Where next?

Image of a young woman smiling

If you’re thinking about improving your maths skills, you’re ahead of the game. Most of the adult population in England could do with improving their skills; but most haven’t actually got as far as you have.

So now what do you do?

  • Get advice. Have a word with your union learning representative, or with a learning advisor or careers advisor. You could have a look here, email an advisor or call them, free and in confidence, for a chat.
  • Most classes are completely free: If you have to pay a fee to attend a class that includes numeracy as part of something else you’d like to learn, e.g. computers or carpentry or cookery, you can often get a discount.
  • Online learning: This will enable you to take up courses and activites at your own time, place and pace. You can schedule your own learning time flexibly, at a time and place that suits you.  And in general you should be able to access the course materials and support via the internet. Refer to website such as BBC Skillswise.

Are you thinking along these lines?

“I’ll look stupid”

  • The teachers know about this fear, and the other people in the “class” are almost certainly feeling the same thing. Talk about it and move on.
  • Improving your maths skills – “getting it” – actually makes you feel more intelligent – and makes you want more!
  • You’re not alone – most of the country could do with improving their skills – the clever ones are the people who are doing something about it.

“The teaching will be lousy”

  • Maybe you’ve had bad teaching at school, but adult teachers are different. They know that things in schools aren’t perfect! And there’s been a great deal of training recently for the people who teach adults.
  • When you get into “the classroom” you’ll be with other adults, and you can discuss – with other learners and with the teacher – what works for you.
  • You can often learn maths alongside or as part of something else like IT or carpentry or cooking
  • You could make a start by looking at some of the tips and tricks on the activities page, or websites like http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise or www.move-on.org.uk

“I’ll have to do all sorts of maths I don’t really need”

  • One of the first things that will happen is discussion of what sort of maths you want to learn, and what you want to use it for.
  • And by the time you’ve done the bits you want to concentrate on, you may well find you’ve developed a taste for maths in general.

“What difference will it make if I do improve my skills?

  • learning makes you feel more confident in general
  • when you “get it” with maths, you feel intelligent; it’s a real buzz
  • you can meet new people and learn with them
  • if you go for a qualification, getting your certificate will make you feel great
  • you’ll be able to help your kids with their homework
  • when employers know you’re trying to improve your skills, chances are they’ll respect you for it
  • you’re more likely to get promotion if your skills are stronger