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COVID-19 PANDEMIC FUELS RISE IN HOME LEARNING

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Huge rise in home studying of accountancy courses due to #Coronavirus say @YourAAT 

With the coronavirus pandemic entering a second month since lockdown restrictions were imposed, AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) is reporting a sharp rise in numbers accessing its courses via distance learning, with distance learning registrations showing a 20% increase in the week to 23 April 2020 compared to the same week in 2019.  

In addition, AAT insights have shown:  

  • A large number of training providers have switched quickly from now-closed classrooms to live online teaching, rescheduling timetables in order to provide flexible student solutions 

  • Over 5,700 new and existing AAT students have been referred by training providers to Mindful Education’s online resources, supporting studies of AAT qualifications. 

  • a 28% increase in visits to the Prospects section of the AAT website (week on week). 

  • Insight from AAT’s sales team also shows that demand for accountancy and personal development is increasing, with many reporting that students have more spare time to study a course.  

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Rob Alder, Head of Business Development, AAT, said:

“While current restrictions are making it a difficult time for students and workers alike with colleges and workplaces shut down, many are taking the opportunity to study remotely – often with the help and support provided by training providers. We had already seen a 5% year-on-year rise in distance learning even prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, but in the past month remote studying has shot up. There’s a myriad of reasons for this.  

“For some, the closure of training providers has forced them into online learning in preparation for forthcoming exams. Others are taking the opportunity that a lack of ability to socialise or commute has brought, using their additional time outside of working hours to upskill themselves, or to learn a new skill entirely. Still more will have been put into furlough by their employer, and recognised that furloughed employees can still take training even if they cannot work. 

“In any event, brushing up on the latest finance techniques or learning digital skills they never had before will hold them in good stead for the future. While AAT exams are currently unavailable, online studying can continue and all on-demand computer  based assessments, the majority of AAT exams, can resume soon after current restrictions are lifted.” 

Deborah Seed is a tutor in accounting and financial services at Oldham College, one of the training providers who has swiftly switched its teaching from the classroom to online with the support of Mindful Education. 

Deborah said: “The Mindful Education resources have been a fantastic resource in our transition to online learning. From the tutor’s point of view, the reports are invaluable to be able to track student progress. However, perhaps more importantly, the students love it, either to work through at their own pace, or in a virtual classroom session with a tutor.”  

To help support online learning for AAT members and student members, as well as those wishing to gain new finance skills or brush up on their existing knowledge, AAT has a number of online resources available. These include: 

  • Additional categories on AAT Knowledge Hub for AAT affiliates and AATQBs to help them develop skills. This has led to a 205% rise in use of the resource site among members. 

  • The new AAT Lifelong Learning Portal, the home for all existing and newly published study support resources. The portal comes with added features to make planning and learning more interactive and personal. 

  •  AAT Essentials online courses, developed in partnership with the Skills Network, one of the UK’s biggest online providers, which cover topics such as cash flow management and budgeting. 

  • A range of podcasts to support students currently studying AAT. 

  • AAT’s small business advice portal Informi, which has seen a 57% rise in resource downloads, suggesting that many are using the time to optimise their business. 

  • Cloud accounting software provider Sage is offering 90% discounts to support AAT training providers and students, which will enable students to complete Level 2 at home. This includes all online tutorials, helplines and practical assessments, and will enable students to sit AAT assessments once they go live again in order to achieve their unit and/or qualification. 

 

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