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SfL Core Curriculum Launch

LSIS launches innovative Skills for Life core curriculum - Valuable support for practitioners now available

The new Skills for Life core curriculum is set to make a real difference to the lives of trainers and teachers who support adult learners. Developed by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service and available exclusively via the Excellence Gateway - LSIS’s online portal for the FE sector - the revised adult core curriculum is now online and will provide vital guidance to practitioners at a click of the mouse, giving instant access to vital adult literacy, language and numeracy resources.

The new core curriculum also includes improvements to the existing adult literacy, ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and numeracy curricula as well as an interactive service for teachers of the adult pre-entry curriculum.

The enhancements include:

  • the opportunity for teachers and trainers to build their own personal core curriculum portfolios, helping to develop individual learning programmes and schemes of work;
  • new material offering examples of Skills for Life incorporated into other learning areas;
  • simple language, an improved glossary of definitions, overviews and tips on teaching the curriculum in context;
  • links to Access for All, providing easily accessible support for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities.

The developments are the result of an extensive review of the core curriculum over the past two years, based on consultation with providers, practitioners and stakeholders. The review showed strong support for the existing core curriculum but identified a need to update the material and make it more widely accessible.

The new and improved curriculum site represents a significant step by LSIS to enhance the quality of teaching and learning and to increase success rates by incorporating Skills for Life into all teaching areas. The importance of getting the basics right in post-16 learning was reinforced this week in the Skills for Life: Changing Lives strategy released by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills, which reaffirmed a commitment to ensure 95 per cent of adults of working age possess functional levels of literacy and numeracy by 2020. The strategy reiterated the need for colleges and training providers to have access to the support they need. The revision of the core curriculum is an important step towards ensuring that the sector meets this target.

Roger McClure, LSIS chief executive said: “The presence of the core curriculum on the Excellence Gateway is a huge step in making the materials more accessible and interactive and thus contributing to reaching the government’s literacy, language and numeracy targets. The adult core curriculum has helped Skills for Life teachers and programme managers since 2001. As more vocational tutors turn to the curriculum for guidance, the time is right to update the materials. As well as providing new content, the online curriculum offers improved accessibility and links to other supporting material. What’s more, it provides practical examples of Skills for Life being incorporated into other learning areas, which opens up the Skills for Life curriculum to all further education professionals.”

Registration for Excellence Gateway is free. To download the new adult core curriculum please visit The Excellence Gateway incorporates some 50 education websites and a resource bank comprising more than 75,000 pages, and 12,000 separate pieces of content.