English Maths ESOL Annual Conference

  04/12/2019 09:45   Event ID :15338

No one left behind: the future for adult basic skills

Organised by Learning and Work Institute, UCL Institute of Education, UCU, RaPAL and NATECLA, this is the only sector event dedicated to adult literacy, numeracy and English language policy, practice and research.

“… nine million adults still have low levels of basic skills”


Twenty years ago, A Fresh Start – the Moser report – broke new ground by highlighting the national challenge of poor adult literacy and numeracy skills. A subsequent programme of reform enhanced the support available to adults with low literacy and numeracy skills, through increased teacher professionalism, standardised curricula, new qualifications and a statutory entitlement to fully funded adult basic skills learning up to Level 2.

Recent efforts have focused on improving the English and maths skills of young people, but the evidence suggests that nine million adults still have low levels of basic skills.  Around five million of these adults are in work, and will remain in the workforce for some years to come, meaning that low skills levels limit productivity, and hold people back from progressing in work.

Despite the availability of free courses, participation in adult literacy and numeracy classes has declined by around 20% in recent years. This conference provides an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned from the experience of the last twenty years. More importantly, it will identify how policy and practice should develop, to ensure that twenty years from now, no adult misses out on opportunities in life and at work due to poor basic skills.

This year’s conference aims to

  • Showcase the range of outcomes for learners of effective literacy, numeracy and ESOL learning.
  • Evidence how good basic skills benefit adults in many areas of life, from finding and progressing in work, improved health and wellbeing, and wider social and community benefits.
  • Explore the latest research and innovative practice

Sponsors and supporters