Maths4us Showcase Event

“Everyone thinks, ‘oh no, not maths’, but give it a go, it’s not as scary as people think it is. Get on and learn”


17 Jun 2013


Congress House, 28 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS




£50 : Staff from partner organisations and for union members
£100 : Full fee


We know that adults benefit from maths learning and that strong maths skills are linked to better life chances. However, around one in four of the adult population struggle with maths and many think it is a subject that is either too difficult or not relevant to their everyday lives.

Action on Adult Maths is a NIACE-led initiative to raise awareness of the role, value and importance of maths for adults. We have brought together a range of partners to support maths learning and develop a range of approaches, resources and training.


This conference aims to showcase the recent work carried out by our partners to promote, encourage and develop maths learning for adults.


By the end of this event you will have:

  • identified the key messages of Maths4us
  • increased your knowledge of the range of initiatives, resources and training available to promote and support adult maths learning
  • reflected on your own practice and identified ideas and resources to promote and support maths learning.


Managers and practitioners delivering Functional Skills Maths;
Researchers and academics interested in adult maths;
Employer organisations;
Family learning and early years practitioners;
Advice workers;
Unions and ULRs involved in workplace maths.



Arrival, registration, exhibitions and networking (tea/coffee available)


Welcome and introduction to the day and key messages

Carol Taylor OBE, Director for Research and Development, NIACE


Keynote Address from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Anthony Chalmers (invited)


Inputs from Maths Champions
Maths Champions talk about their role and what they have done to encourage maths learning


The role of technology in maths learning
Susan Easton, Programme Manager for Digital Learning, NIACE


Lunch and learn
Exhibitions from partners and demonstrations of resources and training


Movement to workshop rooms


Workshops – Session 1

S1.1. Maths Champions – How ULRs and WLAs engage with peers about maths
Frances Graham, Workbase Training

The workshop will show how ULRs (unionlearning reps) and WLAs (workplace learning advocates) have become Maths Champions in workplaces. The power of peer support has encouraged maths awareness and interest. There has been a huge interest in this role. Over 800 ULRs and WLAs have embraced it in a matter of months. Peers understand the issues and barriers and are well placed to get Maths Learning going. Examples of workplace activities and ideas to maintain maths awareness in the future will be presented by WLAs and ULRs.

S1.2. Maths4families: supporting parents and early years’ practitioners
Claire Meade and Karen Fairfax-Chomley, NIACE Associates

NIACE has developed a resource pack for families and training for practitioners building on the learning champion model. This interactive workshop will explore a range of activities and resources for practitioners and families that have been developed and piloted to engage families in learning maths together.

S1.3. Maths4teachers: energising maths teachers
Pip Kings, Director LONCETT and Development Director, NRDC, Norma Honey and Jane Annets

In this world of level 2 maths for all, how is the teaching workforce coping? The re-modelled Maths Energisers have been trialled with teachers around the country and trainers have found a huge range of experience, skills, qualifications and confidence. This workshop will feedback on the success of the pilots and demonstrate some innovative strategies and approaches to maths teaching. There will also be opportunities to discuss challenges for adult maths teaching and learning.

S1.4. Open Online learning: Everyday Finance
Beth Kelly, Chief Executive, Learning Unlimited and Ruth Moulton, Learning Unlimited (CAB Homeless Link)

Maths skills are a key part of developing confidence when trying to sort out personal finances. This On-line course highlights some of the maths involved in working out how much you can earn and spend when earning hourly, weekly or monthly pay, using video, interactive quizzes and games.

S1.5. Baking with friends
Hannah Goraya, Online Centres Foundation


Movement to workshop rooms


S2.1. The National Numeracy Challenge – not just an assessment tool
(To be confirmed)

The Challenge is a major drive to reduce the number of adults in the UK with low levels of numeracy by over 1 million in the next 5 years. National Numeracy will be working with employers, colleges, outreach organisations and directly with individuals to make this project a reality, so everyone has an opportunity to get involved. This session provides an overview of the project including, looking at the online assessment tool, the personalised learning programme and how it seeks to transform negative attitudes to numeracy and maths and create a more positive “can do” attitude.

S2.2. Peer support: Maths Mentors in prisons

Sue Southwood, Programme Manager, NIACE

Improving confidence and raising achievement in maths learning can play a significant part in reducing recidivism and raise the expectations and aspirations of offenders in respect of learning and employment. NIACE has carried out a small-scale research project to explore whether a Maths Mentors’ model can work in prisons and to identify the critical success factors to roll out further.

This workshop will report on this development work and the lessons learned for peer mentoring in maths.

S2.3. Open Online family learning: A chance to engage with a new innovative online approach to family learning.
Jackie Ashton, Learning Unlimited

Family learning is popular and research suggests it is successful in the UK: Desforges and Abouchaar (2003), Nutbrown et al (2005), and Feinstein et al 2004)./ The principles of family learning often include, building on home culture and experience, participatory learning, promoting a culture of aspirations and providing opportunities to build confidence and try out new skills and ideas (Lamb, 2009:3). Having accepted these principles, the challenge was to create an online-based family maths course that upheld this pedagogical approach and that was unique and different from other internet resources.

This prompted a unique production of unscripted video recording of parents interacting with their children, playing games, doing activities and talking about maths.

S2.4. Open Online learning: Everyday Maths
Rachel Stone, Learning Unlimited

Maths skills occur everywhere in our lives. The Everyday Maths open online learning course highlights some of the maths involved in nutrition and time-keeping in an interesting way, using video and interactive quizzes.

S2.5. Community of Practice (CoP) for maths
Kevin Campbell-Wright, Project Officer, NIACE
A community for maths champions: With hundreds volunteering to be maths champions, there’s a need for a place for them to meet, swap ideas, talk about resources and move to the next level. This workshop will showcase NIACE’s Maths Champions Community of Practice, demonstrating how it will be populated and how delegates can play their part in championing maths by joining the community.


Plenary and action planning


Close of conference

Event Information

  • Arrival and registration are at 9:45am for a 10:30am start. The event will end at 3:30pm
  • Event fee per person (includes sandwich lunch, tea/coffee): Staff from Partner organisations and union members: £ 50.00; Full Fee £100.00
  • NB: NIACE does not charge VAT on conference or course fees
  • Only online application forms with the payments section completed will be processed.
  • NB: If you wish us to invoice your employer we require a copy of the Purchase Order before the form is processed
  • Places will be allocated in order of receipt of completed online application forms (one online application form per person)
  • Video cameras may be in use at this event. If you do not wish to be photographed or appear on the video outputs please indicate this on the application form and make yourself known at registration
  • Participants should be prepared to take their own notes as there will not be handouts for all sessions
  • If you have not received an e-mail confirming your attendance and joining instructions 4 working days before the event please contact: [email protected]

Application Conditions

  • Event date: Monday 17 June 2013
  • Closing date: Thursday 6 June 2013
  • Cancellations are non-refundable
  • The full fee is payable prior to the event
  • Substitutions are to be advised 5 working days prior to the event
  • A 15 working days notice period is required for provision of electronic note-takers, sign language interpreters and transcription to Braille
  • Places are to be reserved online – scroll up and click on Apply Now
  • Reservations by telephone cannot be accepted
  • Application forms are individually acknowledged by e-mail. Joining instructions, including map and directions, will be e-mailed out one week before the event
  • NIACE reserves the right to reject applicants who are not from the target audience list.

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Become a Champion

Kath Ward
Union Learning Representative


Kath, who is 50 years old and has worked at KP since leaving school, was ea

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