Issue 3 - September 2000
AS THE new football season starts, pupils across the country are ready to get their kicks from playing a fantasy league game aimed at teaming up their love for the game with a grasp of figures.
The idea was announced by Education Secretary David Blunkett who wanted to improve the numeracy among many of the nation's soccer-obsessed youngsters.
A schools fantasy league was created to capture the imagination of pupils, especially boys, who it was felt were easily bored by maths.
Each child pays £3.50 a year to enter a team, 20p of which goes to charity Barnardo's.
The organisers of the game do not take a profit, but use the funds for educational resources, such as producing maths lessons that are undertaken alongside the game.
The scheme was piloted last season in secondary schools and this season has been extended to the primary sector.
A Government spokesman explained: "Boys have traditionally performed poorly and regarded failure at maths as a badge of pride. That has got to stop."
Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "The football may be a fantasy, but the maths is for real. Tackling underachievement in the three Rs is a top priority."
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