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Minister's favourite initiative

Brian Wilson, the Education Minister, said that of all of the initiatives since he came to power the Pounds 24 million directed to early intervention pleased him most.

"If you can identify children with problems, particularly in literacy and numeracy, and put all the professional skills available to support children and families, the results in terms of personal development and life opportunities are greatly enhanced. Problems can be averted," Mr Wilson said.

He promised that as long as he was minister, he would ensure "a greater concentration of resources on special education needs".

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