©

February 2004 National Adult Literacy Agency ISBN 1-871737-32-X

National adult Literacy Agency 76 Lower Gardiner Street Dublin 1 Telephone: 01 855 4332 Fax: 01 855 5475 email: literacy@nala.ie website: www.nala.ie Freephone supportline: 1800 20 20 65

Contents
Page Overview 2003 National office New NALA projects
Family literacy Specific learning difficulties (SLD) Plain English

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8 10 12

NALA projects developed during 2003
Health and literacy Using the Internet for literacy development English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) World Wise Regional development Workplace Basic Education (WBE) Literacy through the media Integrating literacy into vocational education and training programmes

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Quality Framework Adult literacy research Training and development Promoting understanding, support and action NALA publications International links NALA 2003 Annual General Meeting Links with other organisations Alice Campbell – an appreciation NALA Board Members and Staff NALA membership Accounts Glossary

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NALA Annual Report

2003–2004

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Overview 2003

Overview 2003

To provide an overview of NALA in 2003, it is worth using the framework of our strategic plan, which outlines our eight goals up to 2006 and provides a context for the year’s work. Our goals all emanate from our mission statement – to ensure all adults with literacy difficulties have access to a range of high quality learning opportunities – and, in 2003, were at the heart of a very busy and productive year, with many high points. Our first goal relates to implementing Government policy on adult literacy. To this end, we chair an advisory group, made up of VECs and other stakeholders, which is concerned with developing an implementation plan for the National Adult Literacy Programme, outlined in the White Paper on Adult Education, ‘Learning for Life’. The challenge of working in partnership can never be under-estimated and it takes time for groups to bond and be effective in their task. The group met a number of times during the year to develop a model for the adult literacy service, staffing requirements and other procedures for realising the national programme. During this time, the membership of the group changed: Frances Ward replaced Mary Maher as Chair of the group and Pauline Gildea, Principal Officer, Further Education Section, Department of Education and Science, replaced her predecessor Margaret Kelly. The plan will be presented to the Department of Education and Science and the IVEA, amongst others, for adoption in 2004.

NALA Strategic Plan 2002–2006

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Overview 2003

NALA also began exploratory meetings with the IVEA about our relationship and work towards our shared goal of ensuring quality adult literacy provision. We also engaged with the newly formed VEC Adult Literacy Forum, established as a sub-group of the IVEA, which is concerned with developing the VEC Adult Literacy Schemes. Meetings also took place with a range of Government departments and state agencies interested and involved in adult literacy, namely the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and FÁS. We discussed the role of these bodies in forwarding workplace basic education, more specifically our ‘Workplace Basic Education Strategy’, presented to Government in 2002. The new partnership agreement, Programme for Sustaining Progress, mentions this document under special initiatives, one of which covers literacy. The next goal relates to research and during 2003, concentrated on refining ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’, an assessment framework for adult literacy. The significant work here involved developing a resource pack for using the framework and applying plain English. This represents the culmination of a three-year research project, which we believe will significantly contribute to enhancing the quality of teaching and learning in adult literacy settings. We also made progress in developing the reference library and exploring how to make the library more accessible to external researchers.

Using the ‘Quality Framework for Adult Basic Education (ABE)’ is our third goal and 2003 saw even more adult literacy services using the tool to evaluate their own practice, a process that involved learners, practitioners and senior management. Now 28 out of 33 VECs use the framework, a significant number for the second year of rollout of this tool to all providers. During the year, we collated feedback on using the framework, which highlighted a range of benefits. These included a range of programme improvement plans covering recruitment of learners, promotion of the service, increased understanding, supported team-working, promoted ownership, facilitated strategic planning, promoted networking and improved quality. Training has long been one of our central features and, as our fourth goal, it continues to be a major part of our work. In 2003, 67 courses were delivered as part of our in-service and NALA-WIT programmes, covering 50 thematic areas, delivered in 13 locations and catering for 1,140 participants. In addition, we facilitated a number of gatherings, namely the Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum, National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors and regional learner meetings. These gatherings covered subjects such as ‘how to stay learner centred at a time of change’, the role of learners in the Quality Framework and ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’. Training was also delivered as part of the NUI Maynooth Certificate in Integrating Literacy, for trainers and educators from Community Training Centres, Youthreach and Senior Traveller

NALA Annual Report

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Overview 2003

Training Centres. This programme is a key part of an initiative to enhance the quality of literacy provision by adopting a whole centred approach. Our fifth goal relates to the exciting and diverse area of development, covering such topics as workplace basic education, television- and radio-based distance education, family literacy and specific learning difficulties. NALA secured EU funds through the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to develop a model of workplace learning for Small Medium Enterprises. This work began late in the year with Co. Monaghan VEC. The Read Write Now TV literacy series entered its third evaluation and fourth series. As with previous years, the programme changed in light of feedback from learners involved in the previous series, as well as from other stakeholders. The programme kept key features of its success to date: a learner’s story, everyday literacy skill areas and learning to learn. The average audience for the series was 165,000, with over 7,000 packs distributed to independent learners. We appointed our first dedicated Family Literacy Policy Worker to draw up policy guidelines and a strategy for developing family literacy in Ireland. To date, this has involved setting up a working group with members from the VEC sector, Barnardos and the Department of Education and Science, as well as ongoing consultation with family literacy providers.

We established another working group in the area of specific learning difficulties, which has also drawn from a wide range of organisations, including the Dyslexia Association of Ireland. We have appointed a dedicated worker in this area, who has concentrated on developing a scoping paper as well as collating the results of a questionnaire to literacy providers on this subject. Innovation is something we constantly strive towards, seeking out new ways to meet the needs of adults wishing to improve their literacy skills. To that end, we, as part of our sixth goal, piloted and evaluated Literacy Tools, a web-based literacy programme, and applied under the Dormant Accounts Fund for additional resources to continue our work in this area. We continued work to develop a set of literacy materials themed around health content. This involved piloting the materials by adult literacy providers and health promotion workers. With the Department of Social and Family Affairs we embarked on a project focused on plain English in 2003 and appointed a dedicated worker for this area. We have reworked a range of the Department’s information leaflets to make them more accessible to the general public. We also established a plain English service and have worked on documentation from a range of organisations, including the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment, the National Disability Authority, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Irish Cancer Society.

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Overview 2003

The seventh goal of the NALA strategic plan centres on the broad area of communications. The theme for National Literacy Awareness Week and International Literacy Day conference was the literacy and the legal and justice system. This involved partnering a number of legal and justice organisations in raising awareness about the adult literacy issue, as well as the use of plain English. Events in Dublin and Cork throughout the week and the conference were well attended and received positive feedback from participants. During the year, we made additional information available through our website. The accessibility of the site was improved by meeting the National Disability Authority guidelines. The final area of our strategic plan deals with staff and organisational development. During the year there were a number of staff development activities, including training on ‘managing workplace relationships with respect and dignity’ and ‘new ways of working with external groups’. We also supported individual staff education, covering masters and degree programmes.

Inez Bailey, Director, National Adult Literacy Agency

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National Office

National office
Administration
In 2003, the NALA administrative staff was extremely busy and, as ever, provided vital support to all parts of the Agency. We supported the development, training and awareness work of the Agency and coordinated the many mailings that occurred during the year. We also answered over 3,000 telephone queries and met over 500 visitors to the NALA Dublin office. The administrative staff played an active role in helping other NALA staff organise major events and campaigns, such as National Literacy Awareness Week, International Literacy Day, the NALA Annual General Meeting, Organisers’ and tutors’ fora and many other seminars and conferences.

NALA Resource Room
The entrance to the NALA main office at 76 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1

The NALA Resource Room in Dublin continued to be widely used by all those involved in tutoring adults in various settings. These include the VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, Traveller Training Centres, Prison Education, FÁS Community Training Centres, NTDI, tutors of ESOL and many others. Aside from these users, we met with over 600 personal visitors. We also dealt with an average of 200 orders by post, fax, email and telephone. We displayed our NALA Resource Room materials at various conferences such as the NALA Annual General Meeting, the celebration of International Literacy Day and the National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors in Dublin.

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National Office

If you would like the NALA Resource Guide or a current order form, contact the NALA Resource Room by phone on (01) 855 4332 or by email at resources@nala.ie. Our Mullingar and Cork offices also stock literacy materials, which you can view and order by appointment.

National referral service
Members of the public use our main NALA number and the freephone number to look for: support in improving literacy skills; free packs and videos that accompany the TV and radio series; and information on how to make contact with local schemes. We dealt with about 10 such calls each day, representing around 2,400 for the whole year. We also dealt every day with enquiries by telephone and email from people wishing to become volunteer tutors. We received about 1,200 such calls last year. Last year, we updated and reprinted the information leaflet ‘VEC Adult Literacy and Basic Education Services in Ireland’ four times. This leaflet has the contact name and telephone numbers of all adult literacy schemes and has been very popular. If you would like a copy, contact us by phone on (01) 855 4332 or by email at literacy@nala.ie.

Members reviewing NALA resources

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Family Literacy

New NALA projects
Family literacy
To demonstrate our desire to develop family literacy, we established a two-year family literacy project in 2003. In May, we employed a Family Literacy Policy Worker to develop family literacy work. Family literacy and family learning programmes are interesting developments in ABE, but they can also be complicated, as they bring together aspects of adult basic education, children’s education and community development. About half of all the VEC Adult Literacy Schemes in Ireland run a family learning programme, but they range from the very small to the extensive and wideranging. Family literacy work also takes place in Area Partnerships, projects on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), schools, family resource centres, Youthreach, Barnardos and Traveller Training Centres. Since May, we have worked to: research and establish contacts with family literacy programmes in Ireland and internationally; seek funding opportunities for family literacy programmes; plan a module in family literacy at certificate level with Waterford Institute of Technology, to build on the existing NALA/WIT module at diploma level; and set up a NALA working group to discuss and agree policy for the development of family literacy work.

Family around the kitchen table enjoying reading together

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Family Literacy

Developing a working group
In 2003, our working group came together for the first time. The group has 15 members, including ALOs, tutors, learners and representatives from: Barnardos; the Home-School-Community Liaison scheme; Area Partnerships; the Department of Education and Science; Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Literacy Development Centre; the Library Council; and the Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA). The Chairperson is Eileen Curtis, Adult Education Organiser with Co. Kilkenny VEC. Together, we aim to launch family literacy policy and guidelines in autumn 2004.

Exploring accreditation for learners
Another of our projects centred on getting accreditation for learners. Already, Education Co-ordinators working with Area Partnerships developed a FETAC/NCVA Level 1 module named Early Reading Support. In 2003, we began exploring FETAC accreditation for family literacy at both the present Foundation Level and the new Levels 1 and 2. For more information on family literacy, contact Jenny Derbyshire, Family Literacy Policy Worker, by phone on (01) 855 4332 or by email at literacy@nala.ie.

Mother and son get down to some literacy practice

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Specific learning difficulties

Specific learning difficulties (SLD)
Specific Learning Difficulties (SLD)
In 2003, we extended our commitment to help people improve their literacy by looking at the needs of people attending literacy tuition who have specific learning difficulties. Specific learning difficulties (SLD) include dyslexia, dyspraxia, Asperger’s syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adults who experience SLD learn differently because they can have some difficulty with processing information. However, they can and do learn when tutors use a style that targets their strengths.

Developing our policy on SLD
Philomena Ott, dyslexia expert and author, addressing a seminar in February 2004

In 2003, we employed a Specific Learning Difficulties Policy Worker to look at the needs of learners with SLD. Our SLD policy development work began with a number of meetings with groups such as: the Dyslexia Association of Ireland; VEC Adult Literacy Schemes; Department of Education and Science; St Thomas National School, Jobstown, Dublin; National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS); Bua National Centre, Institute of Technology, Blanchardstown; University College Dublin; National Centre for Guidance in Education; National Training and Development Institute;

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Specific learning difficulties

Trinity College Dublin; and Belfast Institute of Further and Higher Education.

an investigation of international definitions and understanding of SLD and dyslexia. In June 2003, we sent out a national survey to ABE settings. Out of the 413 questionnaires we issued, we received 101 replies. The questionnaire covered the following areas: definitions of SLD; identifying and assessing SLD; learners’ needs and managing the learning process; and tutors’ needs and suggestions. We will present and discuss the initial results of the national SLD survey at the ‘More than Words’ dyslexia seminar in February 2004.

Forming our working group
To develop our SLD policy guidelines and support for literacy tutors, we brought together an SLD working group, made up of our stakeholders and of people experienced in SLD and adult literacy provision, to inform the policy guidelines and support ABE settings. The working group includes VEC Adult Literacy Organisers, tutors, learners, other trainers, researchers and members of organisations such as FÁS, the Dyslexia Association of Ireland, the Adult Education Guidance Service, the National Training Development Institute and the Institute of Technology Blanchardstown National BUA Centre. The working group, chaired by Rosamond Phillips, a tutor-trainer, began meeting in October 2003 and will continue to meet until June 2004.

