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Staffordshire mum swaps nappies for numbers to teach children struggling with maths

Posted on Wednesday 22nd May 2024
Kirsty Bestwick

Thirty-year-old Kirsty Bestwick has passed her Level 2 in Functional Maths course at Leek and Buxton College through the government’s Multiply programme and is now one step closer to her dream job.

When Kirsty contacted the Multiply team at Staffordshire County Council in2022, she severely lacked confidence where maths was concerned.

Now, thanks to the Multiply scheme, Kirsty is excited to take the next step towards her dream of becoming a teacher so she can support children who struggled at school like she did.

Kirsty, from Leek, said:

“I’ve been where some children and people are – struggling with maths and English, but it really is about confidence.

“My life changed when I plucked up the courage to make that call to get on the course, and soon I’ll be able to go back and help children with the confidence and skills I never had. I never thought I’d be able to follow my dream, but here I am.”

 Kirsty is now preparing to start her teaching apprenticeship in September.

She continued:

“The Multiply courses are really supportive and don’t make you feel like an idiot at all. It’s the best thing that I ever did for me and my boys to create a happy, secure future.

“I’m urging everyone to just put their maths anxiety aside – because there’s no such thing as not being able to do maths.  It just about getting that back confidence and being in a supportive learning environment – you get both with Multiply.’’

Since launching in 2022, the Multiply scheme in Staffordshire has supported nearly 3,000 adults aged 19 and over to get the confidence and skills they need to secure jobs, progress in their careers, budget and help their children and grandchildren with homework.

Philip White, Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills, said:

“We are proud to work with our providers across the county to support people with their mathematical skills. Kirsty’s story shows exactly how knowing your way around numbers can make the world of difference not just to your future but to others as well.

“Our Multiply courses are about equipping everyone with the skills they need to fulfil their potential at work, school and even at home. You don’t have to sit an exam at the end of your course, like Kirsty did. That part is entirely your decision. You may want to take a course to improve your confidence – that, alone, can change the trajectory of your life.”

Changes in the eligibility criteria mean that the Multiply programme is now available to most adults both online and in person.

Any Staffordshire resident aged over 19 can now get fully funded professional help, whether they want to obtain a Level 2 maths qualification or simply refresh their knowledge.

Many courses are starting right now across the county, so make today, National Numeracy Day, the day to browse the Multiply courses that are right for you.

For further information, email Multiply@staffordshire.gov.uk.

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