Industrial action in NI

Thousands of teachers in Northern Ireland began limited industrial action yesterday in a dispute over disparities in pay and career opportunities with their counterparts in England and Wales.

They also want tasks removed that do not require professional skills and expertise from teachers' and principals' duties.

Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT, the largest NI teachers union, said: "We have met with nothing but delay and prevarication from the minister." MP: dyslexia is myth

Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Manchester Blackley, has claimed that dyslexia is a myth to cover up bad teaching of reading and writing.

Mr Stringer said he believed many children fail to learn to read and write properly because the wrong teaching methods are used. He also suggested there was a link between illiteracy and crime.

He made the comments in a column he writes for a Manchester website. Early years changes

Sue Ellis, currently a senior director in charge of implementation of communication, language and literacy programmes for under-fives, is to become head of the Early Years Foundation Stage. She will take up post next month.

Ruth Pimentel, current national director of early years at the National Strategies, has resigned. Book prize for lift-off

British Airways pilot Rob Stevens has been shortlisted for the 2009 Waterstone's Children's Book Prize for The Mapmaker's Monsters. The winner will be announced today. New Year's Honours Last week, we reported that Ralph Tabberer, Director General for Schools at the Department for Children, Schools and Families, was knighted in the New Year's honours list. In fact, he was awarded the Companion for the Order of the Bath. In addition, we failed to note that David Sleep, Head of Unit, National Strategies Management Team, Schools Directorate, DCSF, had been awarded an OBE.

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