Developing training for tutors
In 2003, we developed new SLD and dyslexia tutor training, in line with our commitment to provide ongoing training for adult literacy tutors. The new course will give information on the four difficulties that SLD includes and will explore effective tutoring that helps adult literacy learners who experience SLD. We have also developed a new training course on dyslexia that focuses on strategies in reading, writing, spelling and numeracy. For more information on SLD policy development, contact Bridget Gormley, Specific Learning Difficulties Policy Worker, by phone on (01) 809 9198 or by e-mail at bgormley@nala.ie.

Locating current knowledge and practice
To find out where we would need to focus our policy, we began researching the knowledge and practice that currently exist in relation to SLD, especially dyslexia, and produced what is known as a scoping paper to describe our findings. The scoping paper included: a review of literature about SLD and dyslexia; a description of current practice in the VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, further and higher education and Adult Education Guidance Service; and

‘More Than Words’ dyslexia seminar

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Plain English

Plain English
In 2003, we increased our commitment to new approaches to literacy by launching a full-time plain English project. Our strategic plan includes an objective to “promote the use of plain language in materials aimed at the general public”. The project was a logical way of meeting this objective, as plain English involves writing and designing material with the reader in mind so that it is easier to read and understand. The full-time project builds on our previous part-time initiative to encourage organisations to focus on not just what they say, but also on how they say it.

Linking with the Department of Social and Family Affairs
To get the project off the ground, we obtained funding from the Department of Social and Family Affairs to employ a full-time Plain English Project Worker and three contract workers. These were trained at the end of July 2003 by the Plain English Campaign, a UK-based organisation that has been working to raise awareness of plain English since the late 1970s. Through its vigorous campaigning efforts, the organisation has led the way in promoting plain English worldwide.

Clodagh McCarthy, Plain English Project Worker, NALA, with Mary Coughlan TD, Minister for Social and Family Affairs, launching the new plain English service

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Plain English

A major element of our plain English project has involved working with Information Services staff in the Department of Social and Family Affairs to clarify and update their social welfare information booklets and application forms. The Minister for Social and Family Affairs, Mary Coughlan, TD, launched this initiative in early September 2003. It is due to run until August 2004. Of the 75 booklets to be revised, one third are now completed.

Spreading the word
We also promoted plain English and gave workshops at a number of events around the country. In September, we promoted the service at our National Literacy Awareness Week and tied it in with the launch of ‘A Plain English Guide to Legal Terms’. In October, we promoted plain English at the Local Government AntiPoverty Learning Network regional meeting in Leitrim. Also in October, we gave workshops on plain English techniques at Comhairle’s national conference for 2003, ‘Information: Gateway to Inclusion’, and at our International Literacy Day conference. In 2004, we look forward to expanding the service to encompass a wider range of clients and a programme of workshops and one-day training sessions. For further information on plain English and our service, contact Clodagh McCarthy, Plain English Project Worker, by phone on (01) 809 9194 or by email cmccarthy@nala.ie.

Getting the plain English service underway
September 2003 also saw the beginning of our plain English service, the other main element of the plain English project. So far, the service has centred on editing and offering guidance on plain English techniques. In 2003, our clients included: the National Disability Authority; the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority; the Irish Cancer Society; the Northern Area Health Board; the National Women’s Council of Ireland; and the Money Advice and Budgeting Service.

Promoting the NALA Plain English Service

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Health and Literacy

NALA projects developed during 2003

Health and literacy
In May 2003, we set up a new steering committee and started the second half of our health literacy project. After we invited people to send in a tender for the project, we commissioned Janet Kehelly to produce a health pack for group tutors. We started to pilot the pack in 10 ABE settings in October. The health pack has covered general health issues so that group tutors and health promotion officers can build it into their work. The topics covered in the pack were influenced by the findings of research carried out by Anne McCarthy in 2001 and 2002 to produce our health strategy document. We expect tutors to use this pack in family literacy, communication and personal development courses. In 2004, we will design health literacy exercises for our Literacy Tools website, www.literacytools.ie. For more information on the health and literacy project, contact Jennifer Lynch, Project Co-ordinator, by phone on (021) 431 7012 or by email at jlynch@nala.ie.

Jennie Lynch (first left) and Sarah O’Brien (second left), National Health Promotion Information Project, at the launch of the guidelines on writing and designing effective health promotion information materials. The Health Promotion Unit funded this publication and the South Eastern Health Board produced it.

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ICT

Using the Internet for literacy development
Following an eight-month evaluation of our how we use the web for literacy tuition, literacy consultant Janet Kehelly wrote an evaluation report. This report outlined how basic education settings are using information and communication technologies (ICT) and identified areas of the website that needed to be improved. Throughout the year we also worked to make sure that the site was disabilityfriendly. Currently, it reaches Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Level 1 standard, meaning that no group of people is unable to access information on the site. We also developed a training day for tutors to introduce them to this website and other relevant software. We hope to launch the site in the summer of 2004 and engage in a publicity campaign. Also in 2004, we plan to work with UCC to evaluate the site using WAMMI, a questionnaire to measure visitors’ opinions on how easy a website is to use. For more information on literacytools.ie, contact Jennifer Lynch, Project Coordinator, by phone on (021) 431 7012 or by email at jlynch@nala.ie.

‘www.literacytools.ie’ – the NALA website to support adult literacy learning and tutoring

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ESOL

English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL)
ESOL training for tutors
By the end of 2003, we offered six different one-day non-accredited ESOL courses and workshops. These were: Introduction to ESOL (formally ESOL 1); Developing ESOL (formally ESOL 2); ESOL: How to Teach Grammar; ESOL: Teaching the Four Skills; ESOL: FETAC Language Module Workshop; and Intercultural Awareness.
ESOL learners at a VEC Adult Literacy Scheme

We also piloted, with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT), a new ESOL module for ESOL tutors as part of the NALA/WIT National Certificate in Literacy Development. We plan to pilot a second ESOL module in February and March 2004.

Paving the way for ESOL resources
In March 2003, we launched ‘Paving the Way’, a materials and resources pack for ESOL tutors. The aim of the pack is to give some guidance to literacy service tutors on how to teach learners who do not have English as a first language. There are learner background facts and figures and methods and materials for teaching ESOL. You can get the pack from the NALA Resource Room, at a price of e10.

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ESOL

ESOL policy guidelines
In March 2003, we produced ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages: Policy Guidelines and Supports for VEC Adult Literacy Schemes’. These guidelines, drafted by our ESOL working group, include recommendations on the following six areas within ESOL: outreach and promotion; provision and participation; assessment; accreditation; training and support; and equal status policy.

resources and books aimed at them covered only a small number of topics. The resource materials in ‘World Wise’ were written by Moira Greene and Pauline Murphy from Co. Clare Reading and Writing Scheme and were developed by an advisory committee involving Eithne Brennan from Trócaire and four adult literacy schemes that piloted the materials with their adult literacy learners. ‘World Wise’ is made up of four units, each containing stories, poems, words and pictures. It aims to: introduce adult literacy learners to development issues; present the themes and issues in a way that encourages people to read, write and discuss these them; and help learners realise that they can play an active role in supporting migrant workers, refugees and asylum seekers working in Ireland. Father Peter McVerry, SJ, launched ‘World Wise’ at our International Literacy Day conference in October 2003. You can get copies of the pack from our Resource Room for e13, including postage. For more information on ‘World Wise’, contact Fergus Dolan, Training Officer, by phone on (01) 809 9191 or by email at fdolan@nala.ie.

ESOL: FETAC language module
Our ESOL policy guidelines recommend that ESOL learners submit language portfolios to FETAC for accreditation. In 2003, ESOL learners from a variety of adult literacy schemes already submitted their language portfolios and received accreditation from FETAC. For further information on any aspect of ESOL, contact Fergus Dolan, Training Officer, by phone on (01) 809 9191 or by email at fdolan@nala.ie.

World Wise: development education pack for adult literacy learners
In 2003, we responded to learners’ needs for more varied literacy-friendly materials by producing ‘World Wise’, an adult learning pack on issues faced by developing countries. We worked with Co. Clare Reading and Writing Scheme and Trócaire to put this pack together and help broaden the range of themes covered by literacy-friendly materials. Previously, learners had told us that

‘World Wise’, an adult learners’ development education support pack

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Regional Development

Regional development
Two new regional development workers joined us in 2003. Since May, Margaret Murray has been the Regional Development Worker for the southern region. Based in our Cork office, her work covers Cork city and county, Kerry, Limerick, Waterford, Wexford and Kilkenny. Peter Kiernan is our Regional Development Worker for the midlands, west, northwest and northeast of the country. His work covers Donegal, Mayo, Sligo, Galway, Clare, Carlow, Laois, Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath, Meath, Roscommon, Leitrim, Cavan, Monaghan and Louth. Since he joined in May, he has been based in our Mullingar office. Our regional work in 2003 fell under the following broad categories: supporting ABE settings and obtaining feedback; developing policies and plans; and organising regional events.

Celebrating NLAW in Waterford were Nicola McCarthy, VEC Adult Literacy Organiser, Co. Waterford, Seamus Ryan, Deputy Lord Mayor, Waterford City Council, costume character Joe, Joanne Geraghty, VEC Adult Literacy Organiser, Waterford City and Margaret Murray, NALA

Supporting schemes and obtaining feedback
Throughout 2003, the regional development workers contacted VEC Adult Literacy Schemes to offer them support and advice in adopting the Quality Framework and ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’, the assessment framework, and answer any questions they had.

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Regional Development

They also met schemes to get their opinions on different initiatives and to hear about the progress of projects such as the Return to Education Programme. This feedback from the regions has been very useful, as it tells us about the experience of VEC Adult Literacy Schemes on the ground.

Organising regional events
Margaret organised a Cork event for National Literacy Awareness Week in September, and got assistance from the Money Advice and Budgeting Service, Cork City Library, Comhairle and a member of the Faculty of Law, University College Cork. Over 60 people attended the event, including members from VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, city and county libraries, national schools, the City Council, the prison service, the community and voluntary sector and University College Cork. In 2003, Peter co-facilitated a number of regional events, including the learners’ forum in Roscommon and the regional tutors’ forum in Athlone.

Developing policies and plans
Margaret and Peter have both developed policies and plans to guide our work in the future. Margaret has developed a draft learner development policy. Learner development is about the broader aspects of literacy, such as improving self-esteem and building confidence, which enable learners to reflect and make positive change in their lives. We have already reviewed our existing work in this area, so our policy exists to outline what more work we will do to meet the needs of learners within our existing resources and responsibilities. Late in 2003, Peter completed a position paper to explore how we can make contacts with literacy providers in the broader adult community education sector and to guide our actions in the future. In 2004, we hope to continue to expand our services to education and training providers outside the VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, such as prisons, Youthreach Centres and FÁS Community Training Centres. These provide literacy tuition and support, but may not be fully aware of the range of services and supports that we offer.

Providing information
On an ongoing basis, we provide information to VEC Adult Literacy Schemes and other NALA members on our work and on general literacy developments. If you wish to access any literacy resources, you can look at the large sample of literacy resources in the Cork and Mullingar offices by appointment and then order them from our Resource Room in our Dublin office. For more information on developments in the southern region, contact Margaret Murray by phone on (021) 431 7011 or by email at mmurray@nala.ie. For more information on developments in the midlands, west and northeast, contact Peter Kiernan by phone on (044) 40374 or by email at pkiernan@nala.ie.

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Workplace Basic Education

Workplace Basic Education (WBE)
Work continued on the development of Workplace Basic Education in 2003. The beginning of the year saw the national agreement, Programme for Sustaining Progress (PSP), refer to our Workplace Basic Education Strategy document. The PSP states, “a workplace basic education and literacy/ numeracy/ Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) programme will be implemented as part of this, building on the recommendations of the National Adult Literacy Agency report on a Workplace Basic Education Strategy and the Report of the Task Force on Lifelong Learning. Pilot initiatives will be implemented in targeted sectors where there are vulnerable workers, in partnership with trade unions.” (Chapter 2 – Special Initiatives 2.8 Tackling Educational Disadvantage – Literacy, Numeracy and Early School Leavers, page 30)
Keynote speaker Chris James, Executive Director, Cleaning Industry National Training Organisation UK, at the WBE seminar in June with Olivia O’Leary, event chairperson

We continued to raise awareness and promote the issue of WBE with key stakeholders such as Government departments, employers and trade unions. We did this by sending information and invitations to our seminar, holding meetings and networking. As a result, we dealt with many requests for information and solutions to literacy issues in the workplace. We maintained and developed links with other relevant organisations, including FÁS and NQAI. In particular, we began discussions with the Service to Business section of FÁS on how to develop basic education in the workplace.

