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).

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.

Current priorities

Our lobbying efforts focus on seeking an update on Government's national adult literacy strategy from 2000. A clear and updated adult literacy strategy will help effectively tackle the unacceptable low literacy and numeracy levels in Irish society. We are seeking a national adult literacy and numeracy strategy to set out how the state will meet the literacy and numeracy needs of its citizens.

What we want to see happen

NALA argue that three elements can make a significant difference to achieving better adult literacy and numeracy outcomes. They involve new thinking rather than new funding.

These are:

  • Integrate language, literacy and numeracy development into all publicly funded education and training.
  • Family literacy development, as this offers opportunities to break inter-generational cycles of under-achievement(/ disadvantage).
  • Flexible high quality adult education and training provision. This means providing enhanced adult literacy and numeracy services across a wider range of settings, including the workplace, and by different modes, including distance and blended learning and intensive options

Key NALA Submissions

  • NALA Submission to SOLAS January 2012
  • NALA Submission tothe EU Commission High Level Expert Group on LiteracySeptember 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