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Adult literacy and numeracy standards and curriculum

The adult literacy and numeracy standards define the range of literacy, language and numeracy skills and capabilities that adults need to function and progress at work and in society. The adult literacy and numeracy core curriculum gives specific detail about what skills should be taught. It forms the basic building blocks for all the other adult literacy, language and numeracy qualifications, including key skills and functional skills. It should be used to underpin all teaching and learning of these skills.

The adult literacy and numeracy core curricula were developed in 2001 to reflect these new national standards. There is also a curriculum for English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) and a pre-entry curriculum framework particularly designed for learners with learning difficulties or disabilities who are in the early stages of acquiring communication and number skills.

The curriculum, with detailed criteria, exemplars and guidance, is now online, with extensive detail of skills, guidance and a huge number of printable documents. The curriculum describes in detail the content of what should be taught in literacy and numeracy (as well as ESOL and pre-entry) programmes and sets out a clear set of skills required to meet the national standards.

The adult core curriculum is supported by Access for All, which gives detailed guidance on making the curriculum accessible to learners with a range of learning difficulties and disabilities, such as being blind or partially sighted; having dyslexia; or having physical disabilities. Guidance is integrated within the core curriculum or available in a printable PDF version. View the printable versions of the Access for All documents.

Adult literacy and numeracy standards range from Entry 1 to Level 2, mirroring the Qualifications and Curriculum Framework. They are assessed by national adult literacy and numeracy qualifications.