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Two high-impact ways to build essential skills

Available for UK schools and colleges. If you are a Multi-Academy Trust or Higher Education Institution, please scroll down.

The Accelerator Programme

  • Join a cohort of brilliant Skills Leaders
  • Build essential skills for learners across your setting
  • Benefit from staff training and development
Read more >>

Digital Membership

  • Access online teaching and learning
  • Assess your learners’ progress in essential skills
  • Learn from online training materials
Read more >>

It’s never been more important to invest in your learners’ essential skills alongside their academic pursuits. These are those human skills we need to do almost anything: to work well with others, to communicate with confidence and to creatively solve problems. 

There are two programme routes for primaries, secondaries, colleges and specialist settings. There are currently over 500+ UK schools and colleges on programmes, and more than 30,000 teachers using the approach globally. 

For Higher Education Institutions and Multi-Academy Trusts, please contact us to find out how we can work together.

An image of a science teacher showing their students a microscope - whilst building their Problem-solving skills.

Why Essential Skills?

The Universal Framework icons: Listening, Speaking, Problem Solving, Staying Positive, Aiming High, Leadership, and Teamwork.

Recent research shows that building skills like teamwork and problem solving in the classroom boosts academic outcomes and increases perseverance. Into adulthood, higher essential skills halve the likelihood of being out of work and increase earnings across a lifetime. They even boost wellbeing and life satisfaction.

But essential skills – and the opportunities to build them – are not distributed equitably in the UK

Ultimately, this leaves your learners at risk of a ‘skills trap.’ A lack of early advantage and opportunity can lead to a perpetually lower trajectory – a lower skilled job, lower income, fewer opportunities to build skills in the future and overall lower levels of life satisfaction. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we provide opportunities to build these skills, we see learners escape this trap.

What’s the impact?

At an individual level… these skills work as a platform for developing other skills, including the basic skills literacy and numeracy as well as technical skills.

Essential Skills Tracker, 2023

The impact on the children was immediate, with high levels of engagement and a clear link with developing communication and confidence…

Sophie Gavalda, Head Teacher at William Tyndale Primary

After just one year, we’ve seen an impact from essential skills being used in all aspects of the school community.

Matthew Goodwin, Assistant Head Teacher at Blythe Bridge High School

We firmly believe that if we can equip a young person with these crucial life skills through their journey with us, they will springboard… into independent adulthood with confidence.

Leilah Sheridan, Head of Employability and Lifeskills at Undershaw School

The essential skills and supported offer provides a seamless transition to track, measure and sustain growth for all students.

Collin Galley, Lecturer at New College Durham

Who’s building Essential Skills?

A world map displaying all the countries with schools running a Skills Builder programme. These countries include: The UK, Canada, Czech Republic, Lebanon, Egypt, The UAE, Pakistan, India, Vietnam, Malaysia, Australia, Venezuela, Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda and Kenya.
16
Countries building essential skills
A map of the UK showing the approximate locations of the 577 schools and colleges currently enrolled on a Skills Builder programme.
500+
UK Schools and Colleges
Download the Skills Builder handbook
Published in full for the first time, the handbook helps any educator to use the Skills Builder approach with their students - whether in primary, secondary, college or specialist settings.
DOWNLOAD NOW >>
An image of the printed version of the Skills Builder Handbook for Educators
An image of two teaching colleagues discussing Skills Assessment results on a computer.

Higher Education and Multi-Academy Trusts

The Alpha Academies Trust logo
The Ark Schools logo
The Bohunt Education Trust logo
The Hales Valley Trust logo
The Horizon Care & Education Group logo
The Laidlaw Schools Trust logo

For Higher Education Institutions and Multi-Academy Trusts, please contact us to see what options are available.

Contact us

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Each year teachers at schools and colleges tell us what they’ve been doing and the impact they’ve seen. You can explore over 200 Case Studies from all phases

Explore the case studies showcase