National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy
Lancaster is set to play a major part in the Government's Skills for Life Initiative after being awarded £1m by the Department for Education and Skills. The new Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster is a leading partner in the consortium named the National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy. Other partners in the consortium include the University of London, Sheffield and Nottingham University.
Up to 7 million adults in England have problems with reading and writing. Even more have a problem with numeracy. Lancaster aims to help the Government in their target of improving the literacy and numeracy of 750,000 adults by 2004. A key part of the activities of the new Literacy Research Centre is a major longitudinal study of adult learners, examining the relationship of participation in literacy programmes to the rest of their lives. Other projects are concerned with teaching English as a second language and with helping young offenders. There is also work supporting teachers carrying out their own research.
The Director of the Literacy Research Centre, Professor David Barton, states "This is an exciting time to be working in this area and we are keen to work with others in the North West who are concerned with adult literacy and numeracy."
The Literacy Research Centre, launched on October 17th, is also developing a postgraduate Diploma in Adult Basic Education, which is partly distance taught. Other modules are planned in practitioner research and family literacy. Membership of the Literacy Research Centre at Lancaster University is open to researchers and others interested in social approaches to literacy.