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Workplace Basic Education

Helping employers to ‘close the gap’
In June 2003, we held a very successful half-day seminar on the issues surrounding Workplace Basic Education. There we launched our brochure, named ‘Closing the Gap’, which includes findings from our 2002 research on developing a workplace literacy policy and guidelines for Irish employers. Media commentator Olivia O'Leary chaired the seminar and An Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, TD, and a number of UK and Irish experts from business addressed it. Speakers included Chris James, Executive Director of the Cleaning Industry National Training Organisation in the UK, Anne Heraty, CEO of Computer Placement Ltd., and Inez Bailey from NALA. Representatives from Pauwels Trafo Ltd., Cavan, and Smurfit Corrugated Ltd., Dublin, also gave presentations on running a workplace basic education programme. Shay Roche, a participant in the Return to Learning programme in South Dublin County Council, spoke on his experience of attending the programme. The seminar was attended by over 100 people and proved very interesting.

to continue and expand these programmes further.

Devising a Workplace Basic Education model for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
In 2003, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment accepted our proposal, under the In-Company Training measure, for a project to devise a WBE model for SMEs. We have been working with the support agency, Enterprise Ireland, on the funding process and how to monitor the project. We are working with Monaghan VEC to introduce this project.

Training for adult literacy tutors on WBE
In 2003, we worked with Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) to design a WBE national certificate module for experienced literacy tutors. We plan to pilot the course in 2004. For more information on literacy in the workplace, contact Helen Ryan, Project Co-ordinator, by phone on (01) 809 9197 or by email at hryan@nala.ie.

Return to learning in the local authorities
In 2003, the Return to Learning project went from strength to strength. The 34 local authorities and VECs continued to work together to develop these programmes and we supported the project co-ordinators. About 300 learners in 50 groups took part in 2003. Once again, all people who took part gave very positive feedback and plans are underway
‘Closing the Gap’, NALA report on Workplace Basic Education

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Literacy through the media

Literacy through the media
In 2003, we continued to develop the literacy through the media project. In spring 2003, four community radio stations rebroadcast the literacy radio series, Read Write Now. In the autumn, RTE broadcast a fourth TV series of Read Write Now.

Continuing the focus of learning to learn with Read Write Now (RWN) TV series 4
Once we secured funding, we began to develop a fourth TV series in spring 2003. We worked closely with the TV production company AV-Edge to advance the series based on the feedback and evaluation of RWN 3. The fourth series continued the theme of learning to learn. This influenced the format of the programmes, as we introduced some new elements such as one presenter and main locations for the ‘expert’ section. RTE 1 broadcast the series on Wednesday nights at 7.30pm from 1 October and repeated it the following Tuesday at midnight. The Wednesday night programme attracted an average audience of 124,000 each week, while the repeat on Tuesdays attracted an average of 33,000. The audience reached a peak on week 5 (29 October) when 198,000 viewers tuned in for both broadcasts.

Derek Mooney at NALA head office for Read Write Now 4

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Literacy through the media

Learners can now get a copy of each TV series on video. Each VEC Adult Literacy Scheme and local library has copies. We also sent copies to other groups, such as FÁS Community Training Centres, the National Training and Development Institutes and Youthreach. Some copies are also available in the NALA Resource Room.

Evaluating the third Read Write Now TV series
In 2003, we continued to monitor and evaluate each TV series when it finished. Last year, we published the report evaluating the third Read Write Now TV series. Written by external consultant, Liz McSkeane, this outlined the outcomes of the series, based on feedback from independent learners and literacy providers, and made recommendations for future series.

Continuing the freephone service
We re-opened the freephone tutor support line for RWN in mid-September, operating from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. Experienced tutors answered telephone queries about the points in the TV programme and the free pack that learners had received. In total, we sent out about 23,000 learner packs to independent learners, literacy schemes and interested groups. Although the TV series ended in December 2003, we have kept the freephone number so that people can request learner packs and we can refer people to VEC literacy schemes. The NALA freephone support line was very busy, with a total of 8,000 calls. About 7,000 of these came from independent learners. We also noticed a higher number of calls from learners who wanted support and encouragement with their learning. Our freephone helpline tutors included:
G G G G G G G G

Media Advisory Group
The Media Advisory Group continued to meet regularly in 2003 to guide the work of the literacy through the media project. The group includes Peggy Murphy, a representative from NALA, Des O’Loughlin, the Department of Education and Science, RTÉ, Rodger Curran the Chief Executive Officers Association (CEOA), the Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA), Pat Stanton, the Adult Education Organisers Association (AEOA), and the Adult Literacy Organisers Association (ALOA).

Ann Chadwick Ann Mary Flynn Bernie McCarthy Dara McMahon Emma Bailey Maureen Conlon Marian Hickey Niamh Kelly
Read Write Now 4 Learner Handbook

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Literacy through the media

Delivering literacy and numeracy tuition through local community radio
In 2003, we continued to work with the Community Radio Forum (CRF) and local VECs. The literacy radio series, Read Write Now, was broadcast on the following four local community radio stations from May to July: Community Radio Castlebar, Co. Mayo; Inishowen Community Radio, Co. Donegal; NEAR FM, Dublin; and Raidio Corca Baiscinn, Co. Clare. Each station broadcast the 10-week series every Wednesday at different times. The local VECs worked closely with the radio stations to promote and support the broadcast. We evaluated the process and the outcomes over the summer and got useful information and recommendations for future collaboration. We plan to re-broadcast the numeracy radio series, Time 4 Learning, in early 2004. For more information on literacy through the media, contact Helen Ryan, Project Co-ordinator, by phone on (01) 809 9197 or by email at hryan@nala.ie.
Michael Costello, Joyce Burns, Adult Literacy Organiser, Martina Needham, Adult Literacy Co-ordinator, and Jim Doherty of Inishowen Community Radio at the announcement of the re-broadcast of Time 4 Learning

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Integrating literacy

Integrating literacy into vocational education and training programmes
Throughout 2003, we worked to encourage further education and training providers to build literacy support into their programmes. This work was funded by the Department of Education and Science and by FÁS. The work in 2003 aimed to promote ‘Integrating Literacy: NALA Guidelines for Further Education and Training Centres’, which we had produced in 2002 to outline the reasons for building literacy into all education and training programmes and describe the key elements of an integrated, whole-centre approach to literacy. Aside from promoting the guidelines, we supported education and training centres to apply them in practice. In particular, we co-operated with FÁS in encouraging the whole-centre approach to literacy in Community Training Centres (CTCs).
Frank Donnelly, FÁS Regional Director, launching ‘Skillwords’ integrating literacy support pack

Training for vocational trainers and subject-teachers
In 2003, 83 teachers and trainers took part in the NUI Certificate Course in Integrating Literacy, provided by NUI Maynooth. Jointly designed by NUI Maynooth and NALA, the course has aimed to give vocational trainers and subject teachers the knowledge and skills to build literacy into their programmes. Most participants were from FÁS Community Training Centres (CTCs), VEC Youthreach Centres and Senior Traveller Training Centres.

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Integrating literacy

Teachers and trainers from NTDI, CERT and VTOS also took part. The course ran on four occasions, three of which were organised by FÁS and delivered by NUI Maynooth. The fourth course began in October, and has been delivered by Donegal VEC Adult Literacy Scheme in cooperation with NUI Maynooth. Congratulations to Martina Needham, Adult Literacy Coordinator, for making this accredited course available through the adult literacy scheme for the first time, as part of a range of supports offered to local education and training centres.

Literacy tutor networks
In 2003, three network meetings were held for literacy tutors who work in CTCs and Department of Justice Training Centres. About 30 tutors took part in the meetings, which were held in Dublin, Cork and Athlone. The meetings gave the tutors a chance to share their experience of literacy work in training centres and in the context of working with young people.

National conference of CTC literacy tutors
In November, the third national conference of literacy tutors working in CTCs took place over two days in Dublin. On the first day, the CTC tutors joined with tutors from the adult literacy service in a seminar on Multiple Intelligences, and then took part in a workshop on the integrated approach to literacy. At the workshop, Helen Power outlined what applying the integration guidelines meant for her as a literacy tutor in Clonmel CTC. The second day of the conference centred on a seminar led by Dr Alan Mortiboys, on Emotional Intelligence and Motivation. About 30 tutors attended the conference.

Training for literacy tutors
In 2003, Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) approved a new Integrating Literacy course module specifically designed for literacy tutors, as part of the National Certificate for Literacy Development. It aims to equip literacy tutors with the skills to be literacy facilitators in education and training settings. It will be delivered for the first time in Spring 2004.

Training for managers
While a number of managers and coordinators have taken part in the NUI Maynooth Integrating Literacy course since it first began in 1999, there has been no literacy training programme specifically for the managers of education and training centres. In 2003, we agreed steps with FÁS to provide literacy-related training for CTC managers. A literacy module will be part of a general management training programme to take place in 2004. The module will aim to help managers use the guidelines on integrating literacy in their whole-centre planning.

Developing materials
In 2003, we published ‘Skillwords’, a resource pack for integrating literacy into foundation-level vocational training. The pack includes basic literacy materials relating to woodwork, catering, art, music, pottery and electronics. Those taking part in the NUI Maynooth Integrating Literacy course developed the materials in consultation with their

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Integrating literacy

learners. We sent copies of the pack to VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, and to all FÁS CTCs, VEC Youthreach Centres, and Senior Traveller Training Centres.

tutors and learners in FÁS Community Training Centres, VEC Youthreach Centres and Senior Traveller Training Centres helped to pilot: ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’, the draft assessment framework for literacy and numeracy; and Literacy Tools, our website for distance literacy learning, www.literacytools.ie. For more information on integrating literacy into vocational education and training centres, contact Blathnaid Ní Chinnéide, Integrating Literacy Coordinator, by phone on (01) 809 9190 or by email at bnichinneide@nala.ie.

Putting the integrating literacy guidelines into practice
A number of centres during 2003 demonstrated how, by applying the integrating literacy guidelines, they can make their education and training programmes more inclusive. Some, such as Clonmel CTC, were flexible in how they scheduled literacy tutor hours and so strengthened staff team-work around literacy. Others, such as Newbridge CTC, used the 10 guidelines as a framework for whole-centre planning. Some PostLeaving Cert (PLC) centres, such as Liberties College in Dublin, used PLC staff development to address literacy issues, and built literacy support into recruitment, induction and course delivery at that level. We have received positive feedback about the guidelines from a number of organisations and literacy practitioners internationally. In particular, the New Zealand literacy organisation, Workbase, used our guidelines in 2003 as the basis for a similar policy document in that country.

Including education and training centres in national literacy initiatives
One strong aspect of the Integrating Literacy work in 2003, was encouraging learners and practitioners in education and training centres to take part in national literacy initiatives. In 2003,

‘Skillwords’ integrating literacy support pack

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Quality Framework

Grounded in Quality: the Evolving Quality Framework for Adult Basic Education in 2003

Though only in its second year of general use, the Quality Framework has gained a lot of ground in VEC Adult Literacy Schemes in 2003. Over 80 of the 135 VEC Adult Literacy Schemes used the Quality Framework, representing an increase of 20 sites since 2002. The fast and high uptake of the Quality Framework is testimony to users’ positive experiences and belief that it is a worthwhile and effective tool to improve quality in adult basic education.

Valuable lessons from 2002
Findings from our research in 2002 showed that the Quality Framework was a valuable tool for VEC schemes to evaluate how they are doing and that, with repeated practice, the evaluation process got considerably easier. The research findings also highlighted new support needs. In terms of support needs, one of the key themes was the need for greater preparation with team members before the first Quality Framework meeting, especially to clarify what the Quality Framework is about, as well as its purpose and the role of each team member. As a result of the research, we introduced: a new training and information day for Anchor Persons; a revised Quality Framework facilitator training programme; and a summary of the Quality Framework user guide. We also increased the funding for Quality Framework participants.

County Limerick Adult Literacy Service Quality Framework team: (left to right) Maria Hartigan, Agnes Normoyle, Gretta Vaughan, Adult Literacy Organiser, Carrie Walsh, Meadhbh Casey and Bill Hayes

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Quality Framework

New training day for Anchor Persons
We created the role of Anchor Person to support Adult Literacy Organisers (ALOs) and Directors in implementing the Quality Framework in their own Adult Literacy Schemes. We planned that their role would be largely administrative, but services saw great potential to develop the role of the Anchor Person to cover areas such as providing support to learners and tutors between Quality Framework meetings and storing and cross-referencing evidence collected by teams. Early in 2003, we ran a training and information day for Anchor Persons to clarify their role. The 27 people who attended found it a very useful opportunity to discuss and explore the role of Anchor Person. Participants left with greater clarity on their role and their right to negotiate with ALOs or Directors about their tasks in light of available funding.

feature of the training – one that we will repeat. In 2003, 16 participants completed the facilitator training.

Summary of the Quality Framework User Guide
Feedback showed that schemes needed a new short introduction to the ‘Evolving Quality Framework for Adult Basic Education User Guide’ so that they could make the most of it as a support tool. We developed a summary of the user guide and issued it to all participating ABE settings. Learners and facilitators, in particular, warmly welcomed the summary.

