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Longer at school

RUSSIA: Children are to spend an extra two years at school in an attempt to reduce the pressure on them and bring the country into line with the rest of Europe.

All Russian youngsters are to begin school at six and leave at 18. Ministers will establish national standards for subjects, but greater freedom will be given to regional authorities, educational institutes and other "shareholders" to tailor teaching to local requirements.

The old dual system of primary education, where some children started school at six and others at seven, will be scrapped and five-year primary education is to become the norm.

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