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Education and employment minister James Paice today announced that an extra£360,000 in government money will be av...
Education and employment minister James Paice today announced that an extra £360,000 in government money will be available to fund family literacy courses throughout the country.

The cash injection will help up to 1,100 parents and 1,400 children in 33 areas get to grips with effective literacy.

Family literacy courses will run in more than 25% of all LEAs, well spread across the country, covering inner cities, small towns, coastal ports and rural areas. They will involve parents and children learning both separately and together as part of the follow-up to the pilots successfully developed by the Basic Skills Agency.

Addressing the Basic Skills Agency Family Literacy Conference in London Mr Paice said:

'We believe this approach works. The desire to help our children succeed strikes a common chord in all parents and is a major factor in the success of family literacy courses.

'Nineteen of these projects will be for families with children aged three to six years. In addition, the Basic Skills Agency is developing the initiative to cater for older children and families who speak a minority language. The 1996-97 family literacy development programmes will therefore include:

-- Three projects, which cater for families who speak a minority language

-- Seven projects for families with children in Year Four at primary school

-- Six projects for families with children in Year Seven at secondary school

'This initiative, perhaps more than any other, presents the newly merged department with an ideal opportunity to change the lives of low achieving parents and their children at the same time.

'It is crucial that we involve them in the learning process and help them embark on their own lifetime of learning so that they can go on to bigger and better things for their own and society's benefit.'

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