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Tuesday, 28 June 1994
Page: 2193

(Question No. 1430)

Senator Calvert asked the Minister for Employment, Education and Training, upon notice, on 7 June 1994:

  (1) What are the 008 Adult Literacy Telephone Services provided by the Foundation Studies Training Division, NSW Technical and Further Education Commission, Blacktown.

  (2) For what period did the 008 service run.

  (3) How many calls were received.

  (4) How many students were accommodated through these calls.

  (5) Was the cost $298,399.50; if not, what was the cost.

  (6) What other costs were incurred by the Department for this service.

  (7) What states were able to access this service.

  (8) What special interest groups were able to access this service.

  (9) What advertising was done to promote the service.

  (10) What was the cost of this advertising.

  (11) Is this service expected to be continued; if so for how long.

  (12) Does the department feel that this service has been a success; if so, why; if not, why not.

Senator Schacht —The Minister for Employment, Education and Training has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) The 008 Adult Literacy Telephone Referral Service, now titled The Reading Writing Roadshow 1-800 Freecall Hotline supports the current 20 part ABC television teaching series, The Reading Writing Roadshow, which began screening on 11 April 1994. The 1-800 Freecall Hotline provides trained distance education teachers to answer queries about The Reading Writing Roadshow and accompanying workbook, provide basic information about the variety of adult literacy provision available in the caller's state or territory, arrange for copies of The Reading Writing Roadshow Workbook to be sent out (it is also available through ABC shops, some bookstores and Big W and Franklins Supermarkets), identify callers who are willing to participate in the evaluation of The Reading Writing Roadshow and collect data, as appropriate to the evaluators, the ABC, NSW TAFE, NSW Open Training and Education Network and DEET.

  (2) The 1-800 Freecall Hotline has operated since the initial screening of The Reading Writing Roadshow in April 1994 and will continue to operate until July 1995, to accommodate the initial 20 week screening of the series and two full repeat screenings up to that time.

  (3) A total of 810 calls had been received up to the end of May 1994.

  (4) To date, the telephone service's data indicate 365 callers were people with reading or writing difficulties or were calling for someone else in this situation. The data also indicate that 126 callers have been referred to an adult education provider in their area.

  (5) The total contracted cost is $298,399.50 up to July 1995. To 14 June 1994 the department has made progress payments totalling $100,000.

  (6) No other costs were incurred by the department for this service.

  (7) All states are able to access this service.

  (8) All people are able to access the service. It is designed specifically to assist people with reading and writing difficulties in English. Links have been made with the Telephone Interpreter Service for non-English-speaking people, and the TTY service for those callers who are hearing impaired.

  (9) Advertising for the 1-800 Freecall Hotline is included in advertising material for The Reading Writing Roadshow. This includes promotion on ABC TV, posters, newspaper supplements and advertisements and a brochure. An advertisement has been inserted in every White Pages in Australia and press releases and publicity packages have been widely distributed. The 1-800 number is also promoted following the screening of each episode of the series. Advertising needs are continually monitored and addressed.

  (10) To date the service has spent $14,052 on advertising.

  (11) The service will continue until July 1995.

  (12) It is too early yet in the running of this service to determine its success. Feedback received from callers and education systems to date, however, has been positive.