Skip to content ↓

Management Group

Regional Colloquia 2015
Regional Colloquia 2015

Chair - Tara Furlong

Tara Furlong

Tara Furlong 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.

Treasurer - Paul Sceeny

Paul Sceeny

Paul Sceeny: I have over 20 years’ experience within the arena of literacy, language and numeracy, and currently work as a specialist technical advisor for a major UK-based awarding organisation. At various times I’ve been involved in qualification/assessment design, portfolio management, liaison with government and regulators, as well as working directly with providers across a range of settings. Originally from the south of England, I relocated to north west Ireland a few years ago – which gives me a perspective on the increasingly diverse approaches to LLN policy and practice across these islands. I’m especially interested in the differing approaches to digital literacies and inclusion – particularly the emerging attitudes, assumptions and pedagogy that underpin these. I’m a member of AONTAS and NALA, as well as a regular attendee at NATECLA events and conferences. You can contact me on and

Secretary - Toni Lambe

IMG_Toni Lambe

Toni Lambe 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

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

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


Jo Dixon 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. 


Journal Co-ordinator - Yvonne Spare

Yvonne Spare

Yvonne Spare 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 - Sam Duncan

Sam Duncan

Sam Duncan works at the UCL Institute of Education in adult literacy studies. Sam has a background in adult literacy education and now specialises in adult reading development and understandings of literacy practices across the life-course. She is the author of Reading Circles, Novels and Adult Reading Development (Bloomsbury, 2012), Reading for Pleasure and Reading Circles for Adult Emergent Readers (NIACE, 2014) and Oral Literacies: When Adults Read Aloud (Routledge, 2021). From 2017-2019, Sam was the recipient of an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Fellowship to research contemporary adult reading aloud practices across Britain, and she has just taken on the role of Director of the UCL Institute of Education's International Literacy Centre. Sam Duncan can be contacted on

Journal Production Editor - Claire Collins

Claire Collins

Claire Collins for queries about production of the journal.