Key Implications

outreach strategies

Implications for future programme development

Thanks to GOAL, the pilot organisations are thinking about how they can incorporate the Literacy Screener into their mainstream work process and about identifying the successes and difficulties of this process. The organisations have succeeded with incorporating the Literacy Screener in their work process in such a way that it contributes to the improvement of their service provision and assists in bringing low literacy to light. The Reading and Writing Foundation can also use the good examples from these organisations to implement the Literacy Screener successfully in new organisations. At the same time, the study exposes where the process in the organisations can be improved further, for example with regard to internal communication and cooperation and with regard to the follow-up. In particular, people of low literacy whose native language is Dutch are not enrolling in a language course. These findings offer opportunities for the organisations, together with the Reading and Writing Foundation, to learn from the experiences up to now and to think about how the follow-up can be improved.

Policy implications

Implications of policy

An important aspect of tackling low literacy in the Netherlands is finding new sites which can deploy the Literacy Screener: organisations which people enter for a completely different reason and where the work activities are not primarily associated with low literacy. On the one hand, the involvement of new sites is a strength, because more people with low literacy will be discovered (the pilot organisations are a good example of this). On the other hand, the character of the new sites also brings difficulties, because people with a different aim and mindset who are not necessarily motivated to tackle their identified language problem come into the organisation. The clients of the social service in the municipality of Emmen are a clear example of this.

Implications for policy

One potential policy issue to consider is that of the recommendations made by the European Union High Level Group of Experts on Literacy[1]. This Group, chaired by Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, called on Member States and the EU more broadly to support the development of policy environments in which individuals and organisations were more aware of low literacy as an issue for all of society to address.

With regard to the identification of low literacy, successes have been achieved. The efforts of the Reading and Writing Foundation have contributed to this. These successes in identification are, however, only really a success if there is proper follow-up, in the form of service users’ increased enrolment on appropriate courses to improve their literacy skills. This evaluation study shows that extra focus must be given to this latter aspect in the Dutch approach to low literacy. Support from the Reading and Writing Foundation continues to be important after the successful implementation of the Literacy Screener, for example in the making of strict working arrangements with regard to the follow-up. Furthermore, an attention point for the follow-up is to examine how to better connect with someone’s personal situation and to motivate them to take language lessons.


[1] EU-HLG (EU High Level Group of Experts On Literacy) (2012) Act now! Final report: EU High Level Group of Experts on Literacy. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.



"GOAL interview: a client came to discuss a program for validation of employability skills, in which she is going to participate."

"In-house discussions with other counsellors and project managers on an unexpected issue with a student. We tried to solve the issue together. We had to contact another school."


“Presentation for unemployed people about possibilities to get involved into the Goal project and get free of charge orientation and guidance.”

“Orientation and guidance of adult people. 2 clients are consulted: they are unemployed and have plans for learning a new profession in order to find a job.“


“The prison population and educational needs of the detainees are far from homogeneous.”

 “Usually, there are 6 to 8 detainees at a time, each with an individual program. I guide them. The guidance can be focused on basic education, vocational education or specific courses detainees are taking at that time”


"Working with clients gives me energy and brings me joy, because between individual sessions I can see progress, changes, new beliefs, enrolment in education programmes and I can build good relationships with my clients."


"The feeling that I do a lot of good for my clients is priceless."

Czech Republic
Czech Republic

“At the start of every session, counsellors try to gather information about the client, his or her position within the family and wider friendship circles, and his or her health. They also explore the client’s feelings, ideas and motivation.”

“Based on the client’s answers, the counsellor selects ways to proceed in order to meet the client’s needs and goals.”


"All information, agreements made and steps taken during sessions are written down in the registration system"

“Even the names of persons clients have been talking about are registered in order to remember the whole communication line and, more importantly, to avoid them having to say things twice. It creates a sense of trust with our clients.”


from clients, counsellors and stakeholders


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