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Adults Learning English and Maths: reflecting on policy, research and practice

12 July 2012

The first joint annual conference of UCU, RaPAL and NIACE was held in London on 9 October 2012.

The Spring 2013 edition of the RaPAL journal containing papers and reports from this conference is now available. Please check the RaPAL website for details of how to obtain your copy.

The Skills for Life Survey 2011 shows that approximately one in six of the adult population still have difficulty with aspects of reading and writing and around one in four of the adult population struggle with the basics of maths.  This seriously disadvantages adults as parents, workers and citizens. Changes are afoot but change brings challenges.

Some teachers will welcome initiatives such as the introduction of functional skills, the development of a unit based curriculum for those with the greatest need and the pilots to measure distance travelled for some learners. Many practitioners recognise the need to reflect critically on the implications of these initiatives, as well as broader issues raised by current policy and research. This conference will encourage dialogue between practitioners, leading academic researchers and policy makers in order to explore the best ways of making the curriculum and accreditation work responsively for learners.

This conference aims to reflect on recent policy, research and practice about what works (and what doesn't) for adult learners in English and maths and is relevant for: 

  • managers and practitioners delivering functional skills english and maths
  • researchers and academics interested in literacy and numeracy
  • employers, employer organisations, unions and ULRs involved in workplace literacy and numeracy programmes.

Enquiries to NIACE Events Team:  0116 204 2833;

Last updated: 29 January 2020