THE Government is trawling for a director of the National Literacy Strategy to replace John Stannard, who retires at the end of the year.
Mr Stannard, who will be 60 this year, has been the driving force behind getting primaries to accept radical changes in the teaching of reading and writing.
He was appointed by John Major's government to head the National Literacy Centre, but its role was expanded by the new Labour administration.
The conten of the literacy hour in primary schools owes much to Mr Stannard. The strategy was the first attempt by a government to impose not only the content of a subject, but also how it should be taught.
Advocates of the strategy point out that almost three-quarters of 11-year-olds now reach the required level in English. In 1995 barely half of 11-year-olds reached that standard.
Mr Stannard was given a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.