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Pounds 5 million to bolster literacy

Education authorities will soon be asked to bid for grants available from a Pounds 5 million Government project that aims to raise standards of literacy and numeracy in primary schools.

The project will establish a network of centres, in co-operation with the Office for Standards in Education, to work with groups of primary schools. It will also develop OFSTED inspection evidence about effective teaching and learning in the core skills, and provide training and consultation for teachers to raise standards.

The Government will make up to Pounds 5m available out of the Grants for Education Support and Training budget for the project in 1996-97. But a Department for Education and Employment spokesman said that the precise figure would depend on how the proposals develop and on the quality of bids from education authorities. The Department believes many will see the project as a priority.

The announcement followed a survey by the Secondary Heads Association which found that attainment levels of children transferring from primary school have fallen since the introduction of the national curriculum.

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