Maths and English results just not good enough

According to a recent Government report (, most students who fail to get good GCSEs in English and Maths at 16, also fail to get them by 18, figures for 2013 suggest.

Government researchers tracked the progress of students in England who did not get the benchmark A* to C in the subjects in 2011.  Just over half continued to study the subjects but only 6.5% eventually got the grades in English and 7% in Maths.

The statistics also showed nearly half of the students who left school without a C in the two subjects were not entered for any English or Maths qualification.

Not all students are academic and many claim that they “can’t see the point” in learning these basic skills, especially those wishing to pursue careers that don’t overtly require them.  Students hoping to find careers as motor mechanics or hairdressers – to name but two – are rarely given the opportunity to understand the importance of the key  transferable skills of Maths and English in a relevant, work-based scenario.


However, Northumberland-based Eduworks Ltd are hoping that the ground breaking technology used in their online assessment tools will help to bridge this gap, and aid employers, tutors and students in diagnosing what specific learning areas need improvement.

By contextualising the assessments in a “real world” work-based scenario they are a major driving force behind answering the transferable skills shortage in school and college leavers identified by the CBI.

Helen Handyside of Eduworks said, “When our English and Maths initial and diagnostic assessments are completed by the student the link is made instantly between the learning and the chosen work area as all our assessments use real work situations.  In this way therefore it is easy for everyone to understand why the Maths and English skills are needed.  As there are no multi-choice questions, the learners are required to use their “personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS)” - a key area in apprenticeship frameworks. ”

Eduworks is the brainchild of teachers Helen Handyside, Richard Pearson and Cyril Meehan – all of whom have had to find ways to overcome this obstacle in their many combined years of teaching.  As Richard explains, “The idea for this technology was born after we found the most successful way to teach vocational students - particularly those who had found Maths and English challenging at school - was to contextualise the Maths and English to the students' chosen vocation as it gave the learning purpose.”

Eduworks new web based diagnostic and assessment software was designed and developed by local design and marketing company Lazy Grace Ltd and was made possible thanks to investment from North East based Investment 4 Growth.  Kate Ward, Business Adviser for Investment 4 Growth said “This is a really exciting tool that drives home the need for Maths and English skills in the wider world, but also engages the students in a completely new way. It’s a great example of how our funding can make a real difference to a business and help it create something of significant value.”

For more information on this exciting innovative approach to Maths and English teaching and learning provided by Eduworks, please visit their website at


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