Liverpool – top of the class for adult learners

Adult learners in Liverpool are the highest achievers of any big city in the country – a new report has revealed.

End of year figures from the government’s National Achievement Rate Tables (NART), show that learners with the council’s Adult Learning Service outperform their counterparts across Merseyside and in other big cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds.

The NART results demonstrate that Liverpool’s learners have an overall achievement rate of 93 per cent. The next nearest city is Birmingham, with an achievement rate of 88 per cent.

Achievement rates refer to the number of learners who have enrolled onto a course and then go on to gain a qualification.

The Adult Learning Service (ALS), run by Liverpool City Council, is also one of the best performing in terms of retention rates for students, with a figure of 95 per cent. Whilst the authority can boast an overall pass rate of nearly 98 per cent – the second highest of any of the core cities.

Last year the council worked with more than 8,000 adult learners aged 19 or over at venues across the city.

Courses on offer include everything from learning new skills for personal development or hobbies, right through to nationally accredited programmes in subjects such as social care, teaching, information technology and business studies.

The ALS offers many free taster sessions and course fees have been designed to be within everyone’s reach, with some costing as little as £10. In some cases funding may be available to help cover course costs and help with travel expenses, childcare and exam fees.

Through its Ways to Work programme, the ALS can also give learners support, advice and guidance with furthering their studies or finding a job. The service has been rated as ‘good’ by OFSTED, who in their last inspection noted that the ALS was ‘striving to be an outstanding provider’.

Deputy Mayor of Liverpool and Cabinet Member of Business, Economy and Skills Cllr Gary Millar said: “This is an outstanding result for the council’s Adult Learning Service and a real testament to the ambition, dedication and professionalism of the staff, tutors and learners.

“Many of the people who start a course have no previous qualifications and they go on to achieve at levels which make them a really attractive proposition to prospective employers.”

“We have seen our adult learners continue their studies right up to university level and many have gone on to enjoy rewarding careers in fields such as health and social care, science, technology and engineering.”

Case study: (See photo above)

Sakinat has it all figured out

WHEN Sakinat Rasulova left her native Russia in search of a new life, she took the calculated risk of heading for Liverpool to pursue a career as a maths teacher.

And whilst her numeracy skills certainly made the grade, her English needed a bit of work.

Sakinat signed up with Liverpool City Council’s Adult Learning Service (ALS).

She started with a basic English course but was so taken with the course that she decided to continue her studies right up to GCSE level.

Sakinat said the personal and friendly approach of her course tutor Ann Bates really helped her on her learning journey.

She said: “From my experience at home there was always a distance between tutor and learner and sometimes it seemed cold but here it is very different. Ann works so hard for us and she is so enthusiastic. I really think she has super powers! I would like to become an inspirational tutor just like her.”

And that’s exactly what’s happening for Sakinat because she is currently working as a volunteer tutor with the Adult Learning Service, helping others with their number skills.

Cllr Millar said: “Sakinat’s story is a great example of how our Adult Learning Service is making a real difference to people’s lives. We work with some fabulous tutors who have many years of experience and the ability to put learners at their ease and feel welcome.

“Taking the step towards further learning is an exciting one and we want our learners to be filled with the sense of the endless possibilities learning a new skill can open up. It’s one of the reasons our learners go on to achieve at the highest levels.”

Liverpool Waterfront