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Lib-Dems call for fourth 'R'

Schoolchildren should be given education in the "fourth R", articulation, alongside the traditional reading, writing and arithmetic, the Liberal Democrats said this week.

Developing policies to boost performance in the "four Rs" will be a key priority of an education commission set up by the party, chaired by Bethan Marshall, of King's College London, and including former children's TV presenter Floella Benjamin.

Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat education spokesman, said that a mountain of tests on the "three Rs" had led to a neglect of teaching the skills needed in order that children could speak and listen effectively.

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