Fewer than one in eight students in Welsh further education colleges are screened for basic skills needs, according to a survey by the Further Education Funding Council for Wales.
Of those who are screened, four out of 10 (39 per cent) are identified as needing support. Those who get the support they need are far less likely to drop out than others, a report of the survey shows.
Funding chiefs have called for a more comprehensive and rigorous approach to such needs after concluding that "the survey identified clearly the educational benefits for these students". Full-time students are more likely than part-timers to have help.