How can you help?

Photo of a male tutor teaching a female colleague

If your job means that you can help to encourage others to get them thinking about maths learning, you can use this website to help you get started.

Maths Champions promote maths learning for adults either at work or beyond the workplace. You do not need to be a maths expert or teacher – valuing the importance of maths is all you need. We will support you all the way.

You could encourage work colleagues, volunteers, clients, parents and service-users to improve their skills; break down barriers to maths learning; even have fun with maths

You can

 identify barriers to maths
 offer support for maths learning
 talk about maths
 be positive about maths
 show the relevance of maths

For Community Learning Champions (CLCs)

What maths learning is available in your community? Become a Maths Champion and inspire people in your community to be positive about maths.

For Teachers and Early Years Staff

Making maths fun, at home and in the family gives adults and children opportunities to practise skills and gain confidence in maths and problem-solving. If you work with young children, you have a key role to play, reinforcing the message that we use maths skills all the time in everyday life and it’s a subject that is both relevant and enjoyable.

You can run a session for parents at your school, children’s centre, play group and get the ‘positive about maths’ message out there. Downloadable session plan coming soon!

You can run a training session for EYFS practitioners and Family Learning practitioners to champion maths in the organisation and support colleagues, parents/carers to engage in maths learning. Downloadable session plan coming soon!

We have also developed an activity pack Maths4children that will be available soon!

For Union Learning Reps (ULRs)

As a ULR you are the bridge between the members, the employer and the learning provider, so you are closely linked with them all.  You want the members to get to know you, to trust you and look to you for information and support. You could negotiate a learning centre or support for learning in your workplace.

For Workplace Learning Advocates (WLAs)

WLAs encourage and inspire learning in non unionised workplaces and help peers develop skills and an appetite for learning, including maths. As a WLA you can encourage your employer and your colleagues to get involved with the Maths4Us initiative.

How do you make it happen?

There are endless possibilities, but some suggestions are: put up posters, send fliers out with pay packets, or hold an information meeting or an open day when members and their families can come along and meet successful SfL learners.

Come up with a ‘learning logo’ and have it printed on a T-shirt to turn yourself into a walking advert. Be enthusiastic and creative!

Identify needs
You could hand out quizzes or checklists, invite members to a group meeting, arrange one-to-one interviews or have a casual chat. Get feedback from members – how would they like to find out more about how they can upskill? Be positive in your approach – don’t ask your peers if they have a problem, encourage them to grasp a great opportunity!

Address issues
We all have busy lives, and members may have concerns about adding to other pressures such as time, workload, and external commitments and responsibilities. Be ready to discuss these, and to offer encouragement and solutions. For example, you could arrange classes to suit shift patterns, negotiate time off within working hours or investigate childcare provision.

The more qualifications employees have, the more likely they are to receive workplace training – leading to better job prospects and a better chance of avoiding redundancy. Help members to see that by improving their numeracy skills they can take control of, and responsibility for, their future, both professionally and personally; it’s about helping them to realise what they can do – unlock that potential and help them to benefit from their right to learn!

Getting employers involved

Know your facts
If you are not committed and enthusiastic, you can’t expect the employer to be. Learn as much as you can about maths in the workplace and do some research into why it would benefit your workplace. The following issues may be relevant:

 Are costly mistakes being made that could be eradicated with better Maths skills?
 Are there problems with health and safety issues because of difficulties understanding the regulations?
 How do these problems impact on the bottom line?

Employees who have improved their skills are likely to be confident, motivated and receptive to further training.

Inevitably, there will be some hurdles to overcome on the way to setting up a successful learning programme. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it will highlight a few of the more common issues and possible ways of tackling them.

Possible issue with employer Hints and tips
Employer commitment Be well prepared when you pitch the idea – present a strong case, describing motivated learners, benefits to the workplace and a positive impact on the bottom line. Focus on partnership.
Employer is reluctant to agree to release time If release time can’t be negotiated, try incorporating the learning into existing staff development programmes, for example building learning into an induction programme for new employees or using positive and inspiring promotion to encourage members to be willing to learn in their own time.