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Prime minister Tony Blair has welcomed a businessman's pledge of£1m to fund an expansion of the government's summe...
Prime minister Tony Blair has welcomed a businessman's pledge of£1m to fund an expansion of the government's summer literacy schools.

He said he was 'delighted' that Maurice Hatter, chairman and owner of IMO Precision Controls Limited, had responded instantly to the call for private sector support.

Earlier, Mr Blair had pledged£4m in central and local government backing if the private sector provided an additional£1m. The money will be used to fund a massive expansion next year in the number of places for pupils who have fallen behind in reading and writing.

Mr Blair said:

'Maurice Hatter has a great record for helping charitable causes, and a clear commitment to education. This year's summer schools were a great success and the help he is offering will make next year's an even greater success.

'All the time, we are strengthening the partnership with business and involving them in the crusade to raise standards in schools, because business and industry depend upon us producing a well-educated and highly motivated workforce.'

Mr Hatter said in a statement: 'I totally support the government's emphasis on education as its top priority. It is the key to our future success as a nation. It is clear that the extra help for children over the summer has been a success and I am pleased to be part of a plan to extend that help to thousands of others.'



Maurice Hatter was born a Cockney within the sound of Bow Bells in 1929. Ten years later, when the war broke out in 1939, he was evacuated to the USA and educated in New York and Philadelphia.

Mr Hatter's passion for electronics developed during his National Service in Libya with the Royal Signals and when he left the Army in 1951 he started an electronics company with just£100 to his name.

Today, Maurice Hatter is the chairman and owner of IMO Precision Controls Limited. IMO has supplied control components to British industry for more than 20 years and earned a reputation for innovation, quality and value for money.

In the late '80s Maurice Hatter founded the Hatter Institute for Cardiovascular Studies at University College Hospital, London and, as principal sponsor of the institute, has been greatly involved with its development. Over the next three years he has pledged£400,000 to continue to support the institute. In 1996, Mr Hatter became an Honorary Fellow of University College London.

Mr Hatter is also a governor of the University of Haifa, chairman of the students' committee and a keen supporter of the university's Department of Maritime Civilisations - reflecting his love of maritime matters and interest in archaeology. He has taken part in the university's diving excavations and underwater archaeology expeditions. The university awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in June 1996 in recognition of his contribution to the study of Man and the Sea.

Mr Hatter became the first Vice President of World ORT - the largest non-governmental training organisation in the world which operates in 60 countries teaching a range of skills to more than 250.000 students. Mr Hatter has sponsored many new technology courses, directly benefiting thousands of students. Mr Hatter is also vice president of British ORT, a governor of the ORT Braude International Institute of Technology - where he endowed the Chair of Control Systems - and an honorary fellow and governor of ORT Academic College for Teachers in Technology at the School of Engineering in Jerusalem.

He is strongly committed to the development of two new ORT schools in Moscow and St Petersburg.

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