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The Government's agenda on Education;Raising standards for all

The business agenda for action in partnership with government and the qualifications and curriculum support.

The Government, supported by business and partner or-ganisations including local authorities, training and enterprise councils and education business partnerships, aims to raise standards in education and training, in order to achieve a more competitive workforce and cohesive society.

To raise standards of education and training for all to internationally competitive levels the priorities are:

* raise standards of literacy and numeracy in primary schools to meet nationally the Government's targets for 2002 achieved through new strategies designed by the Literacy and Numeracy Task Forces * improve the performance of schools and colleges by target setting, inspection, value-added performance measures and management support including the Leadership Programme for serving headteachers with headteacher mentoring and the new National Professional Qualification for those aspiring for headship (NPQH) * improve the quality of recruitment to initial teacher training and the professional development of all teachers and school managers to raise the status, morale and performance of the profession * promote equality of opportunity in education, including tackling demotivation, underachievement and social exclusion in areas facing significant challenges through education action zones, a range of vocational and work-based options for 14-16 year olds and focused programmes to support ethnic minorities, the disabled and those with special learning needs or learning difficulties * encourage employers of all sizes, including small and medium sized companies, to support schools and colleges through out-of-school hours study support with additional grants from the New Opportunities Fund, work-related learning and qualifications (especially GNVQs), curriculum development projects, work experience and mentoring to raise achievement and prepare young people for adult and working life * make a reality of access to lifelong learning, in particular for low achievers.

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