What is this website about?

The project on which this website is based took a historical look at policy and practice in the field of Adult literacy, Language and Numeracy (ALLN). By bringing together the perspectives of the main stakeholder groups on basic skills policy, the study aimed to identify the key issues and mechanisms that have driven change in the field. By assessing the relevance of the policies to the changing context of basic skills in everyday life, it makes a contribution to the effectiveness of future policy and practice in ALLN.

We approach ALLN as an important case study of change in post-16 provision in England and Wales. We situate the UK experience in the context of parallel international developments.

Our work is underpinned by a social practice approach to literacy and numeracy which enables us to compare policy rationales and everyday practice both within and outside of educational settings. We have made use of the National Child Development Survey cohort to explore the relevance of ABE policy to the lives of people identified as having basic skills needs, many of whom have not participated in formal education or training provision. This enabled us to investigate the interface between policy, educational practice and everyday practices in literacy and numeracy. Our policy analysis is informed by theoretical perspectives which draw on post-structural analyses of educational policy; notions of organizational culture and change; and the development of professional knowledge.

The Changing Faces Project was funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council and details can be found on their website:
ESRC Ref No: R000239387
Right to Read book cover

Principal Investigators:

Mary Hamilton, Lancaster University
Yvonne Hillier, City University
Samantha Parsons, Institute of Education, London




Link to City University Link to the Institute of Education Link to the ESRC