Essential Skills in Maths and English help our learner Kathleen Smith achieve the next step in becoming a Teaching Assistant | Adult Learning Wales

Essential Skills in Maths and English help our learner Kathleen Smith achieve the next step in becoming a Teaching Assistant


By not having the relevant English language and numeracy qualifications, future employment opportunities or career progression can seem daunting. You might be planning to retrain or join a course that requires a GCSE in Maths and/or English, or the equivalent at entry point. There seems to be a barrier in the way to progression at a time you are looking to make that positive step forward.

One of our FES (Flexible Essential Skills) learners, Kathleen Smith from Clynderwen, found this out whilst training to be a HLTA (Higher Level Teaching Assistant) and did not have the required Maths and English qualifications to take the next step forward. With the support of Adult Learning Wales, Kathleen was able to join our FES Level 2 programme and achieved the desired qualifications in Application of Number (Maths) and Communication (English) to help her progress with her training.

Here is Kathleen’s learner story:

“My experience doing my Level 2 qualification with Adult Learning Wales can only be described as a ‘Whirlwind’. Having left school over 23 years ago not having passed my GCSE Maths or English, it finally came back to haunt me! I recently started a HLTA course with my school and I needed Maths and English to go forward, and that’s where it all began. I’m a mum of two, I work full time and the kids have always got to be here, there and everywhere! I found it tough balancing life and studying but once I found the right balance, I started to settle into a good routine. The system of studying online was simple, and sending work back and forth was no problem at all. Support is given to anyone who is unsure of how to do anything no matter how big or small.”

“The support from my tutors was incredible! They are always at the end of an email no matter what the question was, but most of all always encouraging and making the course an enjoyable experience. If I was to give any advice to anyone thinking of doing this course, I would say go for it! It’s never too late to learn! And you never know you may enjoy learning again, I know I certainly did. Diolch Adult Learning Wales!”

As Kathleen’s story shows, obtaining a qualification in Maths and English through Adult Learning Wales can be achieved even with a busy work and life schedule. The experience and support from the Adult Learning Wales team and tutors allows the learner to progress in their own time whilst building their confidence to be able to achieve an Essential Skills Wales Level 2 qualification in Application of Number (Maths) and/or Communication (English). Both these qualifications are considered an equivalent to a GCSE by many employers and universities from across Wales.

If Kathleen’s story has inspired you, why not find out more about Adult Learning Wales and how our FES programme in Maths and English can help you to take the next step forward in your career path here:

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