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Department for Education written question – answered on 31st October 2019.

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Photo of Jeremy Hunt Jeremy Hunt Conservative, South West Surrey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what estimate he has made of the number of adults in the UK who were (a) below OECD literacy Level 1, (b) at OECD literacy level 1 and (c) at OECD literacy level 2 in each of the last five years for which figures are available.

Photo of Michelle Donelan Michelle Donelan Government Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Department for Education monitors literacy levels for adults through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD’s) Survey of Adult Skills. The last study took place in 2012 and showed the following:

Percentage of adults (aged 16-65) at each level in literacy in England, 2012

OECD level

Percentage meeting this level in literacy

Below Level 1


Level 1


Level 2


Source: Table 2.7, Adult skills international survey 2012

The survey is available at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/international-survey-of-adult-skills-2012.

The next OECD Survey of Adult Skills will take place in 2021/22.

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