From education to employment

New research reveals embracing technology could improve results in Maths and English – and help tackle stigma

Mark Dawe

Groundbreaking research published from one of the biggest online learning providers in the UK, The Skills Network, shows that embracing technology could help improve results in Maths and English – as well as reduce stigma for learners.

The news comes hot on the heels of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak last month saying that the country has to change from an ‘anti-maths mindset’ to help boost long-term economic growth – with poor numeracy costing ‘tens of billions a year’.

The Skills Network have an online set of resources for all functional skills Maths and English along with bite-size online resources to support the delivery of Sunak’s Maths initiative, Multiply. These can be delivered in a fully online (with or without online tutors) approach or blended with a more traditional physical face-to-face delivery.

The new research, unveiled at a national Maths and English Summit held in Leeds on 10th May, also shows:

  • 64.05% of people across UK say incorporating more technology could improve learners’ opinions of Maths and English
  • 80.17% of the 25-34 age range say technology could help remove the stigma of Maths and English being “boring” subjects
  • 74.6% of general population carry a phone or tech device with features like a calculator and spellcheck readily available – and access to technology that would allow them to action basic Maths and English tasks while they are out and about
  • Most people want to see a blended, hybrid approach to Maths and English that compliments existing learning techniques
  • 47.5% believe society feels it is acceptable to be bad at Maths (with only 27.1% saying society would not find it acceptable) – only 34.6% felt society would find it acceptable to be bad at English (with a larger 43.4% saying it would not be acceptable)
  • Over half of respondents (53.6%) agreed that four years old is the right age to begin a formal education

Mark Dawe, CEO at The Skills Network, said:

“We hope this report will provide a valuable insight to the Prime Minister, and other opinion formers in the UK, into how people across Britain feel that embracing technology can help improve achievement on Maths and English learning, as well as tackle stigma.

“In the 21st Century everyone should have access to a decent education – but there are many complex reasons why people are still being left behind. We decided to speak to people living across the country to learn from their experiences and outlooks to explore not only why this is the case, but also what action can be taken to transform learning opportunities, career opportunities and life outcomes for the better.

“Digital developments have opened the doors for so many people, giving them access to the information they need to further enhance their careers. We should build on the progress made during the pandemic that has allowed shift workers and busy parents, amongst others, to use technology to transform their lives for the better – rather than trying to put the genie back in the bottle on digital learning.”

To access the full report, or to review the online courses available – please visit:

Related Articles