FURTHER evidence of the "significant impact" of early intervention on basic skills has come from North Lanarkshire.
A pilot programme has seen literacy attainment levels rise in all 16 primaries taking part, according to a wide-ranging "standards and quality" report by the council modelled on HMI's version.
A reading recovery project has shown a significant improvement in reading ages for one in five of the primary 2 pupils experiencing the greatest difficulty.
Figures for the year from June 1998 to June 1999 for the number of pupils attaining at least level A by the end of primary 2 showed rises of 17 per cent in reading levels, 7 per cent in writing and 18 per cent in maths.
Dan Sweeney, North Lanarkshire's head of quality development, said that exta training, staffing and resources targeted at pupils in the initial years of primary are already bearing fruit.
"It is expected that the impact on attainent levels will be even greater when the full effects of the early intervention strategy are felt," Mr Sweeney said.
In the secondary sector, the report details the improvements in attainment made at both Standard grade and Higher between 1996 and 1999. While the number of General and Foundation awards per fourth-year pupil remained more or less static, there was a rise in passes at the top Credit level from 2.2 to 2.6 passes per pupil and the number of no awards fell by almost half.
In fifth year, the incidence of Higher passes per pupil in bands A-C was up slightly over the three-year period.