News archive

The 2016 Learning Unlimited event – Pop in pop-up!

A FREE  pre-Refugee Week and pre-referendum ‘pop in pop-up’ programme of short talks, discussions, displays, presentations, networking, freebies and refreshments.

Confirmed sessions so far:        

Pop in to our pop-up event!
  • 4 pm-5 pm
  • Dermot Bryers from English for Action, running a workshop on Building participatory language learning communities with refugees From 5 pm
  • David Little from Trinity College Dublin, celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Council of Europe’s LIAM (Linguistic Integration of Adult Migrants) project
  • Mallory Carlson from International Organisation for Migration, discussing The Experience of Syrian Refugees Pre-Arrival 
  • Sofia Roupakia from Migrants Rights Network presenting their Everyday Borders project
  • Keir Starmer, the Labour Member of Parliament for Holborn and St. Pancras (tbc)

There will also be displays and stalls from Learning Unlimited, the Ruth Hayman Trust and Babel’s Blessing.

All welcome. Pop in for a couple of sessions or stay for the whole event.

The full agenda and timings will be confirmed in the coming weeks. If you have any further questions or would like to be part of our pop-up programme, then please do get in touch! Please contact Ian Foster: or 020 79115567

Where: Learning Unlimited, 9-11 Endsleigh Gardens
When: Thursday 16th June 2016
Time: 3.30pm-7.30pm
Cost: FREE

To book your place, please register online here.

New ‘Family Skills’ project announced

Learning Unlimited is pleased to announce Family Skills, funded as part of a £2m fund the Education Endowment Foundation launched with Unbound Philanthropy and The Bell Foundation. One of three new EEF trials which will test different ways to improve the attainment of pupils who speak English as an additional language (EAL), it draws on previous research from Oxford University, commissioned by the three funders that found that there is a significant variation in the results achieved by pupils classified as EAL. While many EAL pupils catch-up with their peers by the age of 16, some groups do not and are at particular risk of underachieving.

Family Skills, coordinated by Learning Unlimited and Campaign for Learning in partnership with the Family Learning Local Authority Group (FLLAG), will focus on parental engagement to improve the literacy skills of reception class pupils with EAL and their parents. Parents will be helped to develop their own literacy and language skills so they feel more confident about supporting their child’s learning at home. In addition, families will be given an introduction to the education system in England and the culture of schools, as well as advice on how to make the most of bilingualism. The trial will focus on those identified as underachieving and will involve 6,300 pupils.

More information about the project can be found at EEF’s website here.

Active Citizenship ESOL readers nominated for 2016 ELTon Awards

E489-Eltons-2016-NOMINATED-Web-Banners-WHITE-FINAL_4The Literacy for Active Citizenship ESOL readers have been shortlisted in the Innovation in Learner Resources category of the 2016 ELTon awards.

The ELTons, sponsored by Cambridge English, are the only international awards that recognise and celebrate innovation in English language teaching (ELT). They reward educational resources that help English language learners and teachers to achieve their goals.

You can find out who else has been included in the full 2016 ELTons awards shortlist along with other details about the ELTons awards. Winners will be announced in June so we will keep you posted.

New Project – THE (Tulse Hill Estate) Volunteer Project

TulseHill4aThe THE (Tulse Hill Estate) Volunteer Project will be funded by the Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund through the London Community Foundation.  It is an innovative project designed to support individuals and communities on the Tulse Hill Estate to recognise and build on the skills and social capital they share.  The project aims to maximise their ability to strengthen community cohesion, build social capacity, identify and respond to local interests and needs, and reduce isolation for marginalised parents and families on the estate.

Find out more about the project on its dedicated webpage here.


8 brand new titles for the Literacy for Active Citizenship ESOL readers

Our Literacy for Active Citizenship ESOL readers have been very successful, with orders coming in from all over the country, so we have added 8 new titles to the series. The readers are written by learners and volunteers from the ACE Project about their experiences of everyday life in the UK and takes the total number of books available to 20. Download the new order form here.


Film premiere – Let’s Fight for our Children’s Centres

Learners on the Parents’ Integration through Partnership (PIP) Project have been working hard on a participatory video project and the film that they planned, filmed and directed themselves, with facilitation from InsightShare received its premiere at Tottenham Town Hall on Thursday 21st May 2015.

