Elinet is a vast project, three quarters funded by the European Commission, made up of 78 partner organisations (who provide the remaining quarter of the funding) from 28 European countries.

Elinet’s prime aim is the improvement of literacy education policy across Europe. To achieve this it has a twofold mission: the 28 countries involved into Country Reports, and to add examples of Good Practice; minds of the decision-makers and citizens of Europe. What is UKLA’s role?

  • first, to bring together, synthesise, analyse and amplify scattered data about the state of literacy teaching, cradle to grave, in each of
  • secondly, to launch a process of fundraising, publicity and awareness-raising that will bring literacy education to the fore in the

UKLA is a small player, with only 16 days of allocated work for the project (as against the 647 of the UCL Institute of Education). So far that time has mainly been used to: from engaging in the mid-point meeting in Budapest; What about FELA?

  • participate in Elinet meetings – Liz Chamberlain played an active role in the initial meeting in Vienna and Henrietta Dombey is just back
  • respond to a series of lengthy questionnaires about publicity and fundraising;
  • refine the framework for the Country Reports;
  • collect and refine accounts of Good Practice.

FELA (the Federation of European Literacy Associations), which has a rather larger involvement than UKLA in Elinet, has, through its Chairperson, Greg Brooks, played a key role on Elinet’s Management Board and also in negotiating the European Commission’s acceptance of NGOs, such as FELA and UKLA, as legitimate partners in the project. Greg has also been commissioned with Maxine Burton to produce a glossary of terms used in the initial teaching and learning of literacy.

What are the other UK agencies involved?

As well as the UCL Institute of Education, the University of York, the National Literacy Trust and Education Scotland are all involved in contributing to the Country Reports in various ways. Book Trust, Beanstalk, NIACE and the NLT are engaged in the fund-raising, awareness-raising and publicity activities.

How is it all working out? The hope is that more enlightened, informed and enthusiastic approaches to literacy education will spread through the countries of Europe.

  • The Country Reports are well on the way, as are the examples of Good Practice, currently being selected through review.
  • Toolkits for fundraising and awareness-raising have been developed.
  • Plans are moving ahead for a Europe-wide Literacy Week (actually ten days) starting on September 8th this year (International Literacy Day) and culminating in a large event in Brussels on the 17th involving key players in literacy education across Europe.
  • These ‘key players’ will also be invited to Elinet’s closing conference, which will take place in Amsterdam in January 2016.

To find out more about EliNet, please download the presentation on the right of this page.