Using the Quality Framework in 2003
Of the 33 VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, 28 used the Quality Framework in 2003. Some used the Framework on an individual basis, but others used it in clusters, especially in Co. Cork. Due to the heavy workload of VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, the start time for Quality Framework meetings was staggered throughout 2003. Some places only started their local evaluation meetings before Christmas. New users of the Quality Framework received more funding – up until 2003, they had funding for a facilitator at five local meetings; in 2003, they had funding for six. Services that had used the Quality Framework before had funding for three facilitated meetings in 2003 and had to facilitate the remainder at their own expense. We expect that ABE providers besides VEC Adult Literacy Schemes will use the Quality Framework in 2004.

Improved Quality Framework facilitators’ training programme
In 2003, we extended the Quality Framework facilitator training programme from one to two consecutive days and revised it to make it more interactive and ‘real’. We delivered the training with Grace Doyle (former Quality Framework Co-ordinator and Quality Framework facilitator) and invited Avril Bailey as a guest speaker. She spoke to those taking part about her experiences of being a facilitator with single and multiple centres. This slot was an especially popular and effective

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Quality Framework

Attending local meetings
In 2003, we attended two local Quality Framework meetings, one in Letterkenny and the other in SIPTU, Dublin. What was striking was that both sites were using the Quality Framework well, but in a way that suited their particular circumstances and resources. The ideas and creativity within these teams was exciting and inspirational.

training sector. We presented a paper to contribute the adult literacy perspective to FETAC’s work on quality. Many similarities exist between the Quality Framework and the draft FETAC Quality Assurance Descriptor. FETAC invited us and providers in other sectors to get involved in piloting their draft descriptor. We supported the Donegal VEC Adult Literacy Scheme in completing the draft descriptor and we will continue our work in this area in 2004.

Learners suggest new way of using learner subsidies
In 2002 and 2003 the theme of the NALA learner subsidies was, “Introduce learners to the NALA Quality Framework and outline their role in the process.” In 2003, more ABE settings applied for the subsidy than in 2002, so we exceeded our budget. A particularly interesting use of learner subsidies in 2003 was an inter-county pilot learner training programme, suggested by learners and developed jointly by Co. Offaly and Co. Kilkenny VECs. They hosted an inter-county learner forum on key initiatives for learners, especially the Quality Framework. This collaboration between schemes proved very effective and learners agreed that the inter-county approach was the way forward.

Future plans
Throughout 2003, the Quality Framework has gone from strength to strength. With increasing users of the Framework and growing confidence and expertise on the ground, the evaluation process has gained pace and proved itself to be a sustainable and worthwhile initiative for all those interested in improving quality in ABE. The challenge is to continue to build on the strengths of the Quality Framework evaluation process and to regularly review and update it. We look forward to this challenge. For more information on the Quality Framework, contact Claire O’Riordan, Quality Framework Co-ordinator, by phone on (01) 809 9193 or by email at coriordan@nala.ie.

Strengthened links between the Quality Framework and FETAC’s work on quality
Throughout 2003, we met with the Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) to discuss their work to develop a draft Quality Assurance Descriptor for the further education and

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Adult Literacy Research

Adult literacy research
In 2003, we completed year one of a four-year programme of research under our Strategic Plan 2002–2006. It was a busy year for research in the Agency with many projects drawing to a close (for example, workplace and assessment) and new projects being explored (for example, ESOL, visual literacy and ICT assessment and integrating literacy into art, disability and sport provision). It was also a year for expanding our research networks – both national and international – by attending and speaking at conferences and also seeking meetings with education providers who had an interest in adult literacy research. As ever, throughout 2003, the aim of our research work was to influence Government policy and maintain a flow of relevant and timely information into the Agency.

Update on ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’
In 2003, the NALA assessment framework team consisted of:
‘Mapping the Learning Journey’

consultant advisor, Dr. Juliet Merrifield; researcher, Liz McSkeane; and two tutor trainers, Marea Mulqueen and Elaine Wilson-Gill. Some key NALA staff supported the team, alongside Beth Marr of the Centre for Post-Compulsory Education and Training Research, RMIT University, Australia. We were very fortunate to have Beth’s expertise. She supported the team in

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Adult Literacy Research

developing the numeracy section of ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ in light of feedback from the tutors and learners who worked to develop the framework with us. The focus of the research in 2003 was to: finish testing the framework; revise it in light of feedback; and have the final version validated by the tutors and learners who had worked to develop it. We expanded the number and range of places developing and testing the framework in 2003. In all, we consulted 20 places, including VEC Adult Literacy Schemes, FÁS Community Training Centres, Youthreach Centres, Senior Traveller Training Centres, prison education sites and Merchants Quay Ireland. In February 2003, we held two separate training sessions in Dublin on how to use the framework. One was for those who were new to the project and the other was for those who had been involved in 2002. Participating tutors, Adult Literacy Organisers (ALOs) and Centre Managers received an intensive training session so that they could go back to their places of work and try using the framework with their learners. Between February and May 2003, the tutors used the framework with their learners. We asked them to comment on the style and value of the framework’s user guide and how useful the training had been to them. We offered support whenever they needed it. This included at least two visits to each pilot location, which served as extra support and a way to gather samples of work and general

information on how the whole process was going. In May 2003, tutors, ALOs and Centre Managers returned to Dublin for a short session, which allowed us to discuss their feedback and agree decisions and recommendations on finalising the framework. Overall, tutors and learners rated ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ as a very useful tool. From June to September 2003, the assessment framework team worked on completing the framework in light of the agreements reached with tutors in May. The value of the involvement of tutors and learners in developing ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ has been immeasurable.

Workshops on ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’
At International Literacy Day in October 2003 we hosted a workshop for learners to inform them about ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ and get their feedback on a draft information pamphlet for learners. This was a very energetic workshop, attended by a large number of tutors and learners from all over the country, who gave invaluable feedback. We learned a lot from that day and we are applying their recommendations to the pamphlet. ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ was the theme for the National Tutors Forum in January 2004. Dr. Juliet Merrifield and Liz McSkeane spoke at the main event. A key feature was a presentation by Caroline Magee, a tutor from County Donegal VEC and a learner she is working with. They spoke of their experience of developing the framework with us and shared their thoughts on the

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Adult Literacy Research

value of ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ as a tool for teaching and learning. Another successful feature of the day was a number of workshops on mapping learning under the four cornerstones of the framework. Before the project closed, the team produced a draft mainstreaming plan. From October to December 2003, we consulted on this draft plan with the Department of Education and Science, the IVEA and VEC personnel professional associations. The framework is part of the NALA Evolving Quality Framework and schemes can choose whether to use it. We developed it for tutors to use with learners below FETAC Foundation Level in response to needs identified when developing the NALA Evolving Quality Framework. Training on how to use the Quality Framework is crucial to understanding and using ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’.

Library and information service
Throughout 2003, we revised and developed our library to better meet the increasing demand for information on adult literacy research from researchers outside the Agency. The library’s primary function is still to meet staff needs for research information. However, external researchers can make appointments to access the library materials – but not borrow them – on an individual basis from 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday. We would like to acknowledge and thank Sinead Jackson for her valuable contribution to developing the library.

Workshops on ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’
‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ is due to be launched in March 2004. We have already advertised training on the framework in the 2003–2004 NALA training calendar. ABE settings beginning to use the framework will be supported at a local level by key NALA staff. We have also recruited a number of trainers who will be available on a regional basis from March 2004 to train tutors in using the framework. Also in spring 2004, we will begin work on including ESOL, ICT and visual literacy assessment tools in ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’, following feedback from the pilot.

Left to right: Margaret Murray, NALA, and Gemma Lynch, NALA, facilitating a workshop on ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’

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Adult Literacy Research

Promoting research
Over 2003 we were committed to furthering our promotional work on research. This involved different strands, including: attending meetings with organisations and individuals that shared an interest in adult literacy research; sharing our research work with national and international researchers, policy makers and academics; and supporting many third level students who were completing assignments on adult literacy. We are delighted that many of those who contacted us for information on adult literacy research were VEC tutors and organisers completing a NALA/WIT module. We look forward to expanding this work in 2004. Our other main area of work was the EU-funded ‘Reprise’ project, details of which are in our ‘International links’ chapter. For more information on ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’, research projects or the library, contact Gemma Lynch, Research Officer, by phone on (01) 809 9192 or by email at gemma@nala.ie.

‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ learners’ support pages

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Training and development

Training and development
VEC Adult Literacy Schemes continued to develop and expand in 2003 in three main ways. The number of learners throughout the country rose to 28,675, an increase of one-fifth over the previous 12 months. About 1,500 paid literacy tutors and 4,200 volunteer tutors were working in the VECs by the end of the year. The budget for the year rose by 10% to e18.07 million, indicating that the VEC Adult Literacy Schemes continue to demonstrate flexibility and value for money (see Figure 1). As a member of the National Adult Literacy Advisory Group, we met twice in 2003 with fellow members from the IVEA (the representative body for VECs), FÁS, the ALOA, the Library Council and the Department of Social and Family Affairs to explore together how we could build on the success of the

NALA In-service Training in action

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Figure 1. Number of learners and budget for adult literacy

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Training and development

sector and develop the policies and targets set out in the White Paper, ‘Learning for Life’ (2000). Together, the Group has started to consider a draft implementation plan to achieve this goal. We also began discussions with the IVEA and the VEC Adult Literacy Forum to agree ways of working together and to achieve the common goal of advancing adult literacy services in Ireland.

course could be one way of addressing access to training for literacy practitioners. We plan to pilot and evaluate these modules in 2004. During the year, we also evaluated the project in detail, a process that has highlighted the need for two important pieces of work: developing a strategic plan for the project; and conducting a ‘programmatic review’ of all the courses. Before starting either of these pieces of work, we will need to consult with all those who have a stake in the project. We also plan to develop a degree level course in literacy in 2004.

NALA/WIT Accreditation Project
A highlight of 2003 was the graduation of Edel Keogh and Mary Jordan, who completed the National Certificate in Literacy Development by doing ‘single certificate’ modules. Edel and Mary were the first to graduate in this way and we commend them for their efforts and diligence. We developed with WIT the following modules during 2003: Training of Trainers; Workplace Basic Education; Integrating Literacy; Introduction to ESOL (formally ESOL 1); and Developing ESOL (formally ESOL 2). ESOL stands for English for Speakers of Other Languages and there was considerable discussion about these modules. We developed the course for literacy tutors who do not have second language acquisition training. In the future, we plan to introduce further training for tutors who have ESOL or language training. In 2003, we also developed a distance education format of the Quality Management module. This web-based

NALA Training Advisory Group
Late in 2002, we established a Training Advisory Group (TAG) to advise on developing training and review and evaluate the different elements of our training. In 2003, the group recommended, amongst others, that we publish a training directory and a review of the evaluation process for our training events. We published the ‘NALA In-Service Training Directory 2003–2004’ in September and we are currently reviewing how we evaluate training. We plan to produce guidelines for evaluation by April 2004. The Training Advisory Group consists of: Maria Culbert, Parish of the Travelling People; Eileen Curtis, AEOA; Columba O’Connor, NALA Executive; Terry Maguire, Trainer; Avril Bailey, Trainer; Anne Gilbert, NALA Executive (standing down from group); Marian Duffy, ALOA; Rosamond Phillips, Trainer; Jean Deevey, BETA.

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NALA in-service training
We held a wide range of training events throughout the country in 2003 (see Table 1). We held 32 different in-service training events (seven more than in 2002) in 13 locations around the country. To meet demand, we increased the number of Saturday in-service training days. Courses can be arranged either for individual literacy schemes or VEC adult education services or on a group or regional basis. All our training developments – the calendar, the directory and the NALA/WIT Accreditation Project – exist to help adult literacy and basic education managers meet the in-service training needs of adult literacy tutors and ALOs.

Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum 2003
The Adult Literacy Organisers’ Forum took place in March 2003 in Westport, Co. Mayo. The theme for the Forum was ‘partnership’ and we worked with the North West region of the ALOA to arrange the location and programme of the event. Fifty-nine ALOs attended and warmly received the diverse contributions from speakers.

NALA In-service Training Directory 2004

Table 1: NALA training and development 2003 No. courses Delivered* NALA in-service NALA/WIT National Tutors Forum Regional Tutors Fora ALO Forum Total * Some courses were repeated. 32 12 1 5 1 51 40 20 1 5 1 67 Locations 13 5 1 5 1 13 Participants 821 319 225 150 65 1,580

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Training and development

National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors 2004
Over 230 adult literacy tutors from all around the country attended the National Forum for Literacy Tutors at the end of January 2004 in Dublin. The day focused on ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’. Speakers included Dr. Juliet Merrifield and Liz McSkeane, and the forum was also addressed by a learner and tutor who were involved in the pilot stages of the framework. Evaluations reported the forum to be well organised, interesting and challenging. The most positive point was the clarity of the speakers, while a negative point was the use of the word ‘assessment’, which both tutors and learners regarded as intimidating. Seven workshops were run in the afternoon on reading, writing, numeracy, oral skills, developing materials, lesson-planning and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). For more information on training, contact Fergus Dolan, Training Officer, by phone on (01) 809 9191 or by email at fdolan@nala.ie. For more information on national developments in adult literacy, contact John Stewart, National Literacy Co-ordinator, by phone on (01) 809 9196 or by email at jstewart@nala.ie.