In the face of large cuts soon to be made by Haringey Council, the film made by mothers to show how important the Children’s Centres are to their lives and the lives of their children. The film caused lots of local buzz with newpaper reports in English and also in Turkish making the pages.

Two of our learners also appeared on London Live’s morning news programme to talk about the film. Their interview can be seen here.

Headstart to Integration report published, includes Learning Unlimited case study

Eurovision wasn’t the only thing happening in Vienna this weekend…the final HEADSTART conference on Thursday 21st May saw the launch of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) global review of existing pre-departure integration support practices – ‘Headstart to Integration’. The Preparing for Life in the UK strand of Learning Unlimited’s Welcome to the UK project was included in the report as a case study.

The report can be downloaded in pdf format directly here.

Two new events announced for June

Immigration, integration and ESOL – the second and final dissemination event for the Active Citizenship and English project – will take place on Friday 5th June from 9.30am at Avonmouth House SE1. This free event will use the day to bring together EIF-funded projects from across the country to share and discuss their different approaches and issues in supporting integration, while partners, learners, volunteers and teachers from the ACE project give their own perspective. The day will include presentations, workshops and a Question Time panel, along with the official launch for the Literacy for Active Citizenship readers. A detailed programme will soon be available for download and your free places can be booked online here.

And in the early evening at the same venue, the Learning Unlimited (not in a) pub quiz will offer an opportunity to share in a glass of wine with colleagues, join in our audio visual quiz extravaganza with unique prizes on offer, and take part in our fabulous raffle too. Doors open at 5pm for 5.45pm start – places can be booked online here.

ACE project shortlisted for a 2015 ELTons Award

Learning Unlimited is pleased to report that the Active Citizenship and English project has been shortlisted in the Local Innovation category for The ELTons awards. The ELTons, sponsored by Cambridge English, are the only international awards that recognise and celebrate innovation in English language teaching (ELT) and they reward educational resources that help English language learners and teachers to achieve their goals. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on 4th June so we will keep you posted about the results.

The panel at the Working Men' class=
The panel at the Working Men’s College event

Talking Politics

The ACE project ran two extremely successful ‘Talking Politics’ events in March which brought local politicians to a Question Time panel hosted by our partners at Blackfriars Settlement and Working Men’s College and saw them face questions prepared by the ACE students.

The Working Men’s College panel members were:

  • Sir Kier Starmer, KCB, QC (Prospective Labour parliamentary candidate for Holborn and St Pancras)
  • Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon (Liberal Democrat candidate for Cities of London & Westminster)
  • Dr Rebecca Johnson (CamdenGreen Party candidate for Hampstead & Kilburn)
  • Will Blair (Prospective Conservative parliamentary candidate for Holborn & St Pancras),
The Blackfriars Settlement panel facing their questions
The Blackfriars Settlement panel facing their questions

The Blackfriars Settlement panel members were:

  • Lord Mike Storey (Liberal  Democrat spokesperson on education, families and young people in the House of Lords)
  • Momtaz Rahman (Project Manager, The Migrants’ Rights Network)
  • Councillor Neil Coyle (Deputy Mayor of Southwark and  Labour candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark)
  • Councillor William Lavin (Green Party candidate for Bermondsey and Old Southwark)

Each event started with a quiz and ended with participants casting their votes in a mock election (with voting booths, pencils and a ballot box). If the results from this these mock elections are anything to go by, expect a change in government! We also provided information about who is to eligible to vote and guidance on how to register to vote.

Here is an online link to the collected tweets and photos from both Talking Politics events:

Have your say at Learning Unlimited’s 3rd Annual Seminar

The Learning Unlimited 3rd Annual Seminar will be from 5.30 p.m. on Friday 6th June 2014 in central London (booking details coming soon – we do hope you will come!). As part of the event, we are looking for practitioners (teachers/teacher trainers/ managers) who would be willing to lead a series of mini-talks (about 10 minutes) on a burning/topical issue in education – ESOL, Literacy, Numeracy or Family Learning – anything that’s really important to them.

We are approaching the next general election for the UK. What would you like to see in a manifesto? What educational issues would you like to see a focus on? Should we fund provision differently? What sort of provision? How should teachers be supported? What about accreditation and assessment? How should post compulsory education relate to school education? The mini-talk could be something with either a narrow focus on one specialism, or something broader relevant to all If you feel you can’t commit to a talk, you could present ideas to be displayed or read out. Whether serious or frivolous – send us your thoughts. Prizes for the best ideas!

