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Targets keep director awake

THE woman responsible for the national numeracy strategy admitted this week she lies awake at night worrying about the Government's maths targets.

Anita Straker, director of the strategy, said she loses sleep over the best way of achieving the aim of 75 per cent of 11-year-olds reaching level 4 by 2002.

She told The TES: "My job is all-absorbing and all-consuming. I think we will make it but I do worry about ways the strategy can be improved." Mrs Straker revealed her fears to teachers this week at a TES-Keele seminar, one in a series for senior managers n schools and local authorities.

The target is one on which Education Secretary David Blunkett has staked his job.

Schools were required to teach a daily maths lesson from the beginning of the academic year.

The Government estimates that 70 per cent of primaries began teaching the national numeracy strategy a year ahead of schedule.

The next TES-Keele seminar will be on June 6 when Professor David Hopkins, of Nottingham University, will talk about school improvement strategies. More on this week's seminar can be found at www.tes.co.uk

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