Inez Bailey, Director NALA, addressing the National Forum for Adult Literacy Tutors, 2004

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Promoting understanding, support and action

Promoting understanding, support and action

The year 2003 was a busy time for promoting deeper understanding, support and involvement in adult literacy among the public and key organisations. Our main activities included: developing the NALA website; publishing written material; organising major promotional events; and seeking media coverage.

Using the Internet to reach people
We further developed our website, www.nala.ie, in 2003. In particular, we: added 20 new publications, from one-page flyers to support packs containing over 100 pages; wrote and edited a wide range of updates for the whole site; and prepared and inserted press releases and other items for the ‘Noticeboard’ section of the site.
Mary Love and Jean Brophy, Ballymun VEC Adult Literacy Scheme, at an awareness event

One of our major developments was starting a process to make the site easier to use and more accessible to people with disabilities. We worked with website consultants at XML Workshop Ltd., who drafted a report for us on the quality of our site now and what we need to do to improve it. We plan to adopt their recommendations in 2004 so that our website will be simpler to use.

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Promoting understanding, support and action

Spreading the word through print
In 2003, we published the NALA Newsletter once. The expanded 12-page version contained information on over 20 items of news of our work and on adult literacy in general. We sent the newsletter to 3,000 literacy practitioners, politicians, civil servants and to representatives of the media, national educational and voluntary sector organisations and community groups. We published the NALA Journal once in 2003 to provide insights into our major projects and commentary on some wider adult literacy issues. We focused on getting views from contributors from outside the Agency, which resulted in half the contributions coming from external writers, such as Columba O’Connor from the Dublin Adult Learning Centre, Guss O’Connell, manager of the Community Services Training Support Unit in FÁS, and John McMahon, editor of educational programmes with RTE television. We issued this to our mailing list members, which number 2,500 and include policymakers, researchers, politicians and academics. We also produced a number of other publications in 2003. The long list is on page 42.

range of promotional material, such as postcards and posters, and distributed thousands for the campaign. In addition, we sent a support pack on NLAW to 135 VEC Adult Literacy Schemes. NLAW included events with the Law Society of Ireland, the Irish Prison Service and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. Two VECs, Cork city and Westmeath, held local events. The week ended with a conference in the Bar Council that was chaired by Kieron Wood, barrister and journalist, and included speakers Mathias Kelly, Chair of the Bar Council of England and Wales, John Wild from the Plain English Campaign and Mark Morgan, Head of the Education Department, St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra. Our other major public event was a conference for International Literacy Day (ILD), which took place in Dublin in October 2003. This also focused on literacy and the legal and justice system and was attended by 250 people. The conference speakers, including NALA Director, Inez Bailey, made for a stimulating morning session. Of particular note was the motivational presentation from John Lonergan, Governor of Mountjoy Prison. In addition, Ivana Bacik, Reid Professor of Law in Trinity College Dublin, gave a thought-provoking (and, at times, amusing) presentation on how the legal system can exclude people no matter what their level of literacy. In the afternoon, workshops gave people a chance to learn more about the legal system and about major NALA projects, such as ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’ and ‘World Wise’, the new development education pack for adult learners.

Organising awareness-raising events
In September 2003, we held a highly successful National Literacy Awareness Week (NLAW), which focused on the legal and justice system. From the outset, we got the support of nearly 20 major legal and justice organisations. We produced a

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Promoting understanding, support and action

Coverage in the media
In 2003, we continued to supply the media with a wide range of information. This took place through one-to-one meetings, frequent telephone and email contact and a stream of material by post and fax. Altogether we issued 10 press releases and a similar number of press notices of events and invitations to photo opportunities. These went to an average of 100 local and national contacts in print and broadcast media, resulting in a high level of coverage locally and nationally throughout the year. In particular, NLAW got extensive coverage on TV and radio and in newspapers. This included coverage on RTÉ TV news, the Irish Times, The Sunday Business Post and coverage in a range of specialist law publications including the Law Society Gazette and the Bar Review. Our main media events included: Read Write Now TV series 4; Workplace Basic Education conference, ‘Closing the Gap’; and NLAW and ILD events on literacy and the legal and justice system. For more information on our publications and events, contact Tommy Byrne, Public Relations Officer, by phone on (01) 809 9195 or by email at tbyrne@nala.ie.
Taking notes at International Literacy Day, 2003

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Other NALA publications not already mentioned

Other NALA publications not already mentioned

A Plain English Guide to Legal Terms

NALA Quality Framework

Time 2 Learn

NALA News Evaluation report of NALA’s first website resource initiative www.literacytools.ie

Time 4 Learning radio series Closing the Gap English for speakers of Other Languages

Paving the Way

Learners’ Page Mapping the Learning Journey More Than Words

NALA Journal Read Write Now and Time 4 Learning

NALA In-service Training Directory Plain English Service Read Write Now 4 Learner Handbook Skillwords

Literacy and the Legal and Justice System

Read Write Now TV Series 3

Tutor’s Bulletin – Spring and Autumn 2003 World Wise

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International links

International links
Sharing expertise and exploring new ground
Grundtvig Forum for Writing and Reading Difficulties in Adults (Forward)
We are the Irish partner in a Grundtvig project named Forward – Forum for Writing and Reading Difficulties in Adults. Our partners in the Forward project are: Romania Latvia Norway Cyprus The United Kingdom Estonia Malta Slovenia Denmark Germany.
Gemma Lynch, NALA, far left, ‘Reprise’ group meeting in Lyon, 2003

The projects under Grundtvig, a European Union-funded action, all aim to promote lifelong learning. The objective of Forward in particular is to create a long-lasting European network in the area of adult literacy, with a special focus on reading and writing difficulties in adult learners. In 2003, study visits took place in our offices and in England, Denmark and Cyprus. The Forward project has set up a website, www.statvoks.no/forward, for people to discuss issues, ask questions and share expertise and research.

Grundtvig 4
In 2003, we agreed to be a partner in Grundtvig 4, a European level project that

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International links

focuses on networks and aims to strengthen the links between the various actors involved in adult learning so they can cooperate on and improve their awareness of the European dimension of education. The project is in its early stages, but we hope to take part in organising a conference on family learning in mid-2005. Other partners include: the Clare Family Learning Project; the Family Learning Network in the UK; and organisations in Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Italy, France and Romania.

Latvia Poland Romania Malta. The aim of the project is to get partner countries to share information and experiences on tackling basic skills and social exclusion in the following areas: housing and homelessness; health and substance misuse; crime and crime prevention; youth isolation; and refugees and asylum seekers. Each partner country is represented by a national organisation responsible for basic skills development in adult education. Together, projects redefine basic skills for the adoption of policy at EU level and identify innovative approaches, policy proposals and appropriate strategies and models of delivery that can be applied to social inclusion and basic skills in each partner country and across the EU in general. So far, we have travelled to London, Lyon, in France, and Malta. John Stewart, our National Literacy Co-ordinator, attended the first meeting in June 2003. This was the first time the new partner countries met with the European Basic Skills Network. The second visit took place in Lyon, France in November 2003 and had the theme of assessment. The third visit took place in Malta in January 2004 on the theme of family literacy and was attended by Janet Webb, Family Learning Co-ordinator with the Clare Family Learning Project. Three more visits are due to take place in 2004 before the project ends in September with a conference in Belgium to share the main findings on basic skills and social exclusion

‘Reprise’
In 2003, the Basic Skills Agency in the UK invited us to join them again on the second round of a European Unionfunded project exploring social exclusion and basic skills. The first round of this research was concerned with building a ‘European Basic Skills Network to Tackle Social Exclusion’. The first-round project partner countries included: France Belgium Denmark Spain Ireland the UK. The second round of the project is called ‘Results Exploitation of Research Information on Social Exclusion’ (Reprise) and seeks to further the project’s work by adding the following partners to its network: Italy Greece

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International links

and the results of an evaluation of the basic skills and social exclusion network. By sharing information, the project partners hope to generate new and important information on: assessment; innovative methodologies; partnerships; community education models; workplace and family literacy programmes; and using ICT as a tool in literacy provision. We intend that this in turn will encourage networking on identifying models of best practice that new partner countries could use as part of their evolving national basic skills strategies.

system for ABE. We began some work on how this might happen. In particular, we engaged Margaret Donaghey to collect signs of quality and evidence from local Quality Framework teams to see how they could be linked back to national reporting requirements. This work needs to continue to get a broader and more solid base of indicators. In 2003, the Consortium agreed it would write a paper that defines high quality programmes and discusses the national efforts to build quality programmes in each partner country. The paper will identify common elements from this multi-national experience and suggest critical ‘indicators of quality’.

Participating at conferences
International Conference on Essential Skills, Belfast, 9–10 June 2003
Along with the Department of Education and Science, we played a major role in developing this conference, as an example of North-South cooperation. International speakers included: Professor Mahesh C. Sharma, Cambridge College, USA, on mathematics; Dr John Comings, Director of the National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy, USA, on improving quality in the US; Professor Allan Quigley, St. Francis Xavier University, Canada, on a framework of policy, practice and research in his country;

International Adult Literacy and Numeracy Consortium
Since 2001, we have been involved in the International Adult Literacy and Numeracy Consortium, an informal group of independent scholars, policy makers, practitioners and researchers from Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. In 2003, we acted as the secretariat to the Consortium and met with them twice. As part of our work on the Consortium, we held a meeting with Margaret Kelly (former Principal Officer, Further Education Section, Department of Education and Science) in early 2003 and discussed the current National Reporting System for ABE. We proposed that using the qualitative focus of the Evolving Quality Framework could greatly improve the current quantitative-based reporting

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International links

Susan Reid, National Centre for Workplace Literacy and Language, New Zealand, on their national adult literacy strategy; and Professor Rosie Wickert, Australia, on the results of adult literacy policy in her country.

New Orleans Literacy Alliance
Inez was invited to visit this organisation and to participate in a meeting of members who are providers from a range of different organisations. This group is working in partnership to raise the adult literacy levels of the New Orleans greater metropolitan area, which has high levels of adults with low literacy.

National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy, Numeracy and ESOL, Nottingham, 20–22 March
Inez presented on the Read Write Now television series and ‘Mapping the Learning Journey’, the assessment framework for ABE, at the NRDC’s first international conference in March 2003. Inez attended a number of sessions on research on quality, technology and ESOL.

Asia-Europe cooperation on basic skills group
Inez participated in a meeting of this group in Stockholm on 14–16 May 2003. This followed on from the work of the group published in the report ‘From Basic Skills to Key Competences’.

Hosting study visits
During the year we hosted two study visits from Scotland, one from Botswana and an EU Basic Skills Group visit to Ireland organised by the Department of Education and Science. We also met with a representative of prison education from UNESCO.

Rutgers Invitational Symposium on Education, New Jersey, October 2003
Inez presented at this conference in the US, which focused on the issues and challenges of defining and improving quality in ABE. Inez also attended workshops on the following: Reconceptualising adult literacy education and the digital divide; The adult learner in family literacy; Beyond the lifeboat: improving the prospects of immigrants through adult ESL and training; and Giving literacy away, again: new concepts of promising practice.

A delegation from the Department of Education in Botswana who visited NALA in 2004

46

Annual General Meeting

NALA 2003 Annual General Meeting
Our 2003 Annual General Meeting took place in Dublin on 29 March. Mary Maher, outgoing chairperson, addressed the meeting and welcomed all members of NALA in attendance. She briefly outlined the developments that had taken place during her seven years on the Executive Committee, from the expansion of training – both accredited and non accredited – to ESOL provision, integrated literacy and the website literacy tool. She commented on the continuing passion and commitment to providing a quality service to adult learners. Mary went on to thank NALA staff that did not always see the fruits of their work in the way the practitioners in the schemes did, and also acknowledged the organisers, tutors, and volunteers. She acknowledged with thanks the additional funding made available for expanding adult literacy services through the National Development Plan and EU Structural Funds. She thanked the Department of Education and Science and other Government departments for their work in developing the service. Finally she expressed her thanks to the members of the Executive Committee with whom she had worked and extended her good wishes to the new committee.

Frances Ward, NALA Chairperson Elect, makes a point at the AGM, 2003.

Initial business
The Hon. Secretary, Joyce Burns, presented the minutes of the 21st AGM held in the Ardilaun Hotel, Galway on 23 March 2002. These were proposed by Stephen MacWhite, UCD and seconded by Ernie Sweeney.

