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House of Commons Adult Literacy & Numeracy Debate

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Caroline Dinenage MP led a debate on Adult Literacy & Numeracy in which she highlighted the importance of peer-to-peer learning to combat illiteracy. She said:

"The percentage of children who, at 16, lack basic literacy remains stubbornly high at around 19%. Of course, ensuring that our children leave school with good literacy and numeracy skills is essential and it must be a priority, but we cannot leave behind a generation of adults who have been failed by the education systems of the past. Low skill adults need a second chance and we must recognise that skills can be developed outside formal education. One way of doing this is through peer-to-peer learning."

She praised Andy Paradise of Read & Grow which uses the tool Yes We Can Read with its 'each one teach one' approach.

She spoke about Yes We Can Read's 'startling results' in literacy projects such as in Westminster hostels for the homeless, and described how the book has recently been made available in prison libraries, "providing prisoners with invaluable access to this excellent resource. Peer-to-peer learning is arguably the most effective way to boost skills among prisoners. It removed the barriers created by an uncomfortable classroom and teachers whom the inmates often cannot relate to."

Watch selected highlights on video

Read the Hansard report