Wigan & Leigh College have been offering free English and maths classes for NHS staff for the past two years.

The course is open for all NHS staff who might not have the appropriate level of numeracy or literacy which they need to progress in their career.

The College provide bespoke classes for the staff that is kept in a professional environment. As the classes are for NHS staff only, the group can share a common goal and feel more comfortable.

Tutors tailor the content to make it more relevant to them and they can relate what they learn to their job environment and they can also apply the skills they have into their classes.

Class sizes are generally small which allows for more one to one time with the specialist tutors. They run in the daytime and the evening to cater for staff that have different shift patterns providing lots of flexibility.

The scheme was set up by the College’s Head of Maths and English, Catherine Langstreth, after consulting with Wigan, Wrightington and Leigh (WWL) NHS Foundation Trust Staff Engagement Officer, Joan Seddon.

Depending on which level of study, NHS staff can enrol at different stages of the year. The College provides different levels in both English and maths from entry right through to GCSE.

Beverley Smith, from Pemberton is a NHS Senior Dispenser at Wrightington and started a Maths course in April in order to prepare her for GCSE level beginning in September.

She said: “I wanted to do the course to get my GCSE as I didn’t get a good mark at school. I need the qualification to progress my career. It helps with my numeracy in the work environment.”

Beverley hopes to gain a more advanced role as a technician and aims to gain the maths GCSE that would make her eligible to apply for that position.

English Co-ordinator and Professional Tutor, Tom Martin said: “It’s a wonderful opportunity for NHS staff to learn maths and English in an environment where we will make it relevant to them and in a context that will be easier for them to engage with.

“It will give them the skills to progress further in their careers. They have a goal in mind, but their maths and English may be holding them back, so it’s really fulfilling to see them join us and we can give them the opportunity to progress.”

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