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David Hopkins meets the unions

* David Hopkins, director of the Department for Education and Skills standards and effectiveness unit, met the unions this week to discuss the forthcoming primary strategy.

The strategy, which is being led by Kevan Collins, is due to be published in May for schools to use from September.

It aims to improve teaching and learning methods. Pilot projects include intensive advisory support for low-achieving schools, the use of whiteboards and teaching assistants to help Year 6 pupils.

There has been a mixed response to the strategy, with some headteachers fearing it will focus only on reaching government targets of 85 per cent of 11-year-olds reaching level 4 in English and maths tests by 2004, at the expense of the rest of primary education.

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