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Adult Literary

Volume 976: debated on Tuesday 18 December 1979

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1.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what advice he has received on adult literacy from the Advisory Council for Adult and Continuing Education.

Recommendations for the development of adult literacy in the wider context of adult basic education were made in the council's report "A Strategy for the Basic Education of Adults". I announced my decisions on those recommendations in a written reply yesterday, in which I intended to make it clear that I do not feel it necessary to establish a separate development board to co-ordinate the support made available by central Departments.

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware of the remarkable success of, and public interest in, the adult literacy classes set up by the St. Helens LEA? Is he prepared to extend those classes and provide the resources for them?

I shall widen the question slightly from St. Helens. I am fully aware of the importance of the adult literacy unit. For that reason we have decided to extend it for a further three years and provide it with £500,000 for the year 1980–81 We are widening its remit somewhat to cover other basic skills as well as literacy.