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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.


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