Spicy Tooth

ESOL – Literacy – Numeracy

SfL websites that are no longer available

It is often said that once you put something on the Internet, it will be there forever. If only this were true for some of the Skills for Life related websites that have closed their doors.

Some sites have been archived, although not always in their entirety; other sites have disappeared altogether. How many of these sites do you remember?


The National Research and Development Centre (for adult numeracy and literacy) closed on 31st December 2015, following the merger of University College London (UCL) and the Institute of Education (IoE).

Started in 2002, the NRDC produced many publications in the area of numeracy and literacy, including the Reflect magazine and these will continue to be available via the website “for the forseeable future.”

The website also mentions that “some colleagues from NRDC will remain in the Department of Education, Policy and Society and continue to work on English/literacy/language and maths/numeracy related research and teaching within the new Centre for Education and Work, which will be formally launched in January 2016.”


The Talent website (Teaching Adult Literacy ESOL and Numeracy Teachers) was a brilliant resource for literacy, numeracy and ESOL teachers. There was a very extensive resources section which included contributions from teachers. Unfortunately that is all gone, as the site closed on 31st July 2015.

At the time of writing, a message on the website says that materials will be transferred to the Excellence Gateway over the coming months. However, based on my experience with using the Excellence Gateway, I very much doubt that the resources and the ease with which they could be found on Talent will be transferred over.


This website had resources that helped learners prepare for the National Tests in Adult Literacy and Numeracy. What was particularly good about this website were the online practice tests.

The website now redirects to the Excellence Gateway, but the resources are no longer available. A selection of similar tests can be found on the Edexcel website. Interactive tests from the National Literacy and Numeracy Toolkit can also be accessed here.

Paper tests can also be found at the following links:


Brain Games is an interactive resource previously released by LSIS

which enabled learners to practise literacy and numeracy skills around the theme of a race, with increasing levels of difficulty.At the time of writing, the website was not working. However, a link to download an offline version of the resource was available.


The following was taken from London South Bank University website:

LLU+ was a national consultancy and professional development centre for staff working in the areas of Literacy, Numeracy, Dyslexia, Family Learning and English for Speakers of Other Languages, and was part of London South Bank University from 1998 until its closure in 2011.

Marina Spiegel and Helen Sunderland in particular did a lot of work on ESOL and literacy, with publications including Teaching Basic Literacy to ESOL Learners, Writing Works and Friends, Families & Folk Tales.

However, all is not lost, as its current reincarnation, Learning Unlimited, is part of the Institute of Education.


The Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) was formed to accelerate quality improvement, increase participation and raise standards and achievement in the learning and skills sector in England. This site is currently archived by The National Archives

ESOLinteractive activitiesnumeracywebsites

spicytoothadmin • November 28, 2015

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *