Just looking at old forums and noticed this one. Neil would definitely know how to read, write, and transpose music. I am doing the same graded system in NZ that he would have learned. I can play Grades 5-7, depending on how much I practice!
If he made it to Grade 8, that is advanced. He would have received theory training and also learned how to write down music as well. My teacher also has us compose and write music.
The grades stop at Grade 8, with the following being certifications that can allow one to teach and study music at university.