The introduction of the national Skills for Life strategy, with demanding Public Service Agreement (PSA) targets for improving adult literacy and numeracy skills, brought with it new standards, curricula and qualifications for adult basic skills. The core curricula, based on the national standards for adult literacy, describe what should be taught in literacy and English language programmes.
ESOL qualifications, aligned to the adult ESOL core curriculum and allowing for progression through the levels of the national qualifications framework at Entry Levels (1, 2 and 3), Level 1 and Level 2, have been offered by ESOL awarding bodies since September 2004. From January 2005 these have been the only ESOL qualifications to count towards the Skills for Life PSA target.
QCA commissioned NRDC with EdComs and NIACE to conduct secondary and primary research to evaluate whether the current qualifications are fit for purpose in the context of World Class Skills.