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Aides may not help

ADULT volunteers who help with children's reading may be doing nothing to improve literacy standards, a soon-to-be published University of Sunderland study says.

The revelation comes only days after Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett was said to be in favour of recruiting more "teaching assistants" for secondary schools.

The Government already plans to attract another20,000 classroom assistants for primaries by next year.

The Sunderland report is based on a three-year study of a volunteer reading programme in three socially-disadvantaged primaries. Researchers checked literacy levels at the end of the six-month project - and again after three years - and found no difference between classes tutored by and those without.

Full report, 31

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