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Stroke of genius

The most able 11-year-olds will have the chance to take GCSE maths before they start secondary school under plans announced by David Blunkett.

Five hundred Year 6 children will take the exam next year under the Advanced Maths Centres pilot scheme, run by the National Primary Trust, but the Government aims to extend this opportunity to all junior school math prodigies.

It is making a grant of pound;30,000 to the NPT to pilot Advanced Maths Centres for mathematically gifted pupils.

In addition, primary schools in England are to receive an extra pound;9 million to support the national numeracy strategy, bringing the total to pound;64 million. Schools will receive an average of pound;1,000 each to spend on equipment.

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