§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on(a) his quinquennial assessment of the Basic Skills Agency, (b) his plans for its continued public funding and (c) its relationship with work to improve adult literacy standards being conducted within his own Department. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The Department's quinquennial review of the Basic Skills Agency is now in its final stages; the resulting report will be placed in the Library of the House. We anticipate that the Agency will continue in its present role at the forefront of innovation and development in basic skills and will continue to receive public funding to support that role.
Work has already begun on a number of new measures to tackle the problem of poor basic skills among adults, and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State plans to announce a full national strategy for the longer term later this year. To manage the implementation of this national strategy we are setting up a new Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit at the Department for Education and Employment. The new Unit and the Basic Skills Agency 359W will need to work closely together in carrying out their separate but complementary roles in support of the national strategy.