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More money from DfEE for basic skills


Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett has announced that an extra £150m is to be ploughed into training for basic skills over the next three years.

Spending on basic skills will increase from £241m in 2000-1 to £403m in 2003-4, with additional funding for basic skills being provided through basic employment training for unemployed people, education and training programmes in prisons, the European Social Fund and regional and local funding.

The government already have a target of reducing the number of adults who have literacy or numeracy problems by 750,000 by 2004. In April, the DfEE launched a new Basic Skills Strategy Unit with a remit to tackle adult literacy and numeracy problems. The Unit developed as a direct result of last year's Moser Report 'A Fresh Start: Improving Literacy and Numeracy' which made a series of recommendations for tackling the illiteracy problem. The government have also begun a programme of intensive training for basic skills teachers to improve the quality of teaching.

Referring to the role the new Learning and Skills Councils will play in improving basic skills, Mr Blunkett said: "Improving skills is not a job for Government alone. We must have active partnerships between Government and business to make sure that opportunity for all brings excellence for the many - in our colleges, workplaces and wider communities. The new Learning and Skills Councils will have a big role to play in delivering real improvements and developing those alliances."

A national curriculum for adult basic skills was announced in May and is due to be completed shortly.


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