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Monday, 22 May, 2000, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
Basic skills for adult learners
cash till
Many adults need literacy classes
Details of classes to teach adults basic skills, including how to read the phone book and check their change in shops, were launched on Monday.

The draft national curriculum for basic skills, developed as an adult version of the literacy and numeracy hours in schools, was revealed at the start of Adult Learners' Week.

To mark the week, the Education Secretary, David Blunkett, announced the allocation of an extra 20m for adult education basic skills projects.

He also announced an extra 2m, on top of the 2.3m recently announced, to pay for intensive training for basic skills teachers.

He said: "The message today is: 'It is never too late to learn'."

The Department for Education says the funding boost will bring the total spending on basic skills improvement up to 280m.

Writing a letter

The aim is to target the estimated one in five British adults who lack skills such as the ability to work out how much change they should get while shopping.

Use of weights and measures will be also be taught by making comparisons with everyday objects.

Other classes will help with literacy skills using examples such as finding out swimming class times from pool brochures, and writing a letter to request bullying policy information from a local school.

Mr Blunkett said the draft curriculum "marks a major step forward in establishing clear guidelines for basic skills teachers to help adults to progress".

Most of the new funding, which comes from Mr Blunkett's budget allocation, will go towards family orientated projects aimed at helping parents with their children's development.

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See also:

03 Apr 00 | Education
Boost for basic skills
08 Nov 99 | Features
What adults are supposed to know
28 Dec 99 | Education
Games levy to fund adult learning?
15 Jul 99 | Education
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10 Nov 99 | Education
Lifelong training is not an option
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