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Raising learner success through new and improved services to support adult literacy and numeracy education

27 March 2018

Educational outcomes, Pacific learner success, Māori learner success, Supporting learners

Ako Aotearoa and the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) are working together to improve services for educators of adults learners needing support to complete tertiary qualifications, including foundation-level programmes, trade training courses, and apprenticeships.  

We are seeking to support learners and providers around the challenges and complexities they might encounter in their programmes of study or vocational training.

Ako Aotearoa Acting Director, Helen Lomax, outlines how the partnership will bring better alignment of services to the sector through two major areas of work:

Firstly, it will involve the development of innovative, new ways of supporting foundation-level literacy and numeracy capability building for educators, incorporating cultural capability. This work is underpinned by Ako Aotearoa’s new strategic focus on building educational capability, which is channelled through the following work areas; professional standards, support for networks and communities of practice, innovative professional learning events, and He Taunga Waka cultural capability pathways.

The key driver for this work is to better support people working with adults with low literacy and numeracy skills, including financial literacy. We will also provide resources and professional learning opportunities for staff to gain and develop insights and skills to support students or apprentices from different cultural backgrounds, particularly Māori and Pasifika learners.

Secondly, the existing digital teaching and learning tools and resources, including the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT) provided by NZCER, and Pathways Awarua, the online resource developed by Education Technology, will continue to be available. NZCER will also work closely with Ako Aotearoa and Education Technology to refine and improve the LNAAT and Pathways Awarua, and to strengthen ways to connect practitioners with advice and exemplars for good teaching, training or assessment practice.

NZCER Director Graeme Cosslett says the project offers new ways of learning and has the potential to make a difference for learners often under-served by the education system. The project supports NZCER’s strategic priority to contribute to a socially just and equitable education system.

These exciting new directions are a result of contracts recently agreed with the Tertiary Education Commission. Building better ways to lift literacy and numeracy sector capability.


Other Key Information:

  • The website of the former National Centre of Literacy and Numeracy for Adults (NCLANA) will continue to be available until 30 June 2018. Ako Aotearoa has contracted literacy and numeracy experts Damon Whitten and Annette van Lamoen (formerly staff of NCLANA) to implement a robust process review of the site and gather priority content to transfer to its new platform -
  • The Assessment Tool and Pathways Awarua continue to be available, along with existing help desk support from NZCER.
  • Ako Aotearoa will again provide He Taunga Waka in-house professional learning and development workshops led by Dr Mei Winitana, Pale Sauni and the He Taunga Waka team. These workshops include literacy, numeracy and cultural capability in specific workplace contexts.
  • Ako Aotearoa will continue to offer the popular “Wānanga/Fono” strategic event led by Dr Joe Te Rito and the He Taunga Waka team, and focused on supporting teaching and training staff to gain insights on the needs of, and improving outcomes for, Māori and Pasifika learners.
  • Ako Aotearoa will also introduce new literacy and numeracy professional learning and development events for Industry Training Organisations and workplace providers led by Damon Whitten.
  • Get in touch/stay connected and join our ALN community by emailing us at: , and via our social channels #ALNAotearoa.