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About us > News > Press Notice: Basic Skills Agency ESOL Conference: English Language and Citizenship
Basic Skills Agency ESOL Conference: English Language and Citizenship

Jane Davidson, Minister for Education and Lifelong Learning and Sir Bernard Crick, Chair of the Advisory Board for Naturalisation and Integration will be addressing the Basic Skills Agency’s conference on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) on Tuesday 15th March.

The conference is for those working with linguistic minority communities, including applicants for citizenship who now need to demonstrate a specified level of competence in English. It will focus on recent developments intended to support the teaching of English language skills necessary to be full and active citizens, from learning more about culture and society in Wales and the UK, understanding the law, rights and responsibilities as well as educational, cultural and leisure opportunities. We shall be launching Citizenskills, a multimedia resource for improving English. Chief Superintendent Robert Evans, South Wales Constabulary, Cardiff Division, will talk about a new resource developed by his officers with Cardiff Council’s Parade ESOL service to improve communication between asylum seekers and other linguistic minority groups and the police and to promote community safety.

The conference will showcase the Agency’s work as part of the ASSET UK project and provide opportunities for more detailed dissemination of recent developments and initiatives in ESOL in Wales through workshops.

The conference will take place from 10.15am until 3.30pm on Tuesday 15th March at the Holland House Hotel in Cardiff. A copy of the programme is attached. Members of the media are invited, please inform Rhian Hortin on the number below if you wish to attend.


Notes to Editors

1. The first phase of the National Basic Skills Strategy for Wales was launched in April 2001. Since that time the Welsh Assembly Government has allocated £40 million for the Strategy. The Basic Skills Agency has been overseeing the implementation of the National Strategy on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government. Phase 2 will be launched in April 2005.

2. The Strategy aims to provide a coherent approach to raising standards of literacy and numeracy in children, young people and adults. It involves a number of specific measures and partnership with a range of organisations.

3. Sir Bernard Crick chaired the Life in the United Kingdom Advisory Group whose report ‘The New and the Old’ led to the Government adopting the programme of study for citizenship.

4. The ASSET UK [Asylum Seekers’ Skills, Employment and Training] Development Partnership project is part funded by the ESF Equal Community Initiative Programme and the Learning and Skills Council. The Partnership is led by the Refugee Council. The Agency’s contribution includes the development of the ‘Citizenskills’ multimedia resource with the BBC, the ESOL for Childcare programme with Cardiff Council’s ESOL service and research for the Basic Skills Observatory .

5. The Basic Skills Agency is the national development agency for literacy and numeracy in England and Wales. We are funded primary by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Welsh Assembly Government. Our mission is to contribute to raising standards of basic skills in England and Wales. Our aims are to develop approaches that most effectively improve standards of basic skills and disseminate good practice. Our Patron is HRH The Princess Royal, the Chairman is Garry Hawkes CBE, and the Director of the Basic Skills Agency is Alan Wells OBE.

6. We define basic skills as ‘the ability to read, write, and speak in English or Welsh and use mathematics at a level necessary to function and progress at work and in society in general’.

7. For further information please contact Rhian Hortin or Anna Thame at the Basic Skills Agency on 020 7440 7788 or email or For out of hours media enquiries please call 07776 132226.

Article published on: 10 March 2005
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