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Professional DevelopmentTimeline



  • 1973 BAS Status Illiterate, Prospect Zero conference. Consciousness raising which leads to development of volunteer schemes with training provided through BAS methodology.
  • 1974 Early recruitment of organisers and volunteers in preparation for the Right to Read campaign. Jenny Stevens visits LEAs with Bill Devereux to convince them of the need to provide infrastructure ready to deal with the demand anticipated.
  • 1974 National Centre for Industrial Language Training set up by Tom Jupp. Provides support and training for language provision in the workplace
  • 1975 Right to Read campaign starts. LEAs offered funding to provide resources to support literacy work. Volunteers used to provide 1:1 teaching. Volunteers trained by organisers, often volunteers themselves. BAS provides Volunteer Tutor Pack to help with training of volunteers.
  • 1975 BBC provides half hour radio programmes to support the ‘On the Move’ television series. These programmes are designed to enable volunteers and tutors to work with the large numbers of people responding to the Right to Read campaign.
  • 1976 BBC produced Your Move, a accompanying series of programmes designed to enable tutors to teach literacy. Followed by Next Move which was the last in the series. These programmes were more instructional than the original On the Move programmes.
  • 1977 The Home Tutor Kit, produced by the Commission for Racial Equality
  • 1977 Federation of Worker Writers and Community Publishers (FWWCP) started the National Federation of Voluntary Literacy Schemes
  • RSA Diplomas – need to check dates for introduction of these


  • 1981 ALBSU produced bi-monthly newsletter to support practitioners
  • 1981 – 1993ALBSU funds regional training. This is managed through Regional Advisory Councils and uses the model of practitioners working together within regions to identify training needs and create a regional programme of events. Funding covers accommodation and refreshments, expenses for presenters but no funding to cover part time tutor attendance. Volunteers encouraged to participate in planning and organising of events with practitioners. Some regions run residential workshops in addition to half day and full day events.
  • Local training varies across the country, but most schemes provide training for volunteers in house. Some accreditation for tutors through the City and Guilds 730 programme (generic training), or through ACSET (Advisory Council for the Support and Education of Teachers). Some practitioners opt to study for higher degrees. In certain regions, there are specialised awards, eg RSA Diploma at Westminster (check Jay Derrick’s transcript). Language and Literacy Unit, funded by ILEA provides professional development for tutors across Inner London. Voluntary organisations involved in own training and development, and in some areas makes use of the ALBSU regional training.
  • 1985 RaPAL founded.
  • Late 1980s Dyslexia becomes a controversial aspect of adult basic skills. Cynthia Klein sets up professional development opportunities at LLU.
  • 1988 Following Education Reform Act, funding for professional development within LEAs through GRIST and GEST. This ensures that staff can apply for funding to undertake initial teacher training programmes such as City and Guilds 730, but also funding covers professional development of activities which meet the designated targets identified within authorities, eg enhancing computing skills amongst teachers.
  • 1989 ALBSU invites awarding bodies to work on an accreditation initiative for learners and practitioners. City and Guilds undertakes this development work. The Initial Teaching Certificate in Basic Skills (9281) developed for literacy, followed in 1990 for numeracy, and by 1992 for ESOL.


  • The 9281 series anticipates competence based awards based on the NVQ system. Although designed for volunteers who teach on a 1:1 basis under supervision, the qualification is used by some workbased providers to train their instructors and trainers for group work.
  • 1992(?) City and Guilds introduces 9285, a competence based qualification, equivalent to the 730 Stage Two. Both 9281 and 9285 are used as a performance indicator of numbers of staff qualified to teach basic skills in the ALBSU Quality Mark.
  • 1992 Further and Higher Education Act. Following incorporation, quality of teaching is examined through the FEFC inspection regime. LEA provision inspected through OFSTED.
  • RSA Diplomas no longer offered (and perhaps relates to the rise of City and Guilds qualifications?)
  • 1993 Basic Skills Resource Centre opens at Institute of Education (funded by ALBSU?)
  • 1995 (February/March) The BBC broadcast 4 specially prepared programmes to train teachers and others to understand ways to develop Family Literacy projects “Read and Write Together
  • 1996 Local Initiative grants of up to £12,500 were made available to schools to develop their provision to improve basic skills of pupils



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