Maths and English qualifications are essential, says Bolton College director
MATHS and English are fundamental life skills says a Bolton College director following the government’s announcement that teenagers who fail to score decent grades in the two core subjects will have to continue studying these subjects.
Under new reforms, 16-year-olds who do not get a C-grade or better will be told that they must learn the two subjects until they gain the key qualifications.
Pat Harrison, director of 14 to 19, and who leads on maths and English at Bolton College, said: “There is clearly a real challenge for the education sector, business community and the Government — both national and local — to work together to improve skills levels.
“But, the development of English and maths skills in every learner is a priority for Bolton College.
“Our focus is firmly on the career not the course, making the assessment grade a measure of the fluency of their skill and knowledge and not the other way around.”
Ms Harrison said that the two subjects were important in everyday life.
She added: “Maths and English are everywhere and in everything that we do — whether it’s cooking a meal at home, organising a trip with friends, booking a holiday or sharing a bill in a restaurant.
“They’re fundamental life skills that we use all of the time.
“At Bolton College we’re really celebrating maths and English and bringing the subjects to life by ensuring that they’re embedded into all of our programmes. We’re delighted with the way in which learners are seeing the relevance and importance of maths and English and embracing them through their vocational training at the college — whether it’s how to mix dyes and tints in hair and beauty, understanding a technical plan in construction and motor vehicle, or getting their head around VAT and tax bills in business studies.”
Ms Harrison said that having a basic level of maths and English would help its students achieve the kind of success and career progression they want including becoming entrepreneurs to being confident in the workplace.
She said the key to engaging students in the subjects was to breaking down commonly-held misconceptions about the subjects that have been built up during school years, and transform maths and English into sought after life skills.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "Good qualifications in English and maths are what employers demand before all others.”
l Starting next Tuesday in the Education Page will be the first in a series of articles designed to help everyone improve their maths and English skills.
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