment processes and procedures throughout the learner journey

Regent College, Leicester - A new CPD strategy for embedding English, ESOL and maths through active learning

Regent College, Leicester is proud to be an inclusive college in the centre of Leicester. Over three quarters of learners are of minority ethnic heritage, in comparison with the corresponding ratio of half for the entire city. We specialise in supporting young people to study at an advanced level, with a majority progressing from here to university.

Peterborough Regional College - Resource development for ESOL and vocational learning

Peterborough Regional College has been an active member of the language, literacy and numeracy support offered by LSIS and this year joined the programme to focus upon their ESOL Entry Level one provision. The College had identified that achievement rates in ESOL Entry Level one were lower than the other levels, and learner feedback highlighted a need for additional speaking practice.

We aim to increase attendance and achievement particularly for part-time learners who are unable to attend every lesson due to work or child-care commitments. We also want to improve the e-learning experience for learners.

North Nottinghamshire College - The story so far

North Nottinghamshire College is the leading provider of education and training in the North Nottinghamshire area and beyond, with 1300 full time and over 8,000 part time students. The College has a £15 million turnover and employs around 450 staff. For the last two years, the Skills for Life department at NNC have been working hard to raise the profile of functional skills within their organisation from the point of view of the learners, to something that is central to success with their studies. They have also worked hard with the programme areas in making functional skills a seamless experience for the learners to improve buy-in so raising attendance and success.

National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM): The University of Lincoln-Changing direction: Meeting the needs of the food industry

The University of Lincoln’s National Centre for Food Manufacturing (NCFM) supports the skills development of some 1,500 food industry employees each year on a range of Apprenticeships, Adult Skills courses and Higher Education programmes. 

Kirklees College-Developing the delivery of English and maths

Kirklees College came into being in August 2008 through a merger between Dewsbury College and Huddersfield Technical College. It supports areas of significant deprivation with more than half of its learners coming from disadvantaged areas.

Brooklands College-Home grown functional skills 'Top Tips' Training

Brooklands College is a large further education college offering courses from entry to higher education levels, including a broad range of vocational and A-Level provision as well as part time supported learning, English and maths.

Barking and Dagenham College - Collaboration between functional skills specialists and vocational specialists

Barking and Dagenham College is a further education college offering academic and vocational courses to young people and adults. 

Case studies: Third sector

TaylorITEX Community Interest Company - Broadening the curriculum with embedded English, ESOL and maths

TaylorITEX Community Interest Company (CIC) was formed in August 2010. offer provision under Lincolnshire County Council’s Personal Community Development Learning contract (PCDL); UK Online; a Next Step contract (where learners are offered information

Spark Educare - Functional skills in a voluntary and community setting

Spark Educare has strong links with Reading Borough Council, Reading College and New Directions and is a registered centre for functional skills tests. The teaching staff took ideas and models and created their own bespoke resources. 

MaTReC, Open Door and Swarthmore-Managing a strategic transition to functional skills

The three organisations are all adult and community providers with charitable status in the Yorkshire and Humber region. They offer a range of learning opportunities to people of all ages and abilities and in particular to those with skills below Level 2

MTC Learning, Swindon- Functional skills delivery within ESOL provision

This case study documents the effects of MTC Learning in widening their provision. From originally offering ESOL classes, they now offer English, Maths and IT. This is a zipped file containing the case study and related resources. 

ELECT, Kirkby Unemployed Centre and Community Information Training Company (CITC) UK - First steps for North West voluntary and community sector

The three organisations work in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the UK, with a focus on those furthest from the labour market and who are most likely to need help with literacy and numeracy skills. 

Community Learning Partnership-Maximising the impact of CPD

Ensuring that CPD activities have maximum impact is important for all organisations, but particularly when staff are part-time, new to their role or working in challenging situations. This case study examines some of the strategies employed by the Community.

Community Informal Training Company (CITC UK)-Implementing a whole organisation approach

CITC UK, a third sector training organisation sub-contracted by a further education (FE) college, secured six days of LSIS support in 2011-2012 and three further days of CPD sessions in 2012-2013. 

Case studies: Work based learning

J. O Academy - Sharing good practice – whatever the sector

As a vocational provider, the organisation and staff have successfully delivered key skills for a number of years. The staff were, largely unprepared to deliver many aspects of functional maths or English. 

Hillingdon Training Limited - Preparing for functional skills in apprenticeships

Hillingdon Training Limited (HTL) deliver programmes in business administration, health and social care, customer service, supporting teaching and learning, hospitality, IT, construction, motor vehicle and sport. 