Please send your ideas to: by Monday 14th April 2014 – and we’ll get in touch with you soon after that.


Teaching Adult Numeracy: Principles and Practice – Book launch
Edited by Graham Griffiths and Rachel Stone
Published August 2013 – Open University Press / McGraw-Hill Education
Contributions also from Jackie Ashton, David Kaye and Beth Kelly

This book offers friendly guidance on how to work with adult learners to develop their numeracy and mathematics skills. It brings together current research and practice on teaching adult numeracy into one handy volume and covers the major issues faced by teachers of adult numeracy such as current policy perspectives and implications for teaching practice. There are reflective tasks throughout, which encourage you to develop and apply your theoretical knowledge to your own experiences.

Digital Families: An introduction to new on line resources for family learning, 25 March 2014

An interactive webinar to promote the on-line digital maths4us and CBeebies resources to support employability skills. Relevant to Family Learning practitioners/managers from local authorities and community learning organisations, this webinar will:
– Promote and signpost FEML teachers to the maths4us and new CBeebies family learning resources

– Demonstrate how these digital resources can be used to support the development of parents’ maths for employability skills

Link to register for the event is here. Any enquiries should sent to

March 22nd – UN Anti-Racism day 

A festival with speakers, film and music will take place in Trafalgar Square on Saturday 22nd March. A group of organisations have come together ti support the call to mark 22nd March as part of a general movement across Europe to demonstrate the strong determination of civil society to resist all forms of racism. Visit this website for more information about the day, including how to join the parade and booking a stall for your organisation.

Free training – an alternative approach to teaching and assessing science learning

Learning Unlimited is offering free Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in a unique Science Carousel project. This is for teachers, trainee teachers and trainers who are working in Science, Technology, Engineering and other vocationally related contexts.

My Science is sponsoring this training which aims to help current and future teachers to experience and develop an alternative pedagogic approach for teaching, learning and assessment, in response to research and inspection reports from Ofsted.

Read more information by downloading this flyer, and to book a place please email

Job opportunity in Tottenham

Our partners in the Parents’  Integration through Partnership project are recruiting for a Project Co-ordinator. More information can be downloaded here, application packs can be downloaded from here, and the deadline for applications is Friday 21st February.

ESOL Qualifications and funding in 2014: Issues for consideration
A report for the Association of Colleges (AoC) from the National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy (NRDC) has now been published and a pdf can be downloaded from here.

A tribute to one of ESOL’s most dedicated practitioners

It is with immense sadness that friends and colleagues of Chris Taylor learned that Chris died on January 2nd 2014. Please click here to read a tribute written by Karen Dudley for NATECLA.

First issue of UKBET’s quarterly bulletin published

The UK Bangladesh Education Trust (UKBET) is one of our partner organisations in the TaLE project and they are pleased to announce the first edition of RiSE, their quarterly e-bulletin.

Learning Maths online: Everyday Maths, Everyday Finance, Helping children with maths

Learning Unlimited working with NIACE and Jisc launch the online adult maths resources at the Adult English and Maths in Families, Communities and Workplaces on 2nd October 2013, at UCU Headquarters, London. It was the joint annual conference sponsored by RaPAL, NIACE and UCU.

A workshop – Learning Maths online: Everyday Maths, Everyday Finance and Helping Children with Maths – was presented by Beth Kelly (Learning Unlimited) and Shri Footing (Jisc). This workshop explored new online materials available to help adults get better at maths, manage money and help their children with maths. The resources use video, interactive activities and quizzes.

You can download the presentation to read here and you can access the learning resources by visiting this webpage.

FInd out more about Maths4us here

Family Learning – What’s on your plate activity day

This short video has been produced as part of a European B.F.I. Education Project designed to promote healthy eating and to encourage the use of film by children and parents as a creative medium. In this film, parents and children are playing games in a family learning session arranged by Learning Unlimited at Blackfriars Settlement in Southwark, London. They’re using numeracy and cooking skills together.

To see more films made by children and by parents in communities across Europe, and to get more information about this project, please visit here.

FInd out more about LU’s Family Learning courses here