Engaging Learners in GCSE English and Maths


It is hard to underestimate the importance for our society of helping young people to become proficient in maths and English. The benefits of achieving good grades in GCSEs as a young person are well-documented and well-understood; they are a gateway to further learning, to work, to being an active citizen and to being a lifelong learner.

Without those skills and abilities, people are less likely to be able to maximise their talents, less able to achieve their ambitions and less able to make the contribution they want to.

The findings from the research demonstrate the importance of high quality teaching and learning, access to timely support and peers in supporting learners to engage with, and have a positive attitude towards, maths and English learning at school and post-16.

The findings suggest that most learners respond well to practical and interactive teaching methods which relate learning to real life situations.

Learners appear to respond best to teachers who have strong behaviour management skills, are supportive and approachable, and respect and view learners as young adults.

This report was produced by NIACE, one of the two founding organisations of Learning and Work Institute.