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Annual General Meeting

Hon. Treasurer, Columba O’Connor, presented the financial report. She informed the meeting that NALA is now a limited company. The financial state of NALA is in good order, the total income for 2002 being e1,622,681.00, while the expenditure was e1,516,393.00. This gave a surplus of e106,288. This was proposed by Michael O’Riordan, Dun Laoghaire and seconded by Mary Kett, Parnell Adult Learning Centre. Inez presented the work of the agency under the headings outlined in the NALA Strategic Plan 2002–2006.

Ordinary Members:
Alice Campbell, Ballina ALS, proposed by Co. Mayo VEC and seconded by Pat Stanton, AEO; Joaquina McHugh, Dun Laoghaire ALS, proposed by Aideen O’Toole, ALO, and seconded by Rosamond Phillips; Peggy Murphy, KLEAR, proposed by Nancy Mulvey and seconded by Rose Brownen, ALO; Andrew Duffy, Co. Offaly ALS, proposed by Kevin O’Duffy and seconded by Valerie Hensey, Co Offaly ALS; Kevin Duffy Co. Offaly ALS, proposed by James O’Brien Co Offaly ALS and seconded by Eileen Daly Co Offaly ALS; Michael O’Toole, Co. Kildare ALS, proposed by Mary Murphy, ALO, and seconded by Margaret Moore; and Celia Rafferty, Finglas ALS, proposed by Pat Ayton, ALO, and seconded by Rose Brownen, ALO. Each of the candidates was introduced to the membership. There was no ballot, as the number of people going forward for election did not exceed the number of places.

NALA Executive Committee
The following people were proposed for Officer positions and Ordinary Members of the NALA Executive Committee: Nominee for Chairperson was Frances Ward ALO Crumlin, proposed by Mary Maher, DALC and seconded by Dublin City South West Adult Literacy Scheme. Nominee for Vice-Chairperson was Columba O’Connor, proposed by Mary Maher, DALC and seconded by Frances Sands. Nominee for Hon. Treasurer was John Lynch, proposed by Marie Casey and seconded by Nuala Byrne.

Mary Maher addressing the AGM for the last time during her tenure as Chairperson of NALA

48

Annual General Meeting

Presentations
Presentations were made to Mary Maher and Máirín Kenny, who had completed their terms as Officers, and to Mary Cashin who had completed her term as an Ordinary Member.

Frank Sammon, Co-ordinator of Jesuit Refugee Service Ireland, later launched a set of materials on English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). The two publications were: ‘English for Speakers of Other Languages: Policy Guidelines and Supports for VEC Adult Literacy Schemes’; and ‘Paving the Way’, a new ESOL resource pack. Frank reflected on the migrant experience of Irish people to England and elsewhere. He suggested we use that experience to understand the asylum seekers in Ireland, particularly their need to be strong to cope with the difficulty of their situation, their desire for education, to understand our culture and to have their contribution to our society recognised. He also welcomed the two documents, being complimentary of the practical resource of ‘Paving the Way’. He went on to acknowledge the work put into the policy document and its value in developing the services for non-nationals coming to Ireland. Concluding the AGM, Inez thanked those who had participated on the committee under the chair of Mary Kett, the Further Education Co-ordinator from the Department of Education and Science. Thanks were also accorded to Genevieve Halkett of Spirasi, who developed the materials for ‘Paving the Way’ and was supported by Louise Michael of DALC.

Publication launches at the AGM
In the afternoon, Inez introduced new NALA research and resource materials. The first set of materials to be launched was ‘Skillwords’, used to support integrating literacy into general vocational educational and training programmes. This was the result of a partnership between NALA, FÁS, the Department of Education and Science and NUI Maynooth. Literacy tutors and vocational trainers who took the Integrating Literacy course at NUI Maynooth produced the material. Inez extended special thanks to Guss O’Connell, FÁS, Blathnaid NíChinnéide, the NALA lead worker on this project, and the editor, Pauline Hensey, for all their hard work in producing the pack. Frank Donnelly, Regional Director of FÁS in Dublin launched ‘Skillwords’. He complimented the non-threatening and enjoyable learning methods, and recommended it to tutors. He also said, “It will contribute substantially to the quality of life and dignity of those who need some assistance in reading and writing to get the most out of the courses they are undertaking.”

Any other business
As there was no other business to discuss, the meeting ended at 3.30 pm.

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Links with other organisations

Links with other organisations
Since we were established in 1980, we have always developed links with a wide variety of organisations, both nationally and internationally. In addition, we have developed partnerships with organisations on specific projects and work programmes. The aim of this activity is to raise awareness of the adult literacy issue and to place adult literacy on the agenda of others. Below is a short description of how we worked with some groups in 2003.

Comhairle
In 2003, Inez Bailey was nominated as a Ministerial appointment onto the board of Comhairle.

Community Platform
We are a member of the Community Platform and attend Platform meetings on a monthly basis. We work closely with member organisations in the Platform on adult literacy issues and we facilitated literacy awareness training for interested groups in the summer.

CIT
We continued to establish relations with Cork Institute of Technology Computers and Maths Department. Our technical advisor to the Literacy Tools website is Dr Paul Walsh and a number of computer postgraduate students have been responsible for developing the website and developing the website as a CD. This union is a good model of how students engaged in research can advance ICT in literacy provision.

50

Links with other organisations

Department of Social and Family Affairs
The Department of Social and Family Affairs funds most of our plain English project.

Irish Health Services Accreditation Board
During the year we were invited to a number of focus group meetings on revising the accreditation scheme. This gave us a welcome opportunity to discuss how weak literacy skills can affect a patient’s healthcare needs.

Education Disadvantage Committee
Inez is a member of the Education Disadvantage Committee, which presented three reports to the Minister for Education and Science and began developing a paper on adult and community education, including specific proposals on adult literacy.

Irish Trade Union Trust (ITUT)
We sit on the ITUT board. ITUT is the social solidarity arm of Services Industrial Professional Technical Union (SIPTU), with one of its services being the SIPTU Basic English Scheme.

Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC)
We contribute to the FETAC Quality Assurance Consultation Network and have also assisted in the FETAC Technical Advisory Group to the NQAI.

Local Authority National Partnership Advisory Group (LANPAG)
With LANPAG and in co-operation with the VECs, we initiated the Return to Learning Workplace Project in the local authorities.

Information Society Commission
Inez is a member of the Information Society Commission (ISC). The new ISC has a key role in shaping the evolving public policy framework for the Information Society in Ireland. Inez is focusing on ‘eInclusion and lifelong learning’ for the ISC.

National Adult Learning Council (NALC)
NALA has been a member of the National Adult Learning Council (NALC) since 2002. NALC has been set up to guide the strategic development of adult and basic education in Ireland. It met a number of times up to June, when was agreed to suspend meetings awaiting the outcome of a review of the Council’s functions.

Irish Deaf Society (IDS)
Irish Deaf Society Linkup is a literacy project for and led by the deaf community. It trains tutors and delivers literacy services in several counties with the intended aim of being a nationwide service by 2006.

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Links with other organisations

National Adult Literacy Advisory Group
The National Adult Literacy Advisory Group brings together all adult literacy stakeholder groups who monitor the implementation of adult literacy sections of the Government White Paper of the future of adult education.

National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI)
Inez has been appointed to the NQAI as the Minister’s nomination for the Community and Voluntary sector. The main task of the NQAI is to put together and oversee a national qualifications framework.

UCC
In 2003 we met with Dr Jurek Kirakowski in the Human Factors Research Group in UCC. Dr Kirakowski is responsible for developing WAMMI (Website Analysis and MeasureMent Inventory), an international assessment tool, and is currently working with us to evaluate the Literacy Tools website, www.literacytools.ie. We are very grateful for his expertise and support. Below is a full list of organisations, committees and working groups with which we worked with 2003. ADM Partnerships Education Co-ordinators Adult Education Guidance Initiative Adult Education Officers Association (AEOA) Adult Literacy Organisers Association (ALOA) Bar Council

Basic Education Tutors Association (BETA) Chief Executive and Education Officers Association (CEEOA) Comhairle Community Platform Community Radio Forum (CRF) Community Workers Cooperative (CWC) DALC Board Of Directors Department of Education and Science Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment Department of Social and Family Affairs Education Equality Initiative (EEI) Educational Disadvantage Committee FÁS Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) Further Education and Training Awards Council (FETAC) Quality Assurance Consultation and Standards Forum Group IILT Working Group on Material Development Information Society Commission Irish Deaf Society Linkup steering committee Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed (INOU) Irish Prison Service Irish Trade Union Trust (ITUT) Irish Vocational Education Association (IVEA) Learn Direct Local Authority National Partnership Advisory Group (LANPAG)

52

Links with other organisations

Local Development and Training Institute (LDTI) National Adult Learning Council (NALC) National BUA Centre Advisory Committee National Centre for Guidance in Education National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI) National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) National Literacy Expert Advisory Group National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) Integrating Literacy Management Group, NUI Maynooth Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Radio Telefís Eireann (RTE) Spirasi Courts Service Law Society of Ireland The Wheel Trócaire – Development Materials group Vocational Education Committees (VECs) NALA/WIT Accreditation Project Management committee, Waterford Institute of Technology Women’s Health Council Youthreach Assessment Portfolio Group.

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Alice Campbell – an appreciation

Alice Campbell
an appreciation
Alice Campbell, Adult Literacy Organiser for Ballina in Mayo, passed away last November and she is greatly missed by all the organisers throughout the country who knew her. Alice was one of the founder members of the Adult Literacy Scheme in Mayo and ran a busy and I’m sure lively scheme in Ballina for many years. For the last two and a half years before her death, Alice was also a member of the NALA Executive and although the train service was the bane of Alice’s life, she was a regular and enthusiastic attendee at meetings in Dublin, keeping NALA well appraised of rural issues and difficulties. On a lighter note, Alice was a popular attendee at Adult Literacy Organisers’ events. Alice was literally the soul of the party at these events over the last few years. The after dinner craic just won’t be the same without Alice’s rendition of “The Rooster” and some of us can never see a pair of gold shoes without remembering Alice. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

The late Alice Campbell

Pat Ayton, VEC Adult Literacy Organiser Coolock/Darndale, pays tribute to the late Alice Campbell

Frances Ward Chairperson, NALA

A group of VEC Adult Literacy Organisers commemorate the contribution of Alice Campbell to adult literacy in Ireland

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NALA Board Members and Staff

NALA Board Members and Staff
NALA Executive
Frances Ward – Chairperson Celia Rafferty Mary Corrigan (September 2003) Kevin O’Duffy Anne Gilbert Columba O’Connor – Vice Chairperson Joyce Burns – Hon. Secretary John Lynch – Hon. Treasurer Andrew Duffy Michael O’Toole Joaquina McHugh Michael Briody Peggy Murphy Pat Stanton (September 2003) Alice Campbell (deceased) Tommy Byrne, PRO. tbyrne@nala.ie (01) 809 9195 Fergus Dolan, Training Officer. fdolan@nala.ie (01) 809 9191 Margaret Murray, Southern Regional Development Worker mmurray@nala.ie (021) 431 7011 Bridget Gormley, Specific Learning Difficulties Policy Worker bgormley@nala.ie (01) 809 9198 Gemma Lynch, Research Officer glynch@nala.ie (01) 809 9192 Jennie Lynch, Development Worker, Special Projects jlynch@nala.ie (021) 431 7012 Margaret Maher, Training Unit mmaher@nala.ie (01) 809 9199 (10am–1pm) Blathnaid Ní Chinnéide, Integration Co-ordinator bnichinneide@nala.ie (01) 809 9190 Claire O’Riordan, Quality Framework Co-ordinator coriordan@nala.ie (01) 809 9193 Helen Ryan, Development Worker New Projects hryan@nala.ie (01) 809 9197 John Stewart, National Adult Literacy Co-ordinator jstewart@nala.ie (01) 809 9195 Jenny Derbyshire, Family Literacy Policy Worker vallylodge4@eircom.net

NALA Staff
Inez Bailey, Director ibailey@nala.ie (01) 855 4332 Mairin Kelly literacy@nala.ie (01) 855 4332 Fawzia McGlone literacy@nala.ie (01) 855 4332 Tanya Murphy literacy@nala.ie (01) 855 4332 Sandra Peel literacy@nala.ie (01) 855 4332 Clodagh McCarthy, Plain English Project Worker cmccarthy@nala.ie (01) 809 8184 Peter Kiernan, Regional Development Worker, Mullingar pkiernan@nala.ie (044) 40374

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NALA membership

NALA membership
Adult Literacy Schemes
G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

