Summary of 23 behavioural science interventions which aimed to improve participation and completion of maths and English courses.


Improving engagement and attainment in maths and English courses: insights from behavioural research

Ref: ISBN 978-1-78105-867-1, DFE-RR756PDF, 3.71MB, 149 pages

Annex A: encouraging participation and persistence in adult literacy and numeracy

Ref: ISBN 978-1-78105-876-3, DFE-RR756APDF, 770KB, 107 pages

Annex B: basic skills in workplaces – a behavioural insights perspective

Ref: ISBN 978-1-78105-877-0, DFE-RR756BPDF, 748KB, 51 pages


The report looks at intervention projects based in further education colleges, workplaces and the community.

Annex A provides an overview of research that has been conducted in the areas of adult literacy and numeracy (ALN) and behavioural sciences.

Annex B uses behavioural science to examine the reasons why employers and their employees do not invest in basic skills training.

The research is accompanied by a practical guide to implementing the insights. It is available on the Behavioural Insights Team website.

Published 27 February 2018
Last updated 4 September 2018 + show all updates


  1. Updated figure 9, showing the effects of study supporters on the mid-year and full-year attendance of students, and its explanatory text.
  2. First published.

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