Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 10.29.17A Stockton college is doing its bit to help boost the nation’s literacy skills after securing a national contract.

Stockton Riverside College will now deliver a series of workshops across the country aimed at helping further education providers, in all subjects, to embed English into their lessons and workplace settings.

The sessions form part of a national initiative launched by The Education & Training Foundation (ETF) in response to the increased pressure on further education providers to raise standards in core subjects.

The College’s Head of Department for English and Maths, Rebecca Matthews, said: “There has been a drive by the Government to improve the nation’s literacy skills but nationally levels still fall well below those of many other countries.”

According to the government’s Skills for Life Survey (2011), about five million working age adults in England have below-functional literacy skills.

Ms Matthews said: “If we don’t improve on these core skills as a nation we are at serious risk of our workforce not having the skills to meet future demand.”

Pressure has mounted on further education providers since education reform in 2013 made it compulsory for all students who fail to achieve a grade C or above in English and maths by the time they leave secondary school to continue studying these subjects in post-16 education.

Ms Matthews said: “It is no longer just the job of the English departments to help improve students’ literacy levels. The focus on raising standards of English for students on all study programmes, including apprenticeships and traineeships, has led to a demand for vocational teachers to step up their knowledge and provision in these core skills.”

The new English Pipeline, launched by the ETF, offers a suite of training and resources to support teachers and trainers to develop teaching approaches in English, including the half-day programmes delivered by Stockton Riverside College.

Ms Matthews explained that the aim of their sessions, commissioned by the ETF to be delivered in Stockton, Derby and London, is to improve the confidence of non-English specialists to support and embed English into their own practice, using a range of practical resources, materials and tools either in the classroom or workplace setting.

She said: “It is about providing teachers, assessors and trainers with a range of tools and resources to help them embed English skills within their specialist area and brush up on any gaps in their own literacy skills.”

Embedding English in Vocational/Academic Lessons (aimed at classroom-based delivery) will take place on: Friday 16th October, Stockton Riverside College, Harvard Avenue, Stockton, 9.30am-12.30pm; Friday 6th November, Derby College, Roundhouse Road, Derby, 9.30am-12.30pm; and Wednesday 11th November, The Rooms at Browns, Covent Garden, London, 9.30am-12.30pm.

Supporting English in Workplace Settings takes place on: Friday 16th October, Stockton Riverside College, Harvard Avenue, Stockton, 1.30-4.30pm; Friday 6th November, Derby College, Roundhouse Road, Derby, 1.30-4.30pm; and Friday 11th November, The Rooms at Browns, Covent Garden, London, 1.30-4.30pm.

Workshops cost £50 per person, for details or to book your place go to: http://www.et-foundation.co.uk/supporting/support-practitioners/english-pipeline/