Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Management Group

Regional Colloquia 2015

Regional Colloquia 2015


Tara Furlong

Tara Furlong, Chair and Webweaver

Tara Furlong chair@rapal.org.uk has twenty years’ experience in adult education and training in the private and public sectors in the UK and abroad, specialising in integrated English language, literacies and digital learning. She is involved in delivering professional development via national organisations in the UK, and publication work; and has an established history of designing and implementing systemic curriculum quality initiatives in education providers. Tara has an ongoing interest in the relationship between multi-modal and contextualised versus abstracted learning; its mirror in social and literate practice and language across life spheres; and the function of storytelling in co-ordinating action. As well as work with Designing Futures Ltd, Tara does pro bono work for RaPAL, BALID, and is an active local school governor.


This post is currently vacant. If you might be interested in volunteering for this role, please do contact any of us to discuss.


IMG_Toni Lambe

Toni Lambe, Secretary

Toni Lambe  secretary@rapal.org.uk for queries about meetings and official communications. Toni has been involved in adult literacy education in a variety of capacities since the early 1990s and has considerable experience as an adult literacy tutor and tutor trainer. She has worked as an Adult Literacy Organiser and has strong background in the design, development, and delivery of family learning, and workplace learning programmes. Her teaching experience includes maths in FE. Toni has a particular interest in the links between literacy and equality and is currently working towards a PhD. Her research involves exploring the tensions between theory, policy, and practice in adult literacy education.

Membership Secretary

Acting Membership Secretary, Lorraine Durcan, can be contacted on membership@rapal.org.uk

Regional Advocate Co-ordinator

This post is currently vacant. If you might be interested in volunteering for this role, please do contact any of us to discuss.

Ordinary Members

Amanda Derry, Ordinary Member

Amanda Derry, Ordinary Member

Amanda amandaderry@edapps.wea.org.uk joined a community learning class in 2009, which led onto being a Support Tutor. She became involved with an allotment project, community choir and recovery organisations involving people with addiction and mental health issues. She taught a therapeutic arts course within a church in Chester as well as accredited/unaccredited courses in Family Learning for WEA (Workers Educational Association) in Manchester, with largely ethnic students. Courses involved embedding English and digital literacy, and life/employment skills. Amanda decided to undertake a PGCE for teaching adults through Aberystwyth University and has just gained a merit. She is committed to community learning and encouraging those for whom education isn’t immediately accessible. In her spare time, she creates vintage decorated art and meets a social group regularly to share art and cultural issues. She undertakes voluntary work within a shop/cafe in a local historic church, attends poetry open-mic nights and runs a writing page on face-book.

Ordinary member posts are currently available. If you might be interested in volunteering for these roles, which run for a year or more and generally involve participating in working groups on current projects, please do contact any of us.


Website Manager

This post is currently vacant. If you might be interested in volunteering for this role, please do contact any of us to discuss.

Digital Media Lead


Jo Dixon, Digital Media Lead

Jo Dixon digital@rapal.org.uk for queries about social media and other digital activity.  Jo’s teaching experience spans two decades and includes teaching ESOL, adult literacy, family literacy and ICT in various college and community settings. She has a track record of using new technologies to enhance teaching and learning, has been involved in projects with the NRDC and EMCETT as a practitioner-researcher and has co-authored a number of literacy and ESOL e-learning and m-learning products. Currently, much of her time is spent working on her PhD research exploring approaches to increasing digital inclusion with ESOL literacy learners.


Journal Co-ordinator

Yvonne Spare

Yvonne Spare, Journal Co-ordinator

Yvonne Spare journal@rapal.org.uk for access to and distribution of the journal. Yvonne has been Journal Coordinator since 2015, having also been Membership Secretary for five years, enjoying being the first point of contact for RaPAL members. She has been involved in adult literacies teaching and training for 25 years, with a special interest in family literacies and workplace learning. Before joining the RaPAL management group she was working for several years carrying out research for the University of Sheffield, NRDC, National Literacy Trust and the Reading Agency, among others. She also runs a proofreading and editing service for business and academic writers.

Reviews Editor

Sarah Freeman

Sarah Freeman, Reviews Editor

Sarah Freeman can be contacted on reviews@rapal.org.uk.

Journal Production Editor

Claire Collins

Claire Collins, Production Editor

Claire Collins productioneditor@rapal.org.uk for queries about production of the journal.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: