Minister Harris commits €3 million to improve literacy among adults

January 14, 2022

Minister Harris

Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has chaired the first meeting of The Adult Literacy for Life (ALL) Strategy Implementation Group – a group tasked with driving literacy reforms.

The new strategy aims to ensure that every adult has the necessary literacy, numeracy and digital literacy to fully engage in society and realise their potential.

Minister Harris said: “In 2022 we plan to build on and accelerate the implementation of the Strategy.

“We know there are too many people who cannot read, who cannot write, who cannot write an email or make a bank transfer. This is not a failure of the person, but a failure by the State.

“We want to do better. This year €3 million will be allocated for the implementation of the ALL Strategy in Budget 2022, which is very welcome.

“This investment will enable us to establish the partnership structures and initiate focused coordination support which are critical to delivering on the targets set for adult literacy, numeracy and digital literacy.

“This will include the recruitment of regional literacy co-ordinators, a national programme office, the establishment of a new collaboration and innovation fund and the continued roll out of the Adult Literacy Awareness campaign.”

The ALL Strategy will build on the abundance of brilliant work going on nationwide in relation to literacy supports, and aims to provide awareness to people about these supports, make these supports more accessible, and encourage people to come through the door.

Minister Harris also welcomed a report, and accompanying guidelines, looking at assessment of literacy practices across FET programme delivery at NFQ Levels 4, 5 and 6. The Assessing Literacy and Numeracy at NFQ Levels 4-6 in ETBs: Background Report, is accompanied by a handbook of national guidelines for initial and on-going assessment of literacy and numeracy of learners following FET programmes in ETBs.

Minister Harris said: “I would like to thanks SOLAS and ETBI for their fantastic work on this report and national guidelines. FET programmes at Levels 4-6 place many new demands on learners. These may include advanced study skills and also more complicated literacy and numeracy tasks than those needed for earlier experiences of study, or in daily life.

“These guidelines will provide practitioners with the tools to identify whether a new learner will need help with reading, writing or numeracy in order to participate successfully in their chosen programme, decide on a range of appropriate support measures and resources and monitor the learner’s progress in literacy and numeracy. This will ensure that learners are not left behind and can complete their programmes successfully.”

Assessing Literacy and Numeracy at NFQ Levels 4-6 in ETBs: Background Report, as well as the guidelines, are available at:


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