DART Training LTD - The shape of things to come

We needed to ensure that, given the remote nature of the delivery, the materials and approach were accessible and usable by both assessors and apprentices. This is one of a series of provider support case studies.

Central Training - Functional skills in work-based learning: making it work

Central Training delivers training programmes across a wide range of vocational areas across the United Kingdom. The introduction of functional skills in English, maths and ICT in apprenticeships to replace Key Skills in 2012 was a challenge.

Capital Training Group- Integrating English and maths into work based programmes: the role of assessors and trainers

This case study explores a consortium of companies who specialise in work based learning. In particular it charts the development of vocational trainers and assessors across the organisation as they begin to build a powerful, professional role in preparing their learners for improvement and achievement in English and maths. The study will be of particular interest to private training providers and those involved with work based learning who are strongly reliant on employers, trainers and assessors to deliver functional skills and to raise learner levels in English and maths.

Aspire-A whole team approach to delivering English, maths and ICT at work

This case study focuses on the functional skills development work carried out by Aspire, a workbased learning company, which is a subsidiary of Lincoln College. What is notable about the project has been its breadth; from structural developments such as the creation of an Improvement Team to action research, peer review and whole team development days. As a result Aspire, with support from their improvement partner Training Plus Merseyside, now have a flexible, differentiated model of functional skills delivery, designed to meet the varied needs of learners studying Apprenticeships in the workplace.

A4e and Poultec - Work-based learning meets prison learning

The A4e Education team at HMP Wayland and teaching staff from Poultec Training, both LSIS improvement partners from different spheres of education, are collaborating to share practice and develop the skills of staff.

Case studies: Offender learning

Unlocking maths: maths in the secure estate guide

measuring the diameter of a pot lid

This guide focuses on effective practices for delivering maths in the secure estate. As well as references to useful initiatives there are links to video clips of staff discussing what works for them.

Case studies: ACL

Wiltshire County Council - Functional skills: a catalyst for transforming teaching and learning in apprenticeships

Wiltshire CC, have moved from training existing employees via Train to Gain, to running advanced apprenticeships (25+).This is one of a series of provider support case studies.

Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead adult learning - The journey to embedding

This project brought together the neighbouring adult education departments of Slough, Windsor and Maidenhead adult learning. a range of adult education classes which include maths, English and ESOL, family learning and vocational courses. 

Shropshire Family Learning-Functional skills and family learning: an introduction

This case study provides an insight into the introduction of functional skills within a family learning context. It describes how Shropshire County Training helped Shropshire Family Learning to embed functional skills within their family learning provisi

Salford Adult Learning - A whole organisation approach to embedding English, maths and ESOL in adult and community learning

Salford Adult Learning, part of Salford City Council. Salford Adult Learning aims to work with local communities to develop and deliver relevant and accessible opportunities for learning. This is one of a series of provider support case studies. 

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC)-Preparing for functional English and maths delivery

This case study explores the new challenges and opportunities experienced by managers and staff at RBKC Adult Learning Service in moving towards more accredited training, because of changes to funding and first step training. This is one of a series of pr

Oldham Lifelong Learning Service - Network building

Oldham Lifelong Learning Service (OLLS) is a local authority adult learning provider delivering a wide range of curriculum. Our belief in the importance of delivering only the best to learners drives continuous improvement – recognised by our Ofsted gradi

Hull Training - The importance of developing the English and maths skills of the vocational tutors

Hull Training and Adult Education in Hull City Council have come together as one organisation to deliver apprenticeships, adult skills qualifications and community learning to the residents of the city. This is one of a series of provider support case stu 

Gateshead Council, Adult and Community Learning - Observing teaching and learning to improve English, maths and ESOL sessions

Gateshead Council’s Skills for Life (SfL) team deliver English, maths and ESOL programmes in over 20 community venues throughout Gateshead, particularly focusing on areas of deprivation and targeting hard-to-reach learners with few or no qualifications. T 

Bradford Family Learning Service - Putting quality on a firm footing

The Bradford Family Learning Service is a stand-alone unit within Bradford Council. They deliver courses to parents and children in the most deprived areas of Bradford and District, to improve the maths, English and ESOL skills of parents whose skills are

Blackpool Adult, Community and Family Learning - Improving initial assessment and target setting in family learning

Blackpool has been delivering family learning over many years. After the last Ofsted inspection they were keen to ensure that a ‘fit for purpose’ initial assessment was in place. As a result of the Ofsted inspector’s feedback they are now delivering a wid