Skip to main content

Numeracy: Qualifications

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what assessment he has made for the potential for public confusion between the Adult Numeracy and Key Skills Adult Numeracy qualifications. (180644)

I have been asked to reply.

The adult numeracy qualifications referred to are properly called the “Certificate in Adult Numeracy’ and were developed as part of the Government's national Skills for Life strategy for improving adult literacy, language and numeracy skills. The Skills for Life numeracy curriculum covers a tightly defined set of topics as laid out in the National Adult Numeracy Standards.

The Key Skills qualifications are properly called “Key Skills in Application of Number’ and were designed for 16 to 19-year-olds as part of the Curriculum 2000 reforms of Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5, The “Key Skills in Application of Number” is a broader qualification than Skills for Life Numeracy and covers a wider range of topics. As well as following a curriculum and completing a test, Key Skills qualifications require the student to present a portfolio of work.

The names of the respective qualifications were chosen to reflect the content of the qualifications and, in the case of Key Skills, to reflect the name of the policy. We do not believe there is potential for confusion between these two qualifications since they are named, marketed and described differently. We see these two qualifications as a lateral progression pathway for adult numeracy: adults can take the smaller Certificate in Adult Numeracy and, if they wish, then achieve the broader Key Skills in Application of Number qualification with the addition of a portfolio of work.