Raising standards in maths

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

Workbased learning

Whether you are an employer delivering learning in the workplace or a teacher of vocational subjects, the Excellence Gateway has a variety of resources to support you.  You will find support here for functional maths, work based assessments and range of contextualised maths resources.  You can also search for more in the main Gateway.

Supporting vocational maths in the post-16 sector

showing a learner cutting hair in a salon

This summary links to videos showing effective practices in embedding maths in vocational programmes.  Although aimed at staff, some videos may be useful to show to learners.

Hairdressing and beauty therapy: vocational maths guide

a learner cutting hair in a slaon

This guide focuses on effective practices in embedding maths into hairdressing and beauty courses in the post-16 sector.  The guide is supported by video clips for use with staff and students.

Health and social care: vocational maths guide

learners discussing health statistics

This guide focuses on effective practices for embedding maths in health and social care programmes.  The guide is supported by video clips for staff and students.

Hospitality & catering: vocational maths guide

pouring a coffee

This guide focuses on effectice practices in embedding maths in hospitality and catering programmes in the post-16 sector.  The guide is supported by video clips for use with staff and learners.

Construction & the built environment: vocational maths guide

students using Pythagoras in a building course

This guide focuses on effective practices in embedding maths in construction and built environment courses in the post-16 sector. the guide is supported by video clips.

Developing functional mathematics with vocational learners CPD modules

Aimed at numeracy teachers, as well as vocational teachers, these modules aim to develop the vocational maths skills of learners on apprenticeship programmes.  They cover four areas:

  • Handling data
  • Number concepts
  • Common measures, shape and space
  • Training the trainer

Embedding numeracy in vocational contexts

Young person learning a trade

Embedded teaching and learning combine the development of literacy, language and numeracy with vocational and other skills. 

Embedded resources can be searched for by vocational area in the Excellence Gateway but this site provides a collection of these in one place.

Resources here are for vocational teachers, teachers of other programmes and learning support practitioners, working collaboratively with literacy, language and numeracy teachers


Workplace initial assessment

The workplace initial assessment enables employers and workplace learning providers to carry out initial assessments of learners as a pre-cursor to developing learning plans or directing them to appropriate provision. 

Workplace skills check

The workplace skills check (formerly known as screening) enables employers and work based learning providers to identify maths and English skill  levels of learners

Embedded materials

These embedded learning materials exemplify how to integrate the teaching of relevant literacy, language and numeracy skills with the teaching of particular vocational, employment-related or community topics.  These materials will be of interest to a wide range of teachers in all settings, including Skills for Life, functional skills and key skills teaching and learning.

Vocational, employability and community teachers will find useful resources in the embedded learning materials.

Integrating maths, English and ICT into apprenticeship programmes

This aim of this module is to enable practitioners to raise learner achievement by integrating the development of English, maths and ICT skills into vocational teaching and learning, including apprenticeships. 

It is aimed at work-based learning assessors and managers working in work-based learning settings; practitioners responsible for teaching and learning on vocational programmes; or managers at all levels who wish to engage in and plan for a culture of embedding in their organisation. 

Blended learning approaches in the workplace

The aim of this module is to explore blended learning approaches to functional skills development in workplace contexts. It is primarily aimed at Learning and Development Officers, Skills Leads, HR leads (personnel responsible for managing and developing internal staff development provision). 

Mind the gap Identifying skills gaps in the workplace

The aim of this module is to explore ways to increase employee/worker engagement and referral to English, maths or ESOL provision (including functional skills and within apprenticeships).

The resource is aimed at staff from employer organisations, such as Learning and Development Officers, Skills Leads, Skills Champions and ULRs; Staff responsible for developing models for engaging and signposting employees to English, maths, ESOL or functional skills courses, or apprenticeship programmes

Employers: What functional skills can do for you

This leaflet aims to provide an overview of the benefits of functional skills for employers and employees, as well as signposting employers to a range of useful resources and support.

Employers: introducing functional skills

The aim of this module is to engage employers with functional skills, to raise awareness of their business benefits, and to encourage employers to start thinking about how they can develop functional skills in the workplace. It is aimed at senior/middle managers, human resources staff and those involved in learning and development. 

Does it add up? Maths engagement in the workplace: employer focus

Aimed at learning and development officers, skills leads and HR leads, this module will help employers (as intermediaries) promote maths in the workplace and engage their employees in learning.