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News in Brief

Quick way to literacy

Almost all adult literacy tutors (98 per cent) think the Quick Read scheme of abridged books helps to improve their students' reading skills. A survey of 500 tutors before yesterday's World Book Day also found that 89 per cent saw communications skills improve and 78 per cent cent said written skills had improved after using Quick Reads.

Education debate

David Willetts, the shadow education secretary, will join a panel of academics and other specialists for a debate on the recession and lifelong learning next week. The Question Time-style debate will be held at the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, in Westminster, at 12.30-3pm, next Monday (March 9).

Friendly intentions

Newcastle-under-Lyme College is working with Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, which it has joined as a corporate member, to ensure its new Pounds 60 million campus is eco-friendly. It will work to protect the wildlife on its Knutton Lane site, and it is having the construction and engineering centre, due to open in 2010, rated by the Building Research Establishment environmental assessment method, focusing on materials, energy efficiency and facilities.

Fighting for women

Sarah Stevenson, the Olympic taekwondo bronze medallist, will help Doncaster College students celebrate International Women's Day on Monday. Ms Stevenson, a sports there, will open the event, which will offer guidance on issues such as domestic violence.

Academy approval

The 11th national skills academy - in materials, production and supply - has won approval as ministers try to catch up on last year's missed target. The Government wanted 12 of the specialist, industry-led training facilities to be running by the end of last year.

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