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Eve of Adult Learner Week Sees Adult Learners Vote for Favourite

The annual Adult Learners Week, an event organised and sponsored by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE), is being prefaced by the Quick Reads Awards 2006.

The awards see adult learners from across the UK invited to vote for their favourite Quick Reads title, with the winning author presented with the Quick Reads Learners” Favourite Award 2006 at an awards ceremony held during Adult Learners” Week. This begins on the 20th of May, and runs until the 26th of May, in celebration of that part of the FE sector often sadly forgotten amidst the rush to meet skills targets and guidelines.

Quick Reads

The programme was launched on World Book Day, the 2nd of March 2006, by the Prime Minister Tony Blair. This launch saw the publication of twelve titles written specifically for the project by contributors including Richard Branson, Maeve Binchy, Joanna Trollope, Minette Walters, Ruth Rendell, Rowan Coleman, Patrick Augustus, John Bird, Tom Holt, Matthew Reilly, Conn Iggulden and Mick Dennis and the Premier League.

The books have proven to be an invaluable resource to many adult learners who have made use of them as part of adult literacy courses. Amongst the various groups of adult learners voting are a group of dinner ladies in Hull, a London based group of Transport for London (TfL) employees, an adult education group in Tameside and a Plymouth – based group involved with the work of a Christian charity, working with learners in English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) classes.


The awards will be presented on the 24th of May as the bandwagon of Adult Learner Week maintains its momentum. The award itself will be presented to the winning author by Gail Rebuck, the Chief Executive of the Random House Group publishers, and Alan Tuckett, the Director of NIACE. The event will also play host to authors John Bird, Damien Lewis and Minette Walters, and will be addressed by Ursula Howard, Director of the National Research and Development Centre (NRDC) for Adult Literacy and Numeracy on the link between creative writing and literacy.

With a further twelve offerings published today on the Quick Read programmes, with contributions from Andy McNab, Courttia Newland, Damien Lewis, Danny Wallace, a Doctor Who title by Gareth Roberts, Hunter Davies, John Francome, Katherine John, Lynne Barrett-Lee, Mike Phillips, Tom Holland and Val McDermid, adult reading skills have never been as high on the agenda. Let it be hoped that Adult Learning Week will mark a sea change in the relative gloom often cast on adult education by other areas of the education world.

Jethro Marsh

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