SOUTH NORFOLK MP
Richard Bacon has urged the government to make sure that the needs
of adult learners in the East of England are being met, as a new
report finds that fewer people in East Anglia seek to improve their
literacy and numeracy skills than elsewhere in England.
Mr Bacon said: “It is worrying that the
East of England is at the bottom of the class for training in adult
literacy and numeracy”.
“Fewer low-skilled people enrol on literacy courses in the East than
anywhere else in England. What’s more, the East has the lowest rate of
achievement for literacy courses. The East is also just one place off
the bottom for participation and achievement in numeracy courses”.
“The problem appears to be the government’s one-size-fits-all skills
strategy, which fits the industrial North of England nicely, but seems
to be failing some learners in East Anglia. The government must make
sure the needs of adult learners in the East are identified and met.
This means taking more account of the needs of people in rural areas
where access to learning is often more difficult than in a town or
Mr Bacon was speaking as the National Audit Office (NAO) published its
report on progress in improving adult literacy and numeracy.
The report finds that the success of the government’s national ‘Skills
for Life’ strategy, which aims to raise the literacy and numeracy levels
of adults with low skills, varies regionally. The East of England has
the lowest rates of participation and achievement for literacy, and only
London has a poorer rate of participation and achievement for numeracy.
By contrast, the North East and North West have the best rates of
participation and achievement for both literacy and numeracy.
The report also finds that there has been little change in the relative
performance of each region since the NAO’s previous report in 2004.
6 June 2008