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Volume 406: debated on Wednesday 4 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many adults are illiterate; and what percentage of adults this represents. [116011]

The Moser Report (1999) indicated that around 7 million adults in England have poor literacy skills (equivalent to 21 per cent. of the population aged 16–65), and that even more have a problem with numbers. The Department has commissioned a new representative sample survey of working age adults in England to provide an up-to-date assessment of the scale of literacy and numeracy need. These estimates will be mapped to the new national basic skills standards and will be published in September 2003.