The Basic Skills Agency has been given the responsibility of overseeing the implementation of the Welsh Assembly Government's Basic Skills Strategy – Words Talk – Numbers Count. The Agency today announced its plan to promote numeracy skills for children, young people and adults in Wales through a major campaign to be spearheaded by a series of television, radio, press and ambient media advertisements. The bi-lingual campaign will be launched at the end of January 2006 and run for four weeks.
More than one in four adults in Wales have problems with numeracy and about the same percentage of young people in Wales continue to leave school with weak maths. Parents have a vital role to play in helping their children get to grips with numbers. This new campaign aims to encourage parents to do just this as well as offering help to adults who lack confidence with basic maths.
Following a competitive tender, the Basic Skills Agency has appointed the Cardiff based Agency JM Creative to produce the mass media components of the campaign. JM Creative has been responsible for a number of high profile campaigns in Wales, including the Basic Skills Agency's 'If you help me read' campaign. This was the Agency's first mass media campaign to promote literacy in Wales and was seen by two thirds of Welsh parents and over 80% of Welsh teachers.
JM Creative's Managing Director John Morgan will be responsible for the mass media components, supported by Creative Director Tony Lakin and Head of Production, Louise Harry. Rhys Evans, who has won a number of worldwide Promax Awards, will direct the television commercials.
This mass media approach will be supplemented by a wide range of activities including free packs for parents to encourage them to play number games with their young children, and self-help packs for adults who struggle with maths.
Notes to Editors
- The Basic Skills Agency – a Government funded national organisation working at arms length from government – is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the National Strategy, Words Talk – Numbers Count, on behalf of the Welsh Assembly Government.
- The Basic Skills Agency is the national development agency for literacy and numeracy in England and Wales. We are funded primarily 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.
- 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'.
- The advertising agency JM Creative, based in Cardiff, was founded in 1997 and has built up a reputation for producing innovative and memorable advertising campaigns in Wales. This creativity has been recognised in the form of gold awards at International Television Promotion Festivals in London, Barcelona and Los Angeles.
- For further information please contact Dilys Alam at the Basic Skills Agency on 020 7440 6618/07799 643 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For out of hours media enquiries please call 07799 643 972.
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