Adult Literacy core curriculum (DfES, 2001)

Since the demise of the Excellence Gateway (EG) on September 30 2023, there is no official Government backed website where the old Skills for Life core curricula are available. The EG has (partially) migrated to the Education & Training Foundation (ETF) at but there is no sign of these classic documents. 

The Adult Literacy and Adult Numeracy curricula (Basic Skills Agency, 2001) were replaced more than decade ago by the Functional Skills Maths and English content. However, they are still useful resources and many older (pre 2011) skillsworkshop resources are still mapped to the Literacy and/or Numeracy criteria. I've therefore decided to make the Literacy core curriculum available here. The pre-Entry, Access for All, Adult numeracy curricula may follow later.   

The ESOL curriculum is still a much used document and is used to catalogue all the ESOL resources on It is also available here on skillsworkshop. 

Each Literacy level (E1, E2, E3, L1, L2) is split into three skills sub-sections as below. The abbreviations tally with those used on and are closely related to those in the Adult ESOL core curriculum. 

Skill Sub-section
Speaking and Listening SL - Listen and respond SLlr, Speak to communicate SLc, Engage in discussion SLd
Reading R - Text focus: reading comprehension Rt | Sentence focus: grammar and punctuation Rs | Word focus: vocabulary, word recognition and phonics Rw
Writing W - Text focus: writing composition Wt | Sentence focus: grammar and punctuation Ws | Word focus: spelling and handwriting Ww

In addition there are hundreds of sample activities, integrated reading ideas for each level, a glossary, and much more.

Physical format
152 page PDF
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