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Counting on better results

"I want to see children smile," said David Fann, headteacher of Sherwood primary in Preston, Lancashire. "That's what I would measure."

But when it came to bidding for hard cash, he knew smiles were not likely to be enough.

Mr Fann said: "If someone gave me pound;5,000 to spend on music, I could do an awful lot. I know in our schools literacy and numeracy are strong. We want to broaden the curriculum." But his school is now part of a learning network which has chosen to focus on maths.

He said: "We needed something that, hopefully, can be measured through tests data. At the end of the day, the county and the Government are going to look for improvements." Sherwood primary and six other schools have been awarded pound;14,000 to trial ways of improving maths, focusing on the "dips" in children's performance when they move through the key stages.

Mr Fann said: "To be honest I am glad we are doing what we're doing, but I would like to see more emphasis on a broad and balanced curriculum. Staff need to be encouraged to break the mould."

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