Chalk and no talk
Naturally, it turned to the Department for Education and Employment for further enlightenment, but found its questions disappearing into a void of non-information.
The helpful spokesman started well.
"There will be 2,000 assistants in 199900, up to a total of 20,000 over three years. The 2,000 assistants this year will be used to help children in Years 3 and 4 who have fallen behind in literacy skills.
"And we are looking at putting together a coherent framework of qualifications for assistants. This should allow them to build to higher qualifications and reach a standard that could help them towards becoming a teacher," he said.
But questions as to the nature of training the new assistants will receive, and whether this might substitute for the standard entry requirements for teacher training drew a blank.
"We don't know yet. These things will be looked at very carefully and we will give out further details in due course," said the man from the DFEE.
"It's a question of pursuing things and taking things forward...There are no figures for how the 2,000 will be funded. We haven't got that information at the moment. We expect a full announcement as soon as possible... We announce things in stages... It's all good news."
So now you know.