10:00 - 16:30
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