Pupils to get one-to-one sessions

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The Independent Online

Ministers plan to earmark £60m a year for the schools with the largest numbers of pupils struggling to master the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic when they start secondary school.

The money, available between 2006 and 2008, will allow them to appoint a senior teacher responsible for setting up one-to-one tuition for those struggling - or teach them in smaller groups.

Ministers are also anxious to stretch the brightest pupils as well and give them special "master classes" which could allow them to take their national curriculum tests for 14-year-olds, GCSEs and even A-levels a year early.

The plan will be unveiled at a conference for headteachers organised by the Training and Development Agency for Schools - the body responsible for teacher training - in London today.

In advance of her speech this morning, Ms Kelly said: "We need more catch-up and stretch for pupils - particularly in literacy and numeracy. A key way to do that will be to have more one-to-one teaching and small-group tuition for pupils who would benefit from it."

The plans will be outlined in a White Paper on education due to be published next week.