English Maths ESOL Annual Conference

  04/12/2019 09:45   Event ID :15338

No one left behind: the future for adult basic skills

Organised by Learning and Work Institute, UCL Institute of Education, UCU, RaPAL and NATECLA, this is the only sector event dedicated to adult literacy, numeracy and English language policy, practice and research.

Full programme available (see above tab). The conference will commence at 09.45am with registration and closes at 3:45pm.


“… nine million adults still have low levels of basic skills”


Twenty years ago, A Fresh Start – the Moser report – broke new ground by highlighting the national challenge of poor adult literacy and numeracy skills. A subsequent programme of reform enhanced the support available to adults with low literacy and numeracy skills, through increased teacher professionalism, standardised curricula, new qualifications and a statutory entitlement to fully funded adult basic skills learning up to Level 2.

Recent efforts have focused on improving the English and maths skills of young people, but the evidence suggests that nine million adults still have low levels of basic skills.  Around five million of these adults are in work, and will remain in the workforce for some years to come, meaning that low skills levels limit productivity, and hold people back from progressing in work.

Despite the availability of free courses, participation in adult literacy and numeracy classes has declined by around 20% in recent years. This conference provides an opportunity to reflect on what we have learned from the experience of the last twenty years. More importantly, it will identify how policy and practice should develop, to ensure that twenty years from now, no adult misses out on opportunities in life and at work due to poor basic skills.

This year’s conference aims to

  • Showcase the range of outcomes for learners of effective literacy, numeracy and ESOL learning.
  • Evidence how good basic skills benefit adults in many areas of life, from finding and progressing in work, improved health and wellbeing, and wider social and community benefits.
  • Explore the latest research and innovative practice

Audience will be

Practitioners, curriculum managers and policymakers. Suitable examples could an innovative project, piece of research, or an aspect of adult literacy, numeracy and/or ESOL provision at an organisational or curriculum level.

If you would like to support, sponsor or exhibit at this year’s English Maths and ESOL Annual Conference, please contact Mintra Sadler.

Full programme

Wednesday 4 December 2019


09.45 Registration, refreshments and exhibition opens
10.30 Welcome and introduction
10.35 Policy keynote: Moser, 20 years on

Speaker: Stephen Evans, Chief Exective, Learning and Work Institute

10.50 Research keynote: Refugee access to education and employment

Speaker: Dr Mike Chick, Senior Lecturer in TESOL, University of South Wales

11.05 Q&A
11.15 Refreshments and exhibition viewing
11.45 Workshops (W) and panel (P) sessions
W1 Coaching for Sustainable Learning

Speaker: Dr Elizabeth Newton, University Centre Leeds

W2 My learners can do the maths but don’t understand the questions

Speaker: Gail Lydon, English and Maths Regional Specialist Lead

W3 Learning to spell and read confidently: a social practices approach

Speaker: Tricia Millar, Managing Director, ‘That Reading Thing’

P1 Moser, 20 years on

Contributors: Prof. Greg Brooks, University of Sheffield, conference partners; further speakers tbc

12.45 Lunch, exhibition viewing and networking
1.30 Chair’s introduction to the afternoon sessions
1.35 Practice Keynote: From policy to practice

Speaker: Catherine Paulson-Ellis, Director, Sheaf Valley Education

1.55 Workshops (W) and Panel (P) sessions
W4 Effective Practice in pre-entry ESOL

Speakers: Karen Dudley, Learning Unlimited; Alex Stevenson, Learning and Work Institute

W5 Stop them failing! A model for literacy and numeracy support for apprentices in Ireland

Speaker: Alison Jones, Galway and Roscommon Education and Training Board

W6 Writing and Communicating in and out of the literacy and ESOL classroom

Speaker: Vera Hutchinson, UCL Institute of Education

P2 tbc
3.10 Plenary: Learner Voices
3.35 Closing Remarks
3.45 Close

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English Maths ESOL Annual Conference

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