Directors named for basic skills
Ms Straker, a member of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority's consultative group for mathematics and science, will run the 12 numeracy centres. Mr Stannard, who has been a schools' inspector since 1987, will head the network of 13 literacy centres.
The local authority-based centres are part of a Pounds 25 million project, spread over five years, to improve primary pupils' standards in reading, writing and numeracy.
Schools minister Robin Squire said: "They will be building on what is known from inspection and research about what works in the classroom - and making sure that every local centre has a common agenda so that those lessons are applied in every school."
Anita Straker, the mother of four sons, taught in primary and secondary schools in London and Surrey. She is a registered inspector and has been accredited by OFSTED to train inspectors. Her keen interest in numeracy led her to write a variety of primary mathematics software and numerous books for teachers and pupils. In 1990 she was awarded the OBE for services to education.
John Stannard began his career as a primary teacher and moved into teacher training as a senior lecturer in primary studies at the Froebel Institute specialising in early-years education, and language and literacy. As an HMI, he has been responsible for a range of national reading surveys identifying key factors which influence standards and teaching quality.