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The relationship between functional skills and adult literacy and numeracy

Adult literacy and numeracy (sometimes known as Skills for Life) support the development of the basic skills of speaking, listening, reading, writing, ICT and numeracy. This includes, for example, the letters of the alphabet, spelling, grammar, counting, adding, subtracting and multiplying.

The adult literacy and numeracy standards provide the underpinning knowledge, techniques and understanding for the equivalent key or functional skill. They act as flexible building blocks for key skills and functional skills. They are particularly helpful in describing very specifically the skills that learners need to achieve at each level, whatever the qualification aim.

The adult literacy and numeracy qualifications were designed for adults who, for some reason, did not acquire these skills to a level sufficient for adult life when they were at school. The adult literacy and numeracy qualifications will be replaced by functional skills qualifications from 2012.

The final date for registering learners for adult literacy and adult numeracy qualifications is 31 August 2012. The final date for certification of adult literacy and adult numeracy qualifications is 31 August 2014. See the Skills Funding Agency update about funding for maths and English for confirmation and further information.