HC Deb 05 December 1977 vol 940 cc547-8W
Mr. Kinnock

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will make a statement about a long-term strategy to combat adult illiteracy.

Mrs. Shirley Williams

As I stated on 26th October, the future development of adult literacy needs to be considered in the broader context of adult basic education as a whole, and I have asked the Advisory Council for Adult and Continuing Educationto advise on the best way of building on the adult literacy campaign of the last three years in order to create and implement a coherent strategy for the basic education of adults, including continuing provision for adult literacy". Meanwhile, I agree with the joint recommendations of the National Institute of Adult Education and the Adult Literacy Resource Agency that there should be a continued focus for adult literacy matters when the agency itself is wound up as planned in March 1978, and I am pleased to announce that outline agreement has been reached with the local authority association and the NIAE for the establishment of an Adult Literacy Unit as an agency of the institute. This unit will not only act as a focus for adult literacy and related matters but will

Academic Year
1973–74 1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78
Income per student £2,825 £2,675 £2,605 £2,615 £2,565

Income per student in 1973–74 was high because there were fewer students than had been assumed when grant for this year was settled.

Dr. Hampson

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what were the numbers of students on which the universities' provisional grants for the years 1978–79, 1979–80 and 1980–81 announced on 28th November 1977 were based and the average university income per student by way of recurrent grant and tuition fees, for each year in constant prices.

also be able to commission special projects of relevance to local authorities. It will also continue to channel some limited funds to voluntary bodies engaged in adult literacy work, though as a general principle I would expect local voluntary organisations ordinarily to look to local sources of finance for support. The unit will have a life of two years ending on 31st March 1980 and, subject to parliamentary approval of the Estimates, will have funds of about £300,000 per annum. of which about two-thirds will be reserved for projects of relevance to local authorities and for grant-aid to voluntary bodies. Detailed arrangements for the establishment of the unit are now being finalised.

As indicated in my answer to the Question by the hon. Member for Gosport (Mr. Viggers) on 29th November, the RSG settlement for 1978–79 announced on 18th November took into account the cessation of ALRA's grant-aiding function and was calculated to enable local authority provision for adult literacy to continue at its present level.