Press release

Government film showcases importance of English and maths

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The government has today (11 December 2014) responded to an inquiry into adult English and maths skills with a short film.

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The government has today (11 December 2014) responded to an inquiry into adult English and maths skills with a short film encouraging people to understand the positive impact gaining these vital skills can have on the economy, society and the lives of people across the country.

BIS adult literacy and numeracy response 2014

The film directly answers the call from the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee to respond to their inquiry in an accessible and engaging way. The short film allows viewers to hear from learners of different ages and teachers about the importance of studying English and maths as well as setting out the government’s work to equip people with these important skills.

English and maths skills are essential building blocks for any career and play an important role in helping people both find and sustain employment.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

The stories featured in our film show just how important maths and English skills are to someone’s career and personal life. We still have a way to go, but our reforms to English and maths will raise the aspirations of learners and improve the quality of teaching.

The government has taken several significant steps to increase the standard of English and maths in England, including:

  • reforming maths and English GCSEs, supporting as many people as possible to gain good grades in these qualifications; from August 2015 providers who teach English and maths GCSEs to adults, outside of apprenticeships, will receive a higher rate of funding
  • commissioning the Education and Training Foundation to carry out a review of the best way to achieve and accredit maths and English outside of GCSEs, as it is essential to ensure these qualifications are understood and meet the expectations of employers
  • investing more than £30 million over 2 years to raise the capacity and quality of the further education workforce
  • putting in place research programmes on English and maths to further understand the challenges learners and teachers face so that future investment can be smarter and more focused; this includes the setting up of the Behavioural Research Centre for Adult Skills and Knowledge (ASK); as one of their first projects, ASK will look at the role Children’s Centres can play in helping disadvantaged, low skilled parents get the English and maths skills they need to get into work

Today also sees the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) publish results from a government ‘call for evidence’ on how GCSE delivery in post-16 education can be increased. The responses to the consultation demonstrated support for the policy and the government will continue to work with the sector to extend GCSEs to all for whom they are appropriate.

Notes to editors

  1. The video is available to view online.
  2. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is sponsoring an international conference on Improving Basic Skills in January 2015 to share evidence and knowledge and stimulate thinking and practice among academics with an interest in this area.
  3. NIACE has published results of the call for evidence on increasing GCSE delivery in post-16 education.
  4. We have today (11 December 2014) published a ‘Learning technology review of English, maths, English for speakers of other languages and English language training.
Published 11 December 2014