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2001: a classroom odyssey

Teachers will be backed by an extra 20,000 classroom assistants by 2001, Education Secretary David Blunkett announced this week.

Putting a figure to Prime Minister Tony Blair's earlier pledge to expand the numbers of assistants, he said teachers could not succeed without proper support.

Better support is one of five principles on which the Government says the Green Paper will be founded - the others are strong leadership in schools; a structure which allows teachers to progress without going into management; an incentive system; and a culture of continual development and updating of skills.

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