About UKLA

UKLA is a registered charity, which has as its sole object the advancement of education in literacy.

UKLA is committed to promoting good practice nationally and internationally in literacy and language teaching and research. The Association was founded in 1963 as the United Kingdom Reading Association. In 2003 it changed its name to the United Kingdom Literacy Association, to reflect more accurately its wider range of concerns. View the UKLA Executive Committee.

Mission Statement

The United Kingdom Literacy Association aims to support and inform all those concerned with the development of language, literacy and communication, encourage them in reflection and dialogue, challenge them in their practice and give public voice to their concerns.

Our understanding of the nature and successful practice of language, literacy and communication is that:

  • their forms are complex, changing and intricately related
  • there is an especially close relationship between oral and written language
  • changing technologies affect language forms
  • language development begins in the home and community and language teaching and learning is not, therefore, the exclusive concern of formal institutions
  • successful language development draws on a wide range of resources including those of a variety of cultures
  • critical literacy is an essential part of literacy development at all levels
  • reflection and knowledge of appropriate research can assist language development.

We especially support the development of approaches to literacy learning and teaching which underpin these understandings. We recognise the significance for effective language, literacy and communication learning of literature, drama, the visual media, non-fictional texts and information technology. We welcome approaches to teaching which draw on the resources of a wide range of cultures and which are informed by a detailed understanding of how literacy and language work. In fulfilling our mission we aim to provide support for:

  • professional development
  • the formation of partnerships with organisations who share our interests
  • the provision of a research database
  • leadership on emerging global issues in language
  • advocacy for a wide range of language issues
  • equality of opportunity for all language Users.

In accordance with these aims, our main activities centre on:

  • presenting an informed national voice on language, literacy and communication issues
  • developing formal and informal communication systems with and between members by the provision of a newsletter, journals and support for local branches
  • promoting dialogue between the teaching and research communities
  • commissioning, disseminating and selling a wide range of books and other publications
  • supporting and informing appropriate small scale research
  • providing and supporting regional, national and international conferences and related activities
  • celebrating language achievements through a system of awards
  • providing limited sponsorship for conference attendance in accordance with our aims.

The quality of our services to members is underpinned by:

  • effective networking within the Association
  • contacts with national bodies
  • co-operation and partnership with appropriate sister organisations
  • affiliation to the International Reading Association
  • representation on the appropriate European association
  • a clearly thought out management and administrative structure
  • appropriate training for those holding voluntary or salaried posts within the Association
  • conformity to Charity Commission guidelines and modern financial systems
  • providing appropriate training for those holding voluntary or salaried posts within the Association
  • Vigilance in promoting equality of opportunity

While the Association's principal mission is to those concerned with teaching and learning our membership is open to anyone sharing our beliefs. We recognise the value of discussion and debate and welcome a range and variety of viewpoints within our broad-based membership while avoiding obviously partisan approaches and extremes of opinion. Our funding is in the main from membership fees, publications and conferences. We accept only limited sponsorship for very specific purposes and only where we retain ultimate control.

Why join UKLA?

Keep up to date with 3 free copies a year of:

  • UKLA Literacy News - the Association newsletter
  • English 4-11 - a practical professional magazine, published with The English Association
  • Literacy - the Association’s professional and academic journal

Get discounts on UKLA’s publications and conferences

Have a voice on national issues that affect English teaching through UKLA’s involvement with government bodies

Take part in UKLA collaborative research projects or apply for UKLA research grants

Use your membership as evidence of your professional commitment, contributing to the Professional Standards for Teachers. 

Be part of a vibrant national network and make more of a difference - Join us!