Information for providers – foundation education

Information for providers – foundation education

Last updated 31 May 2024
Last updated 31 May 2024

This page has information on resources for foundation education providers, and our expectations of providers.

Resources to support foundation education providers

Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions for Adults

The Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions for Adults help educators identify learners’ skill needs and develop learning opportunities to move them to the next step. We expect all educators supporting adult literacy and numeracy learning to be familiar with the Progressions.

Literacy and Numeracy Learning Progressions for Adults

You can download a series of resources from Ako Aotearoa. Ako Aotearoa also offers professional development for educators. This supports use of the Progressions.

Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT)

The Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool (LNAAT) supports educators to identify their learners’ literacy and numeracy skills and challenges.

Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool

This tool can assess adult reading, writing, numeracy, vocabulary skills, and proficiency of beginning learners of English. The LNAAT is based on the Adult Learning Progressions.

The online assessments are adaptive. This means the assessment adjusts to the learner’s responses, getting harder or easier as learners answer questions correctly or incorrectly. Online adaptive assessments are more robust and give immediate results to educators, learners and tertiary education organisations (TEOs). 

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) expects providers to use LNAAT to assess learners for some of our foundation funds. To understand your obligations around LNAAT, please see the Literacy and Numeracy for Adults Assessment Tool guidelines.

Pathways Awarua

Pathways Awarua is a free online interactive learning platform designed to strengthen literacy and numeracy skills in contexts that are relevant to New Zealanders.

It offers a range of learning modules. Some focus on general literacy and numeracy learning, while others cover specific topics such as the road code and financial literacy. 

Pathways Awarua

Our expectations of foundation education providers

Ability to identify foundation skills needs for any learner and level

We know that many learners at levels above foundation still have gaps in their literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills, which may present barriers to participating and succeeding in education and work. For example, you may have a higher education level learner who has strong skills in some areas of literacy and numeracy, but has some specific gaps in their skills that limit their ability to do certain parts of your programme.

We strongly encourage all providers to consider whether your learners have specific literacy and numeracy needs that may require targeted support. 

Having plans in place to respond to identified learner needs

We want a tertiary education system where all learners have an opportunity to succeed. When your assessment activity identifies a learner’s literacy and/or numeracy need, we want to know you have a plan to respond. Your response may include: 

  • embedding literacy and numeracy in vocational programmes and courses in all foundation education
  • mapping the literacy and numeracy demands of programmes and courses
  • explicit teaching and learning of literacy and numeracy within the context and tasks of another, usually vocational, subject or skill (for example, panel beating)
  • using LNAAT data and the Learning Progressions to inform effective teaching and monitoring of learner progress.

Recruiting and upskilling to ensure your workforce has the necessary skills

While your foundation education teaching workforce may be skilled in supporting learners with literacy and numeracy challenges, sometimes vocational or higher-level educators may be less familiar with this area. We want you to consider how you can develop and maintain capability of your teaching workforce. This means:

  • ongoing professional development and having a qualified workforce
  • having a whole-of-organisation approach to literacy and numeracy, including an overall strategy outlining vision, aims and outcomes
  • accessing external expertise when your organisation does not have the appropriate skills internally.

For the specific literacy and numeracy funds (Intensive Literacy and Numeracy [ILN] and Workplace Literacy and Numeracy [WLN]) we have refreshed our guidance on the qualifications and/or experience that we expect educators to have. We want all providers who receive this funding to review the qualifications and experience of your teaching staff and ensure that any who do not currently meet the criteria enrol in the appropriate learning as soon as possible.

TEC requires providers delivering these programmes to meet our qualification expectations.