Changes in the provision of support for adult learners and for schools come into force today with the Basic Skills Agency merging with the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education and the expanded NIACE starting work in alliance with Tribal in the fields of literacy, language and numeracy to form what will be the country’s leading concentration of expertise in those areas. Meanwhile in Wales, the BSA’s work will be taken over by the Assembly Government.
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.”
The BSA was created in 1975 as an agency for NIACE but in 1991 became an independent charity with government support. Its work has been important in developing a literacy, language and numeracy strategy in the schools sector. In the light of changing circumstances, the BSA board began looking for a partner to take forward its work with adults and young people.
Garry Hawkes, who chairs the BSA Board, said the Agency had a strong record of achievement in supporting basic skills teaching and learning across all age groups and it believed the merger provided the best way of ensuring that key elements of its work supporting teachers, identifying and disseminating best practice and raising standards would continue.