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Cash for classroom assistants

The Scottish Office has told local authorities that around pound;1 million of the pound;19 million extra for Scottish schools in last month's budget should be spent on piloting the use of classroom assistants.

The money, part of a pound;15 million package for 1998-99, is to find the best way to free teachers from routine tasks so they can teach.

The rest of the cash will go to ensure schools are geared up to plug into the Internet, and on training for target setting and raising attainment.

A final sum of pound;4 million has already been announced to reduce class sizes in primaries one to three. Separate Scottish Office guidance is being sent to authorities on these funds, which are intended for areas where the problems are most acute and spending will have the most immediate impact.

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