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* Some countries, such as France and the US, have a national style of handwriting. In the UK, the decision rests with individual schools

* Forty per cent of girls and 25 per cent of boys of school-leaving age say they suffer pain when writing quickly

* Children who write fewer than 10 words a minute can ask for permission to dictate exam answers to a scribe

* Some schools teach joined-up writing in Year 1. Others wait until Year 3

* Only one in three primary teachers claims to have received instruction in teaching handwriting during training

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