Because of my maths tutor, I am now able to advance my career in the NHS trust!

Good afternoon,

My name is Mia Taskis and I’m writing to you to express my deepest gratitude to Robert Miller.

Robert has been my absolute rock throughout my time at achievement training; he has made me actually enjoy my learning, taught me a lot of different techniques and made learning enjoyable instead of dreadful.

Robert has taken on my additional needs and was the main reason I was diagnosed with ADHD. He has gotten me support for my exams, broke down my papers to make it easier for me and has been there every step of the way.

Even with my dyslexia/Dyscalculia Robert taught me the same as everyone else but tweaked my learning to support me. He gave me extra work, Extra YouTube videos to help me and books to help me get to where I needed to be.

Robert has the ability to make you feel that you can “achieve” anything in life. His support, friendship and guidance will be heavily missed by me. Because of Robert I am now able to advance my career in the NHS trust!

Without Robert, I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am today and I will forever be grateful.

Every student is treated uniquely, with respect and utmost kindness. Any students that get Robert in the future, will be incredibly lucky.

Yours sincerely,

Mia Taskis.

Success of our Study Programme, 16 to 19 year old learners with their GCSE Maths results this year with an over 80% success rate

The Employment & Progression team are happy to celebrate the success of our Study Programme, 16 to 19 year old learners with their GCSE Maths results this year with an over 80% success rate in the exams that reflects the hard work of the learners, despite the exam board increase of over 20% in the grade boundaries. Amongst our success stories are those of Joseph Fletcher Tartar who completed his ICT course and has now just began an apprenticeship programme with ATL he achieved a very creditable Grade 4 GCSE Maths grade and the highest score amongst this year’s learners. Another success worth a mention is for Maisie Pritchard Jenkins who also achieved her GCSE Maths Grade 4 with the second highest score this year. Maisie is returning to ATL this year to continue her Animal Care studies, which we wish her good luck and best wishes for.

It should be noted that if the pre-Covid grade boundaries were applied as they were in 2019, both Joseph and Maisie would have achieved Grade 5 GCSE, but we are pleased with  their success and those of our GCSE maths learners.

Within the Employment and Progression department we are aware that for some of our adult learners  we are aware that due to other commitments we needed to offer a more flexible learning package and we have designed a system to allow some flexibility with attendance. Alongside attendance with the department maths tutors offering one to one teaching and coaching we have also offered weekly one to one remote sessions vis Google Hangout and supported with Google Classroom offering a selection of resources and tasks which allows the learner greater flexibility in their learning.

The feedback from one of our learners who has used this flexible system shows the value of this offering.

SG said, I cannot thank you enough for the support, encouragement, and your flexibility to support my learning journey. Without distance learning and your flexibility I would not have been unable to undertake the course due to work commitments. Being provided with the course book upon starting level 2 enabled work to be set work, with  time for me to complete prior to our google classroom meetings which we set weekly. To support the books and revision cards you also provided me with worksheets, practice exam papers and specific targeted work for areas I was not as strong or confident in. I would then scan completed work to you to enable you time to mark and then we would work through any incorrect areas during our meetings. Being a visual learner this supported my learning style as I was able to see where I had gone wrong and work problems though with you.

The introduction of google classroom where you were able to upload learning resources such as videos, examples and practice questions was helpful l and provided an easy platform to set work and for the me as the learner to complete

You recognised my tendency to overthink and make things more complicated than they were. You provided solutions and reassurance and always remained calm.  Your tips around exam preparation was 100 % and your belief in your students before the exam helped settle nerves and gave me the confidence to go and take the exam and not panic, and any time I had any doubt in my ability I remembered the tips you gave, and the belief you had in me. Maths did not come naturally to me but the way you taught and explained things supported me not to fear it. I wish I had you as my teacher whilst at school as I feel I would have done a lot better than I did.


Robert Miller

Tutor/Assessor – Functional Skills Maths & English

Department: Employment & Progression
Telephone: 01752202266
Direct Telephone: 01752202229


Adult education participation hits record high But inequalities remain across social and geographical groups

Adult participation in education has grown to its highest ever recorded level – but stark social class and geographical divides persist, according to a new survey.

