David Blunkett and Chris Woodhead (TES, January 16) both speak as though literacy and numeracy are preconditions of creativity and imagination. First, they imply, children must learn to read and write and count; later they will be able to apply their hard-won skills to creative effect. They are mistaken. Unless the imagination is critically engaged from the outset in the business of acquiring literacy and numeracy, literature and mathematics lose their value no less than their charm. Imagination is central, whatever the subject matter, however young the child.
MICHAEL ARMSTRONG Harwell Primary The Styles Harwell, Oxon