Literacy in the Workforce Debate

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Department: Department for Education
Tuesday 25th April 2017

(7 years, 3 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Nash Portrait Lord Nash
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The noble Baroness makes a very good point and we are doing this; for instance, the Maynard report was very focused on the issue. There has in fact been a doubling of pupils who did not have their grade C in English at 16 achieving it by 19—the number of pupils who have caught up has doubled since 2010.

Lord Bird Portrait Lord Bird (CB)
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My Lords, if the Government are really determined to tackle the question of literacy, can we see a more vigorous defence of our libraries as well as a more vigorous intervention in our prisons where many of our young men and women are left with deep literacy problems?

Lord Nash Portrait Lord Nash
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I agree entirely about the importance of books and libraries. We have seen some library closures but this is a responsibility for local authorities, and there are many good libraries. As far as prisons are concerned, the Prison Safety and Reform White Paper has committed to assessing on entry all prisoners’ education needs, including maths and English, in order to create a personalised learning plan and to focus very much on their literacy skills. I agree it is absolutely essential that we educate prisoners so that they can gain employment after their sentence.