Education and Skills written question – answered on 22nd October 2001.

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Photo of Hywel Williams Hywel Williams Shadow PC Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow PC Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills if she will make a statement on the Government's policies for combating illiteracy in (a) Wales and (b) England.

Photo of John Healey John Healey Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills)

The Government are fully committed to helping the estimated one in five adults who do not have adequate literacy skills. The Prime Minister launched "Skills for Life", the national strategy for improving adult literacy and numeracy in England on 1 March. New national standards, a core curriculum for literacy and numeracy, teacher training and national tests in literacy and numeracy are all now available nationally after a successful pilot. A national promotional campaign is currently boosting demand. We are working across Government and with key partner organisations to ensure that all those who can help adults with literacy and numeracy skills needs are able to do so. Our target is that 750,000 adults improve their literacy and numeracy by 2004. More than 70,000 adults have already gained literacy and numeracy qualifications since April 2001.

Policy for adult literacy in Wales is a matter for the Welsh Assembly.

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