G

G G G G G G

G G G G G G G

ABLE – Blanchardstown ABLES – Cork Altrusa/VEC Adult Literacy Scheme, Cork Arklow Adult Literacy Scheme Athlone Reading and Writing Group Ballymun Adult Literacy Scheme Baltinglass Adult Literacy Scheme Bandon Adult Literacy Scheme Basic Education Service Tallaght (BEST) Bishopstown Adult Literacy Scheme Blessington Literacy Scheme (LIFE), Bray Adult Literacy Learning Programme Cabra Adult Literacy Scheme Carnew Literacy Scheme Carrigaline Adult Literacy Scheme Clondalkin Basic Education Centre Cobh Read Write and Spell Centre Cork Traveller Literacy Scheme Co. Carlow Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Cavan Adult Learning Centre Co. Clare Reading and Writing Scheme Co. Donegal Adult Literacy Service G Ballyshannon Adult Literacy Scheme G Donegal Town Adult Literacy Scheme G Gaeltacht Adult Literacy Scheme G Inishowen Adult Literacy Scheme G Letterkenny Adult Literacy Scheme G Raphoe Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Laois Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Limerick Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Longford Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Meath Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Monaghan Adult Literacy Service Co. Offaly Reading and Writing Scheme Co. Roscommon Adult Literacy Scheme

G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

Co. Tipperary (NR) Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Tipperary (SR) Adult Literacy Scheme Co. Waterford Adult Education Centre Co. Wexford Adult Literacy Scheme Drogheda Adult Learning Centre Dublin Adult Learning Centre Dublin City S.W. Adult Reading and Writing Scheme Dundalk Adult Literacy Service Dundrum Adult Literacy Scheme Dun Laoghaire Adult Learning Centre Dunshaughlin Adult Literacy Scheme East Cork Adult Literacy Service East Galway Adult Literacy Scheme Farranree Adult Literacy Scheme Fingal Adult Literacy Scheme Fingal (North) Adult Education Centre Finglas Adult Literacy Scheme Galway Adult Literacy Group Inchicore Adult Literacy Scheme Ionad Foghlama Iarthar na Gaillimhe JAEN – Jobstown Adult Education Network Kerry Education Service – Literacy and Life Skills Programme:

G G G G

G

G G

Cahirciveen Adult Literacy Scheme Dingle Adult Literacy Scheme G Kenmare Adult Literacy Scheme G Killarney Adult Literacy Scheme G Killorglin Adult Literacy Scheme G Listowel Adult Literacy Scheme G Tralee Adult Literacy Scheme Kildare/Athy Adult Learning Centre Kilmallock Literacy Group KLEAR – Kilbarrack Larkin Community College Adult Literacy Scheme LEAP – Leitrim Education for Adults Programme Leixlip Adult English Scheme Liberties Adult Literacy Scheme
G G

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NALA membership

G G G G G G G G G G

Limerick Adult Learner Support Services
Lucan Adult Basic Education Centre Mahon Adult Literacy Scheme Midleton Adult Literacy Scheme Mullingar Literacy and Employment Centre Naas Adult English Newcastlewest Literacy Group Northside Reading and Writing Centre North Cork Adult Literacy Service G Balllingcollig Adult Literacy Service G Charleville Adult Literacy Service G Duhallow Adult Literacy Service G Kanturk Adult Literacy Service G Mallow Adult Literacy Service

G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

Read Write Now/Ballyphehane Ringsend Literacy Scheme SIPTU Basic Education Service TARGET – Donaghmede Tuam Adult Literacy Centre Waterford City Adult Literacy Scheme West Cork North Adult Literacy Service West Cork South Adult Literacy Service West Galway Adult Literacy Scheme Wicklow Town Adult Learning Centre Wordaid – Kilkenny Write On – Mayfield Write Together Group – Churchfield Youghal Adult Literacy Scheme

Co. Cork VEC Co. Donegal VEC Co. Dublin VEC Co. Galway VEC Co. Kildare VEC Co. Kilkenny VEC Co. Laois VEC Co. Leitrim VEC Co. Limerick VEC Co. Longford VEC Co. Louth VEC Co. Mayo VEC Co. Meath VEC Co. Monaghan VEC Co. Offaly VEC Co. Roscommon VEC Co. Sligo VEC Co. Tipperary (NR) VEC Co. Tipperary (SR) VEC Co. Waterford VEC Co. Westmeath VEC Co. Wexford VEC Co. Wicklow VEC Dun Laoaghaire VEC

Libraries
G G G G

Vocational Education Committees (VECs)
G G G G G G G G

G G G G G

City of Cork VEC City of Dublin VEC City of Galway VEC City of Limerick VEC City of Waterford VEC Co. Carlow VEC Co. Cavan VEC Co. Clare VEC

G G G

An Chomhairle Leabharlanna Blackrock Branch Library Blanchardstown Public Library Bray Public Library Cabinteely Public Library Deansgrange Public Library Dublin City Council Public Libraries Dundrum Public Library Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown Public Library Service Carlow County Library Clare County Library Cork County Library

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NALA membership

G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

Cork City Public Libraries Cork Public Libraries Donegal County Library Kerry County Library Kildare County Library Kilkenny County Library Laois County Library Limerick County Library Longford County Library Louth County Library Mayo County Library Meath County Library Offaly County Library Roscommon County Library Sallynoggin Public Library Shankhill Public Library Sligo County Library South Dublin Library Service Stillorgan Public Library Tipperary Joint County Libraries Waterford City Library Waterford County Libraries Wexford County Library Wicklow County Library

G

G G G G G G G G G G G

G G G G

G G G G

G

Other Corporate Groups
G G G G G G G G

G G G G G G G G G G

G G G

Action Inishowen ADM AEO Association ALO Association AONTAS ARIS – Australia ASTI Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools Athy Travellers’ Club Ballinasloe Community Information Centre Belfast Unemployed Centre

Blackpool/Glen/Faranree Community Youth Training Workshop Bridge Project Centre for Literacy, Canada CLASP – Community of Lough Arrow Clondalkin Partnership Co. Collectif Alpha, Belguim. Co-Action, Skibberreen CORI Co. Monaghan Partnership Co. Doras Luimni Dyslexia Association of Ireland Education Research Centre, Drumcondra, Dublin EGSA, Belfast Enable Ireland, Cork Exchange House FÁS – The National Training and Employment Agency FETAC Finglas/Cabra Partnership Francis Street Community Education Centre Henrietta Adult and Community Education (HACE) INOU INTO IVEA LARA – Loreto Convent Lourdes Youth and Community Services Mayfield Youth Training Workshop Mercy Family Centre Moorehaven Centre, Tipperary Town National Centre for Guidance in Education NCCCAP Newbridge Community Training Workshop

58

NALA membership

G G G G G G

G G

G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G G

G G G G G G

NTDI Bantry NTDI Bray NTDI Carlow NTDI Cork NTDI Galway NUI Maynooth – Dept. of Adult and Comm. Education Ogra Dún Dealgan Our Lady’s Traveller Training and Education Centre, Mallow Parental Equality – Operation Seahorse Pavee Point Prison Education Service Project for Adult Guidance in Education Ringsend Community Training Workshop Rehab Ballyfermot Rehab Donboyne Rehab Dun Laoghaire St. Benin’s Training Centre Tallaght Community Workshop Teagasc Teachers’ Union of Ireland The Phoenix Centre of Learning Training Workshop in Horticulture Treoir Tuam Community Training Workshop Vincention Partnership for Justice Warrenmount Community Ed. and Dev. Centre Waterford Youth Industries Ltd. Windmill Therapeutic Training WIT Youthreach, Dundalk Youthreach, Sligo Youthreach, Tralee.

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Accounts

National Adult Literacy Agency Limited

Contents
Company Information Report of the Directors 60 61–62 63–64

Financial Statements
Report of the Auditors Year Ended 31st December 2003 Income and Expenditure Account Balance Sheet Notes to the Financial Statements and Accounting Policies 65–66 67

68–71

60

Accounts

Company Information

Company Secretary Registered Office

Joyce Burns 76 Lower Gardiner Street Dublin 1 342807 Allied Irish Banks 37 Upper O’Connell Street Dublin 1 Sean Conlon & Co Certified Public Accountants Spade Centre North King Street Dublin 7

Registered No. Bankers

Auditors

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Accounts

Report of the Directors
The directors submit their report together with the audited financial statements for the companies first year of operation ended 31st December 2003.

Principal Activities and Review of The Business
The company (NALA) continues the work of the National Adult Literacy Agency (NALA). The agency was established in 1980 and from that time has campaigned for recognition and response to the adult literacy problem in Ireland. The company continues that work. The following represents recent achievements: the development of third level professional qualifications for adult literacy practioners. inclusion of key proposals in the White Paper on Adult Education. the development of a quality framework, including an assessment framework, for the adult literacy service; a major basic education distance learning on TV and radio; bringing Irish literacy practice onto the international stage. NALA is funded by the Department of Education and Science. Note 2 lists the other government grants received.

Results
The directors report for 2003 a surplus of e3,936 with accumulated reserves at the 31st December 2003 of e145,718. No dividend is allowed because the company is limited by guarantee.

Statement of Directors’ Responsibilities
Company law requires the directors to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company and of the surplus or deficit of the company for that year. In preparing those financial statements the directors are required to: select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent prepare the financial statements on the going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume that the company will continue in business.

62

Accounts

The directors are responsible for keeping proper books of account which disclose with reasonable accuracy at any time the financial position of the company and to enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with the Companies Act 1963 to 2001.

Accounting Records
The directors acknowledge their responsibilities under Section 202 of the Companies Act 1990 to keep proper books and records for the company and to this end have a bookkeeper employed. The books and records are kept at the registered office.

Health And Safety
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989 imposes certain requirements on employers and the company has taken the necessary action to ensure compliance with the Act, including the adoption of a safety statement.

Auditors
The auditors, Sean Conlon, & Co., will be reappointed in accordance with section 160 (2) of the Companies Act 1963.

Approved on behalf of the Board By:

______________________________________

Dated: 4th February 2004

______________________________________

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Accounts

Report of the Auditors
Independent Auditor’s Report
to the Members of National Adult Literacy Agency Limited
We have audited the financial statements of National Adult Literacy Agency Limited on pages 63 to 71 which have been prepared under the historical cost convention and the accounting policies set out on page 68. This report is made solely to the company’s members as a body in accordance with the requirements of the Companies acts 1963 to 2001. Our audit work has been undertaken so that we might state to the company’s members those matters that we are required to state to them in the audit report and for no other and for no other purpose. To the fullest extent permitted by law, we do not accept or assume responsibility to anyone other than the company or the company’s members as a body for our audit work, for this report, or for the opinions we have formed.

Respective Responsibilities of Directors and Auditors
The directors’ responsibilities for preparing the Annual Report and the financial statements in accordance with applicable law and Irish Accounting Standards are set out in the Statement of Directors’ Responsibilities. Our responsibility is to audit the financial statements in accordance with relevant legal and regulatory requirements and the Auditing Standards promulgated by the Auditing Practices Board in Ireland and the United Kingdom. We report to you our opinion as to whether the financial statements give a true and fair view and are properly prepared in accordance with the Companies Acts. We also report to you whether in our opinion: proper books of account have been kept by the company; whether, at the balance sheet date ,there exists a financial situation requiring the convening of an extraordinary general meeting of the company; and whether the information given in the Directors’ Report is consistent with the financial statements. In addition, we state whether we have obtained all the information and explanations necessary for the purposes of our audit and whether the company’s balance sheet and Income and Expenditure Account are in agreement with the books of account. We report to the shareholders if, in our opinion, any information specified by law regarding directors’ remuneration and directors’ transactions is not given and, where practicable, include such information in our report We read the other information contained in the Annual Report and consider whether it is consistent with the audited financial statements. This other information comprises only the directors report. We consider only the implications for our report if we become aware of any misstatements or material inconsistencies with the financial statements. Our responsibilities do not extend to other information.

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Accounts

Basis of Opinion
We conducted our audit in accordance with Auditing standards issued by the Auditing Practices board. Our audit includes an examination, on a test basis, of evidence relevant to the amounts and disclosures in the financial statements. It also includes an assessment of the significant estimates and judgments made by the directors in the preparation of the financial statements, and of whether the accounting policies are appropriate to the company’s circumstances, consistently applied and adequately disclosed. We planned and performed our audit so as to obtain all the information and explanations which we considered necessary in order to provide us with sufficient evidence to give reasonable assurance that the financial statements are free of material misstatement or error. In forming our opinion we also evaluated the overall adequacy of the presentation of information in the financial statements.

Opinion
In our opinion the financial statements give a true and fair view of the state of affairs of the company at the 31st December 2003, and of its surplus for the year then ended and give, in the requisite manner, the information required by the Companies Acts, 1963 to 2001. We have obtained all the information and explanations which we considered necessary for the purposes of our audit. In our opinion, proper books of account have been kept by the company. The financial statements are in agreement with the books of account. In our opinion the information given in the Directors’ Report on page 52/53 is consistent with the financial statements.

