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Literacy and numeracy task force to be set up


15/02/2008 :: Northern Ireland :: The Irish News

A government task force to tackle poor standards in literacy and numeracy is to be established - almost a year after it was first pledged.

The Department of Education promised action after it was criticised by the Westminster Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for its lack of progress in improving children's mathematics and English.

The PAC said schools had "a long tail of children who are not performing well" and the department needed to provide "impetus to the promotion of literacy and numeracy".

In its response to the committee in February last year the department said would "set up a literacy and numeracy task force by April 2007".

Education minister Caitriona Ruane yesterday confirmed the establishment of the new group.

"For all young people to reach their full potential we must ensure that they leave school with an acceptable level of literacy and numeracy, which at present is not the case for far too many," she said.

The task force will be chaired by Sir Robert Salisbury, who has vast experience in the field of education as a former head teacher of a school facing challenging circumstances and his involvement in leadership training.

"The north of Ireland faces many challenges, one of which is to ensure that all children are provided with the same, and appropriate, opportunities in life," he said.



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