Confidence is Key to Maths and English Success

Failure to address the confidence crisis among learners is critical in ensuring basic skills development

14 June 2013 / Be the first to comment

Failure to address the confidence crisis among learners is critical in ensuring basic skills development.

That is the opinion of leading education experts Morag Kerr and Richard Beamish, who said that bad experiences at school affected people’s learning capabilities later in life.

Morag, who is the founder of the Interchange training organisation, said that qualifications that instilled confidence amongst learners would be worth their weight in gold.

Speaking to City & Guilds, she said: “Getting young people ready to learn and to be engaged can be quite difficult because their experience is of school, where they may have failed.

“When they’ve faced a position where they have had to relearn things where they’ve failed already, it can become quite difficult. Failure is not a good experience.”

Richard Beamish, chief officer of the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, agreed: “The learners that I come into contact with are mostly ready for functional skills development but there are a significant number of young people in particular who are not, perhaps because they have struggled in the school environment and don’t have the confidence to move forward.”

Thankfully, Morag and Richard said that City & Guilds’ new QCF Mathematics and English Skills qualifications will go some way in tackling the problem.

“The new City & Guilds qualifications seem to be well thought through in terms of being learner-led, in that they are allowing the learner to select the areas that they feel that they most need to concentrate on.

“They are also allowing them to progress at their own pace. That has built confidence, which is important. When they come to the next level they don’t feel immediately deskilled again,” explains Morag.

Richard agrees stating that it is possible to have people who are well skilled and have good knowledge but lack functional skills. 

He concludes: “We hope that the new City & Guilds material will help to solve that problem by filling in that particular gap that is an inhibitor for many young people.”

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