You are here

The benefits of developing a whole organisation approach to LLN

Why develop a WOA for LLN?

For learners

Raise achievement and support for people to meet their goals:

"Increased levels of attainment of many learners… which are currently lower than the standards required to enable them to achieve economic well-being"(Southampton City College)

Give learners opportunities to progress onto other programmes/into employment:

"It’s really important I become competent in maths and I’m getting there slowly but surely. I have wanted to be a nurse since I was little and I’m determined to do whatever it takes to achieve my goal."(Tasleem Akhtar, quoted in Talisman Issue 76: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS)

Improve learners’ and service users’ satisfaction:

"Improving my English and maths means I can communicate with patients better and give them a higher standard of care." (Mustafa Korkmazcan quoted in Talisman Issue 76: Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS)

Raise the quality of teaching and learning:

"Our assessors maintain the development of learners’ knowledge and skills and provide consistent and timely support." – (Angels Training Centre)

For staff

Build staff skills:

"Teachers need to maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge and skills in relation to teaching, theoretical knowledge and subject specialism to have a positive impact on practice and their learners." (IfL, 2007)

For the organisation

Respond effectively to changes in funding and government policy:

"The college is in the process of adjusting to a number of external drivers with much to be achieved… the action plan and forthcoming strategy [for WOA] are seen as essential in identifying the key priority actions to be undertaken and ensuring their implementation." (The Adult College, Barking and Dagenham Provide an excellent service for all)

"For the first time we are pulling in one direction… there could be some departments with good practice which others didn’t even know about." (Member of APEX SFL steering group)

Improve attendance and retention:

"There were some significant and rapid improvements. Learner numbers increased by 9.5% among 16-18 year olds and by 38% among adults." (Leicester College quoted in Reflect Magazine Issue 10)

Develop continuous quality improvement processes:

"Quality improved and Ofsted inspection rated our discrete literacy and numeracy as ‘outstanding'. It also identified very high achievement rates and progression to vocational courses, and highly effective teaching and learning and sharing of good practice. [Adopting a WOA] …has helped us make a step-change in how we deliver LLN. Perhaps most importantly, it has reaffirmed to us the importance of these vital first skill levels and the need to put them at the heart of our offer." (Leicester College quoted in Reflect Magazine issue 10)

Making the case: Work-based learning draws together findings of a three-year project that involved 35 pathfinder organisations across England. This reports on how improvements can be achieved by tackling skills gaps in English and maths across the whole provision and considers ways to improve outcomes and success rates for learners.

How can you develop the approach?

  • Identify where you are starting from
  • Decide on areas for improvement
  • Assess progress at regular intervals

The refreshed Skills for Life strategy, Skills for Life: Changing lives published in March 2009 intends that by 2011 all Skills Funding Agency-funded providers will offer embedded literacy, language and numeracy. Adopting a whole organisation approach is the key mechanism for achieving this.

The LLN Health Check: a whole organisation approach to improving quality is a simple audit tool designed to help you assess the quality of your literacy, language and numeracy provision. It reflects the key priorities in the strategy.

The Embedding LLN Starter Kit gives guidance on embedding literacy, language and numeracy. It offers answers to questions such as:

  • What is meant by embedding of LLN?
  • Why is it important to embed LLN?
  • How do we get started?
  • Who should get involved and what resources are available to support delivery and staff development?