Education and training


What we do

Since it was established in 1980, NALA has consistently advocated for enhanced literacy education and training and better implementation.  For example, NALA campaigns contributed to:

  • a Green Paper (1997) and White Paper on Adult Education (2000),
  • the creation of a ministry of state for adult education (2000),
  • the establishment of the Workplace Basic Education Fund (2005), and
  • increases in the adult literacy funding (2000-2009). 


Our most recent campaigns include securing:

  • A national strategy for adult literacy and numeracy development,
  • An implementation plan for integrating literacy and numeracy in all further education and training provision, and
  • A dedicated seat for adult learners on the Education and Training Boards.


Priorities for Adult Literacy and Numeracy

NALA has identified five key priorities for the strategy to raise adult literacy levels.  These are:

1.  Raise awareness of learning opportunities and support greater engagement by people with literacy and numeracy needs in FET

2.  Integrate literacy and numeracy into all FETprogrammes.

3.   Provide intensive learning programmes for people who are unemployed, in the workplace and supporting families.

4.  Use blended learning and Recognition of Prior Learning to acquire qualifications at NFQ Levels 1-4, for example

5.  Set and monitor appropriate targets.


These priorities are firmly based on research evidence and are informed by our members and adult literacy learners.   They aim to:

  • support individuals with literacy and numeracy difficulties to access learning opportunities that meet their needs,
  • contribute to a more inclusive and equitable society, and
  • tackle unemployment and make our economy - and businesses - more productive and competitive. 


Key NALA Submissions

NALASubmission to SOLAS, January 2012 -

NALA Submission to DES Further Education and Training Review, February 2011 -


How we work

Our policy work aims to influence Government policy and lobby for appropriate actions and funds to improve literacy and numeracy levels in Ireland.  We do this by:

  • Learning from research;
  • Listening to learners;
  • Writing evidenced based policy papers and submissions;
  • Building relationships; and
  • Working in partnership with Government and their agencies, the Department of Education and Skills (DES), the VECs, FÁS and others.



Key NALA Submissions

NALA Submission to SOLAS, January 2011

NALA Submission to the EU Commission High Level Expert Group on Literacy, September 2011

 NALA Submission to the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategy for Children and Young People, February 2011

NALA Submission to DES Further Education and Training Review, February 2011 


Selected NALA Research   

 A Literature Review of International Adult Literacy Policies, March 2011

 A Cost Benefit Analysis of Adult Literacy Training Research Report, March 2009

 A Review of Adult Literacy Policy in Ireland, March 2009