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Countless copies;Diary

THIS IS WHY we need a national numeracy strategy: the Department for Education and Employment has run out of copies of its new numeracy handbook - just at that vital moment when primary teachers across the land head off for training sessions in preparation for its introduction in September.

"You'd have thought the DFEE would have been able to count how many copies it needed," fumes one head to the Diary - in between attempts at scrounging copies from fellow schools for a training day. An inquiry to the department's press office produces a heavy sigh.

"Yes, we are reprinting," says a lugubrious voice. "We printed 300,000 copies and they all went in six weeks. We based the print run on the literacy strategy, which took a whole year to sell 360,000 - we're a victim of our own success.

"It's available in full on our standards website," he adds, helpfully.

The good news: 200,000 more copies will soon be rolling off the presses. A quarter will be ready by July 12, with the rest out by the 16th - just in time for lucky teachers to take them off to read on the beach.

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