Literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL)

Ofsted reports about adult literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) 

  • Tackling the challenge of low numeracy skills in young people and adults - 8 April 2011. This report evaluates the quality of numeracy provision for young people and adults seen in visits between May and November 2010 to 59 providers including colleges, independent learning providers, local authority providers of adult and community learning, prisons and Probation Trusts. Key features of effective practice and the most commonly identified reasons for underperformance are explored in detail. The report also presents the main challenges faced by providers in securing further improvement.
  • Removing barriers to literacy - 21 January 2011. The aim of this survey was to illustrate effective approaches that might help others to improve their practice in literacy. Inspectors visited providers of childcare, education and post-16 learning. The providers were selected because previous inspection evidence and data on achievement and attainment showed that they were particularly successful in enabling children and learners from disadvantaged backgrounds to make better than average progress and to achieve good standards of literacy.

Literacy, numeracy and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) are to be known as English, mathematics and ESOL in the revised Common Inspection Framework for further education and skills. Each is inspected as a discrete subject in learning and skills post 16 provision. All may be offered for example by colleges or adult and community learning providers. English and mathematics can also be included in and referred to as functional skills provision; functional skills will be taken by young people whose main study is for example a vocational course or an apprenticeship framework but do not have the required standard in English and mathematics.

Learners’ English and mathematics skills are also evaluated as part of the inspection of foundation learning, provision designed to get learners ready for level 2, a standard equivalent to GCSE. On prison inspections, inspectors evaluate how well prisoners’ English and Mathematics skills are assessed initially and the progress they subsequently make in developing these skills and their plans for further training in prison and/or resettlement.

Case studies of good practice in adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL

External links

Annual Report 2012/13