Sean Conlon & Co. Registered Auditors & Certified Public Accountants St. Pauls Church North King Street Dublin 7.
4th February 2004

NALA Annual Report

2003–2004

65

Accounts

Income and Expenditure Account
for the year ended 31st December 2003
2003 Notes e 2002 e

Income
Government Grants Other Income Resource Room Total Income 2 3 4 1,780,866 46,524 6,640 1,834,030 1,551,539 60,565 10,577 1,622,681

Administration
Salaries Pensions Telephone Stationery and Photocopying Postage Bank Charges Subscriptions and Advertising Executive Committee Expenses Audit, Accountancy and Professional fees Miscellaneous Office Equipment Maintenance Depreciation 143,073 9,241 19,903 15,199 35,885 737 2,987 6,442 6,813 542 10,978 7,598 166,449 8,400 18,176 17,396 29,187 733 5,322 4,367 7,158 137 8,257 1,395

Premises
Rent and Cleaning Insurance Heat and Light Repairs and Maintenance 46,407 3,904 3,151 1,113 34,608 3,927 3,598 2,797

66

Accounts

Development and Research
2003 Notes Salaries Pension CAIT Other expenses Travel and Subsistence Assessment/Research Quality framework Practioner Training Family Literacy Distance Learning Materials Development Specific Learning Difficulties Health Strategy ICT Learning Numeracy Strategy ESOL Training Printing, Publishing Meetings/ Seminars Website update Advertising Staff Training/Development Learner Development Plain English e 544,973 25,910 – – 23,348 38,626 148,394 107,944 36,563 298,877 35,924 2,018 8,104 35,097 7,045 25,863 69,807 33,093 – 16,801 16,424 23,421 17,889 2002 e 441,607 22,295 3,657 8,313 34,897 42,004 114,226 64,580 – 317,168 – – 22,883 10,706 – 6,889 46,202 27,217 3,553 11,975 12,648 13,666 –

Total Expenditure
Surplus for the Year There are no other recognised gains or losses. Approved on behalf of the Board By:

1,830,094 1,516,393
3,936 106,288

______________________________________ ______________________________________

NALA Annual Report

2003–2004

67

Accounts

Balance Sheet
as at the year ended 31st December 2003
2003 Notes e 21,349 2002 e 4,182

Fixed Assets Current Assets
Stocks: Resource Room Stationery Debtors Bank Balance and Cash on Hand

5

8

33,139 736 27,571 442,137 503,583

34,305 1,336 90,090 242,364 368,095

Creditors
(Falling due within one year) 9 – 379,214 – 230,495

Net Current Assets Total Assets less Liabilities Represented By:
Surplus

124,369

137,600

145,718

141,782

145,718

141,782

145,718

141,782

Approved on behalf of the Board By:

______________________________________ ______________________________________

68

Accounts

Notes on the Accounts
for the year ended 31st December 2003
1. Accounting Policies
The financial statements have been prepared under the historical cost convention. Tangible Fixed Assets Fixed Assets are stated at cost less depreciation. Depreciation is provided at rates calculated to write off the cost less residual value of each asset over its expected useful life on a straight line basis, as follows: All Fixed Assets 25% Where grants are received in the year and the related expenditure is to be incurred in a later year the grants are shown as deferred income, under creditors and accruals, in the balance sheet.

2.

Government Grants
2003 e Department of Education and Science Core Grant Special allocation Deferred grant to 2003 Note 9 Deferred grant to 2004 Note 9 Other Government Grants Department of Social and Family Affairs Deferred Note 9 Department of Health and Children Deferred Note 9 FÁS Department of Transport (CAIT) 70,000 – 37,038 38,092 – 19,000 46,848 – 1,780,866 59,500 38,092 60,944 6,507 1,551,539 281,000 1,400,200 213,764 – 213,000 2002 e 269,000 1,331,260 – 213,764 –

NALA Annual Report

2003–2004

69

Accounts

Notes On The Accounts
3. Other Income
Membership fees ILD conference fee Conference fees BSA Miscellaneous Training fees CAIT Combat Poverty Agency VOX (for salaries)

(continued)
2003 e 8,525 3,340 9,427 – 5,083 15,540 – 1,270 3,339 46,524 2002 e 20,290 3,843 – 3,601 2,435 23,700 1,696 5,000 – 60,565

4. Resource Room
Opening Stocks of Books Purchases for the year Closing Stocks of Books Cost of Books sold Sales for the year Surplus (Deficit) 34,305 95,973 130,278 – 33,139 97,139 103,779 6,640 38,369 137,723 176,092 – 34,305 141,787 152,364 10,577

In the opinion of the directors there are no material differences between the replacement cost of stock and the balance sheet amounts.

70

Accounts

Notes On The Accounts
5. Tangible Fixed Assets
Cost Total e Cost at 31.12.2002 Additions Depreciation At 31.12.2002 Charge for Year Net Book Value At 31 December 2002 At 31 December 2003

(continued)

Office Fixtures and Equipment Fittings e 4,390 23,477 27,867 1,098 6,979 8,077 3,292 19,790 e 1,186 1,288 2,474 296 619 915 890 1,559

5,576 24,765 30,341 1,394 7,598 8,992 4,182 21,349

6.

Staff numbers and costs
The average number of persons employed by the companyduring the year were as follows: The aggregate payroll costs of these persons were as follows: Salaries Social Welfare

2003 20 2003 e 621,772 66,274 688,046

2002 17 2002 e 547,805 60,251 608,056

7.

Pension information
Contribution to pension scheme The company operates a defined contribution scheme. The company contributes 10% of employees salary.

e 35,151

e 30,695

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2003–2004

71

Accounts

Notes On The Accounts
8. Debtors
Debtors for books Prepayments FÁS Employee Loan

(continued)
2003 e 12,376 13,342 – 1,853 27,571 83,089 27,087 213,000 37,038 19,000 379,214 2002 e 32,121 850 57,119 – 90,090 12,481 4,250 213,764 – – 230,495

9.

Creditors (Due within one year)
Creditors and Accruals Tax and Social welfare Deferred Dept. of Education and Science grant Deferred Dept. of Social and Family Affairs Deferred Dept. of Health and Children

Grants are deferred in respect of estimated, but specific expenditure, to be expended during the following year. The Bank holds no security from the directors or members of the company.

10. Corporation Tax
None arise because no trading activity takes place.

11. Related Party Transactions
None arise.

12. Borrowings and Leases
There are no borrowings or leases

13. Director’s Interests
Directors have no interests in the company.

14. Share Capital
The company is limited by guarantee and has no share capital.

15. Financial Statements
The financial statements were approved by the directors on the 4th February 2004.

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Glossary

Glossary
Glossary of Terms
Accreditation A process that allows a person to get credits from a particular institution, such as a college or university for a course that they have completed Ad hoc Something that is not regular or planned and happens only when necessary Analyse A process of studying the details of something to understand or explain it Asperger’s Syndrome A complex brain disorder within the range of autism, where a person may be very intelligent, but may have difficulty mixing and communicating with other people Assessment framework A guide to knowing what stage a learner is at when they start tuition and how well they are progressing Attribute A quality or characteristic that someone or something has Benchmark A point of reference Best practice A term to describe good quality work or good working habits Brainstorming A method of giving ideas and opinions freely within a group of people to generate new ideas about a problem

Collate A way to analyse and compare information to identify points of agreement and differences Consensus Agreement between all members of a group on a particular subject Consistent Something that happens or behaves in a similar way Curriculum A set of topics that make up an educational course Distance education A form of learning that takes place in a person’s home without supervision Educational Disadvantage Committee A Government committee devise solutions to tackle educational disadvantage Empowerment A process of transferring power from influential people to poor communities and individuals who have been traditionally excluded from decisionmaking Ethos An idea or belief or a particular person or group that guides their actions Evaluation A process of studying something carefully to see how good or bad it is Facilitator A person who helps a group to develop and work together effectively towards their common goal

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Glossary

Focus group A group of people who are brought together to discuss what they think about something Framework A basic structure that supports something, such as a building, and gives it its shape Generic General, not specific Guiding principles Values or rules that guide an action or decision Holistic A way of describing something that deals with the whole of something or someone, not just their parts Implement A system or plan to make something happen Library Council (An Chomhairle Leabharlanna) An organisation set up to advise local authorities and the Government on libraries Local government Local and regional bodies, including County Councils, City Councils, Urban District Councils and Town Councils, set up by the Department of the Environment and Local Government, that provide services to local communities Mentor An experienced person who gives help and advice to a less experienced person Mission statement A statement that explains a person’s, group’s organisation’s main aim

Monitor A process of watching something carefully and recording your results National Development Plan The Government’s plan to use EU and other funds to develop the economy and to help spread resources more equally between different groups in society National Literacy Expert Advisory Group A group made up of all those with an interest and input in adult literacy that oversees how the adult literacy sections of the Government White Paper are implemented Networking A process of using social events to meet people who might be useful to you Partnership A process of two or more people or organisations working together to achieve something Performance indicator A way to measure whether a person or an organisation is meeting their objectives Plain English A way of writing and designing material that makes it easier to read and understand Process A series of actions to achieve a result Qualitative A way of describing something that refers to how good it is Quality A way of saying how good or bad something is

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Glossary

Quantitative A way of describing something that refers to its how much (or how many) of it there is Return to Education A nine hour a week basic education progrmme for people on Community Employment schemes Social cohesion A process of bringing together economic, social, health and educational policies to help people take part in society Social exclusion A process of preventing certain groups from accessing power and decision-making bodies or building up social and community networks because they are poor or they do not have enough education or life skills Social inclusion A process of making sure that people who are poor or marginalised can take part in the decision-making process so that they can raise their standard of living and improve their quality of life Social interaction A process of talking to or doing things with other people Social partnership A way of reaching agreement between the Irish Government and various social partners – employers, trade unions, farmers and community and voluntary groups – on pay, tax, working conditions and social welfare, and other economic and social issues Social partnership agreement A document outlining a range of steps agreed by the Government and the social partners on economic and social issues

Stakeholder A person who has an interest in an organisation, a project or an issue Statutory Something that decided or controlled by law Strategic intent A statement of what a person, group or organisation intends to do Tender An application by a person or group to do a piece of work, describing how they plan to do the work, when, and how much they will charge Traveller Training Workshop A local organisation that provides vocational training to adult Travellers White Paper A document produced by the Government that outlines its future plans on a particular topic Youthreach Centre A local training unit that provides vocational and basic skills to early school leavers under18 years of age

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Glossary

List of acronyms and abbreviations
ABE adult basic education – the development of competence in adult skills, such as literacy numeracy and communications, that people need to take part fully in society ADM Area Development Management – an organisation set up by the Department of An Taoiseach that funds and oversees local development projects AEOA Adult Education Organisers’ Association AGM Annual General Meeting ALO Adult Literacy Organisers ALOA Adult Literacy Organisers Association ALS Adult Literacy Scheme BETA Basic Education Tutors Association – an organisation representing paid adult literacy tutors BSA Basic Skills Agency – an organisation that supports and develops ABE in England and Wales CAIT Community Application of Information Technology Initiative CDP Community Development Project

CE Community Employment – a FAS employment training programme CEEOA Chief Executive and Education Officers Association – an organisation representing Chief Executive Officers and Education Officers in VECs CEO Chief Executive Officer – the most senior management position in a VEC CIF Construction Industry Federation – a body representing employers in the building sector CTC Community Training Centre – a training unit, in different centres around Ireland, providing vocational and adult basic education skills to early school leavers over 18 years of age CWC Community Workers Co-op DES Department of Education and Science DETE Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment ESOL English for Speakers of Other Languages EU European Union FÁS Foras Áiseanna Saothair – the national training and employment authority

76

Glossary

FSAI Food Safety Authority of Ireland – a body established by the Department of Health and Children to oversee food safety improvements FETAC Further Education Training Awards Council IBEC Irish Busines Employers Confederation – the organisation representing all employer bodies and associations ICCPE Irish Centre for Continuing Pharmaceutical Education ICT Information and Communications Technology ICTU Irish Congress of Trade Unions – the organisation representing all trade unions around the country ISC Information Society Commission – which is devising a strategy for development of ICT in Irish society ISME Irish Small and MediumEnterpises Association – an organisation representing small and medium businesses ITUT Irish Trade Union Trust IVEA Irish Vocational Education Association – an organisation representing Vocational Education Committees

NALC National Adult Learning Council – a body established by the Department of Education and Science to oversee the implementation of the White Paper NALP National Adult Literacy Programme NAPS National Anti-Poverty Strategy – a Government plan to tackle poverty NCCA National Council for Curriculum and Assessment NCGE National Centre for Guidance in Education NDP National Development Plan – a Government medium term plan for economic and social development NQAI National Qualifications Authority of Ireland – a Government-funded body that manages qualifications at national level NTDI National Training and Development Institute – an independent education organisation that provides courses in different centres around Ireland for disabled people SIPTU Services, Industrial, Professional and Techical Union Teagasc The Irish Agricultural and Food Development Authority

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Glossary

VEC Vocational Education Committee A committee that manages adult and further education at county (and sometimes city) level VTOS Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme VTSU Vocational Training Support Unit WAI Web Accessibility Initiative – an international group of companies, disability representatives, universities, governments and research centres that have developed guidelines for making the Internet easier for disabled people to use WIT Waterford Institute of Technology

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