Data shows that adults in lower socio-economic groups remain twice as likely to not have participated in learning since leaving full-time education compared to those in higher socio-economic groups and the gap has increased in the last year.

Learning and Work Institute (L&W) revealed the findings through its annual adult participation in learning survey for 2023, which was published today to mark the start of Lifelong Learning Week.

The report caveated the findings that the change in survey method from face-to-face to online means that comparisons to surveys pre-2021 should be treated with caution.

“However, survey results over the last three years appear to indicate a sustained interest in learning post-pandemic,” it said.

Here are the key findings:

Adult education participation a highest-ever level

The 2023 report found nearly half of all adults in the UK (49 per cent) have taken part in learning in the last three years, an all-time high.

That number has significantly increased since 2022, rising eight percentage points and the highest recorded since the survey began in 1996.

L&W points out that the survey deliberately adopts a broad definition of learning, including a “wide range of formal, non-formal and informal learning, far beyond the limits of publicly offered educational opportunities for adults”.

For example, learning can mean “practising, studying, or reading about something…It can also mean being taught, instructed or coached”.

Nearly three in ten adults (28 per cent) say they are currently learning, with a further one in five (21 per cent) saying they have done some learning within the last three years.

“The increase in adult participation in learning is good news, and the survey indicates that this is driven by adults being motivated to learn for leisure post-pandemic,” said Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute.

Adults from lower social backgrounds less likely to access education

Despite the rise in overall learning participation rates, it is not evenly distributed across different social grades.

Three in five adults (60 per cent) in the AB social grade, who are in managerial and professional occupations are current or recent learners.

This is much higher than the 46 per cent in the C1 social grade (supervisory, administrative and junior managerial occupations), 55 per cent in the C2 grade (skilled manual occupations) and 38 per cent in the DE grade, who are semi-skilled, in unskilled manual occupations.

Adults in the DE socio-economic group remain twice as unlikely to have participated in learning since leaving full-time education compared to those in AB grade (35 per cent compared to 14 per cent).

Last year, the gap between the two social grades were respectively 37 per cent compared to 19 per cent respectively.

Geographical divides remain

A higher proportion of adults in England (51 per cent) say they are current or recent learners in 2023, an increase of nine percentage points on last year’s survey.

Only England has shown a substantial increase in participation rates since 2022 – a nine percentage point rise – an observation that was not evident in last year’s survey, the report said.

Among English regions, London continues to have the highest participation rate at 64 per cent, explained in part because of its younger and more highly qualified population. There remains a 22-percentage point gap between London and the lowest-performing region (the North East), the same as last year.

Age gaps in adult participation closing

Compared to 2022, there has been a sizeable increase in participation for adults aged 35-44 (16 percentage points) and a 10-percentage point increase in adults aged 55 to 64.

The report said there has been a “welcome decline” in the gaps in participation in learning between the oldest and youngest age groups and suggests that older learners are utilising online learning opportunities.

“It’s good to see some narrowing in inequalities in learning, particularly by age. But the gaps remain stark and persistent and if anything, geographical differences have widened,” Evans added. “This is where Government policy needs to step in to help level up opportunity so everyone can access learning.”

“The Government and employers need to reverse their reductions in investment in learning to tap into this interest and ensure people’s opportunities to learn aren’t capped and cut off.”

Two-thirds of learners record at least one barrier to learning

The survey found a “statistically significant increase” of current or recent learners (68 per cent) reporting at least one challenge while learning compared to 2022 (65 per cent).

Data also shows an increase of learners recording challenges to their learning but authors pointed out that the pattern of reported challenges has seen little variation compared to previous surveys.

Learners are most likely to identify work and time pressures (24 per cent), the cost of learning (16 per cent), lacking confidence to learn (13 per cent), being put off by tests and exams (12 per cent) or feeling too old (12 per cent)

6 Nov 2023, 0:01

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Adult education participation hits record high