Sign up to our monthly e-news update featuring the latest news, courses, resources & career opportunities / Subscribe now

Home » News » Skills for Life Statistics

Skills for Life Statistics

Key Documents
Skills for Life Network

Results from the Skills for Life Survey are available on the Readwriteplus website

Levels of Literacy, Numeracy, ESOL and ICT in England


‘The Moser Report concluded in 1999 that ‘one in five adults has less literacy than is expected of an 11 year old child’, and that about 40% of adults experienced significant numeracy problems. To establish a stronger evidence base to underpin the Skills for Life Strategy, the DfES commissioned the Skills for Life (SfL) Survey. The fieldwork for this survey was undertaken between July 2002 and May 2003 and the results were published in October 2003.


Key findings include:

5.2 million adults (16% of the population) at Entry level 3 or below
17.8 million adults (56% of the population) below Level 2
22% of adults in the North East have Entry Level literacy compared with
12% in the South East

6.8 million adults (21% of the population) at Entry level 2 or below
23.8 million adults(75% of the population) below Level 2
54% of adults in the North East have Entry Level numeracy compared with 41% in the South East’.

The results are available on the searchable Readwriteplus website at


A copy of the report and the research summary can be downloaded.


Regional leaflets are available for the North West and the North East from DfES Publications (tel. 0845 60 222 60):

Skills for Life: The North East Regional Picture Ref. ETKV2-2004-NE

Skills for Life: The North West Regional Picture Ref. ETKV2-2004-NW


For other statistics related to education visit:

Education and Skills in Your Area at

Article researched and written by Caryn Loftus, Skills for Life Network.


Further Information

No further information

Sign up for our e-News Update

You may also like

Skills for Life Network E-News Update May 2022

Skills for Life Network E-News Update May 2022

Check out the Skills for Life Network E-News Update May 2022 for a round up of what’s new and what’s happening in maths, English, ESOL and digital skills in the FE and Training sector.

Maths and English Summit

Maths and English Summit

On Tuesday 24th of  May 2022, AELP in partnership with The Skills Network will run the Maths and English Summit, which will give providers the opportunity to come together to attend a dedicated event focusing solely on maths and English provision.

Taking Teaching Further

Taking Teaching Further

Round five of the DfE-funded Taking Teaching Further initiative that supports providers to recruit teachers, including maths, English and SEND specialists, is now open.

All about using Flipgrid

All about using Flipgrid

In this podcast Saima Hanif, ESOL Lecturer at Hopwood Hall College and a participant in the Outstanding Teaching, Learning and Assessment programme, gives us an engaging insight into using Flipgrid with ESOL learners.

ESOL WordWall Quizzes

ESOL WordWall Quizzes

This knowledge organiser/vocabulary crib sheet for Entry 3 Reading includes two WordWall quizzes for learners to test their understanding.