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In the Know-sley

Tue 1st Mar 2011

Danny Burns, GMB ULR at Knowsley Council, sent in this account of the benefit Union led learning is having.

"I spoke to one of my colleagues about the skills for life courses that we were running through Knowsley Community College. She said that she did not have the confidence to do maths as she always hated it in school and was rubbish at it; she could not get her head around doing maths and always seemed to struggle working figures out. I spoke to her about it and said to her that it wouldn't be like going back to school but that she would find the experience a lot more pleasant with tutors on hand to offer good support."

After speaking to her she decided to do her initial diagnostic assessment at the college. She was really nervous but eventually completed the assessment and began attending the level one numeracy classes.  Following a difficult start she began to gain in confidence and was even taking homework  with her - eventually taking her level one exam which she passed with flying colours.

She was so proud of her achievement because she thought she did not have it in her to sit numeracy classes and pass the exam. This achievement inspired her to enrol on a level two numeracy course which she attended enthusiastically. After putting a lot of hard work into the course she passed the level two exam in December 2010.

This is a real achievement for someone who lacked confidence in her ability to do maths. Passing the exam is fantastic but I can also see a change in my colleague's self esteem since completing the courses and we have discussed the options of further learning.