Vikki Carpenter MEd Dissertation 2017

Title: Volunteer Adult Literacy Practitioners with in Scottish Local Authorities

What roles do volunteer adult literacy practitioners play within delivery of Scottish local authorities’ adult literacy programmes and how are these volunteers supported within their roles?

This dissertation was presented by Vikki Carpenter as part of the MEd at the School of Education, University of Aberdeen in 2017.


This research project enquired into how volunteers are utilised within Scottish Local Authorities (LAs) to assist in the delivery of adult literacy tuition within communities. It focused on LA’s adult literacy provision and delivery, the roles undertaken by Volunteer Adult Literacy Practitioners (VALPs), the training requirements of those roles and the support/cpd that might be available to VALPs.  Enquiry also researched LAs Community Learning and Development (CLD) and Adult Literacy and Numeracy (ALN) practitioner’s experiences regards the use of VALPs, as well as best practice around their recruitment and training requirements. 

17 of the 32 Scottish LAs participated within the three stages of this research, providing quantitative and qualitative data which offered insight into the changing face of adult literacy provision currently in Scotland, as well as evidencing the wide use of VALPs, predominately as classroom assistants.  Variances were found regards training for VALPs as well as in the processes surrounding their management and support.  This report recommends further research into policies and procedures with LAs to assist in setting benchmarks for the recruitment and management of VALPs, as well as research into current endorsed VALP training to evaluate its suitability in the changing demands of adult literacy.  It suggests the need for marketing campaigns, a requirement for variance in demographics of VALPS as well as the benefits for improved networking and communication channels between literacy practitioners.  Finally, this research has raised questions about the changing landscape and perhaps demising profile of adult literacy and CLD.

Download full dissertation: 

Vikki Carpenter MEd Dissertation 2017 (PDF)

Last modified: Monday, 18 December 2023, 11:16 AM