§ 20. Sir Thomas Arnold
To ask the Secretary of State for Education what is his current estimate of the number of adults in England and Wales who may be defined as functionally illiterate.
§ Mr. Boswell
The Adult Literacy and Basic Skills Unit, which advises the Government, estimates that 4 million adults in England and Wales have real difficulty with everyday tasks involving reading, writing and spelling and that a further 1.5 million have difficulty with numerical skills. Such people are often described as being "functionally illiterate".