From education to employment

Alliance to work in literacy, language and numeracy fields

The Basic Skills Agency (BSA) has merged with the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) this week and the expanded NIACE will work in alliance with Tribal, provider of consultancy services, in the field of literacy, language and numeracy across all age ranges in England

The BSA’s work in Wales will be assimilated into the Welsh Assembly Government in line with the Welsh Assembly policy with NIACE, working with Tribal, contracted to support that work.

The BSA began life as a NIACE agency in 1975 and became an independent charity with government support in 1991. The Agency’s work was critical for developing a strategy for literacy, language and numeracy and a range of work in the schools sector. In the light of changing circumstances the BSA’s board sought an effective partner to take forward its work with adults and young people. Following competition, NIACE, working with Tribal, was successful in offering a way forward.

Alan Tuckett, Director of NIACE, said, “We are delighted to bring together the rich experience BSA and NIACE staff have in supporting Skills for Life, and to work in alliance with Tribal to offer language, literacy and numeracy support across all age ranges to practitioners, policy makers and government alike.”

He continued, “We believe our partnership work with Tribal, creating a distinctive not for profit and private sector alliance in pursuit of the public interest will provide a powerful base to take forward developments supporting the success of the Skills for Life and Every Child Matters Strategies in England. We are also delighted to be supporting the Welsh Assembly Government’s forward programme.”

Garry Hawkes, Chair of the Board of the BSA, said, “The Basic Skills Agency has a great record of achievement in supporting basic skills teaching and learning across all age groups. We are pleased that the Agency is joining with NIACE, working in alliance with Tribal. This move provides the best way of ensuring that key elements of the Agency’s work ““ to support teachers, identify and disseminate best practice and raise standards – will continue well into the future.”

He added, “In the short-term we have a detailed plan of work to deliver within England for the Department for Education and Skills. The Department will continue to provide funding until the end of March 2008 to enable us to deliver these projects.”

Barry Brooks, Director for Education and Skills Strategy at Tribal said, “As a key provider of support for the Government’s Skills for Life Strategy since it was launched in March 2001 Tribal is delighted to have established this alliance with NIACE. We are a private sector company with a public sector ethos dedicated to transforming lives through learning and welcome the opportunity to ensure that the Basic Skills Agency’s legacy for developing cradle to grave support to improve literacy, language and numeracy continues to develop and flourish. Through the Alliance we are committed to making a major contribution to and impact on the Government’s focus on securing social justice for all its citizens and economic sustainability through the skills of its workforce.”

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