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Section 1. Why embed?

Context and rationale

An important first step in developing embedded provision is to understand the context and rationale behind the focus on embedded literacy, language and numeracy (LLN) delivery.

Changing livesThe refreshed Skills for Life Strategy, Skills for Life: Changing Lives, (DIUS, 2009) has three key themes. One of the themes emphasises the importance of 'Delivering flexible and responsive provision that meets the needs of learners and employers, ensuring it is high quality, delivered in innovative ways andembedded in wider skills provision where that is the best way to meet individual learners' needs'.

The Flexible Delivery Starter Kit offers further support on delivering flexible and responsive provision.

It is expected that by 2011 all Skills Funding Agency-funded providers will offer embedded literacy, language and numeracy.

Embedded courses are much more than courses that combine vocational subjects with literacy, language and numeracy. Although they do this, they are also about learning new identities and practices, learning how to act in new ways, becoming someone in the building trade, or a nurse in the NHS or a childcare worker... these new roles and identities have been shown to flourish in new contexts where learners work within programmes which integrate the development of literacy, language and numeracy in achieving vocational goals.

SfLQI Research Resource: Embedded Teaching and Learning (2005)

In practical terms for providers, embedding means:

Improved retention and success rates (as well as course enjoyment!) as learners are more likely to be involved and engage with learning if they can overcome some of their own barriers and develop new skills which will benefit them on their course as well as in their wider lives.

(ACL Essex – awarded Beacon Status in 2010)