The Adult Literacy and Life Skills (ALL) Survey Short Analyses: ‘Well-being and education’ and ‘How well do qualifications predict literacy and numeracy’

Publication Details

These two fact sheets provide short analyses from the Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey 2006. They look at the relationship between New Zealanders’ education level and their assessment of their well-being, and the extent to which educational qualifications can be used to predict literacy and numeracy levels.

Author(s): Ministry of Education.

Date Published: March 2009

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These fact sheets are available as downloads (please refer to the 'Downloads' inset box).  For links to related publications/ information that may be of interest please refer to the 'Where to Find Out More' inset box.

Key findings

Well-being and education level

This fact sheet explores the relationship between New Zealanders’ education level and their assessment of their well-being. The Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey included an internationally accepted self-assessment of physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Responses to these questions have been used to look at the links between well-being, education and literacy.

The fact sheet concludes that:

  • People with higher levels of education, literacy skill and/or income have better physical and mental/emotional well-being
  • However, once gender, age, ethnicity and other characteristics are taken into account, higher levels of education are only related to better physical well-being and not related to the level of mental/emotional well-being.
  • If literacy skill and income are also taken into account, education level is not related to either physical or mental/emotional well-being.

How well do qualifications predict literacy and numeracy?

This fact sheet looks at the question of the extent to which educational qualifications can be used to predict literacy and numeracy levels. This question arises in a number of contexts from recruiting staff, deciding who to target literacy and numeracy programmes to and understanding the overall literacy and numeracy skills of the population.

The fact sheet shows that literacy and numeracy levels are related to educational qualifications. However, educational qualifications do not provide a robust way of predicting the literacy levels of individuals and should be used with caution.

Educational qualifications can provide a limited means of determining the literacy and numeracy abilities of groups. For example, they can be used to identify potential target groups for literacy and numeracy programmes or to provide some understanding of the social and economic outcomes of different levels of literacy and numeracy.

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