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Every teacher and pupil at Blackpool schools are expected to have their own computerised electronic mail address by...
Every teacher and pupil at Blackpool schools are expected to have their own computerised electronic mail address by the end of the year as part of a technological revolution that's set to transform the town's education service.

In addition, all teachers and a significant number of the pupils will be connected to a high speed Internet link that'll give them fast, fingertip access to a wealth of learning on-line.

Even though the town has only been an education authority since April 1998, it is already way ahead of the government's target to see all schools connected to the information superhighway by 2002.

Also, it's among the top 20 authorities nationally for the amount of money it has attracted to fund the scheme and is leading the way in a number of other developments.

Coupled with the huge investment in IT by schools and the introduction of computers for use by the public and schools in local libraries the town is already at the cutting edge of tomorrow's technology.

The type of technology being installed is among the most modern available to carry the authority well into the 21st century and to pave the way for exciting future developments such as links making it possible for teachers and pupils to dial into school computers from home.

Council leader Ivan Taylor said Blackpool is utilising the latest technology to put children's learning at the forefront.

He said: 'Technology is revolutionising the way we all work and has a crucial role to play in education.

'Children are our future and it's vital that they are trained in tomorrow's skills to keep pace with today's rapidly-changing society.

'Youngsters in Blackpool can look to the future with confidence because we as an education authority are determined to ensure they get the right training and education to equip them for the next century.'

Four Blackpool schools, Devonshire Juniors, Bispham Endowed Primary and Montgomery and Collegiate High Schools already have progressive interactive whiteboards - screens that project computer images to the whole class - and the aim is to fight for funds for more to be introduced in classrooms across the town.

And as an added bonus, schools can take advantage of top quality equipment at highly competitive prices thanks to a partnership arrangement between the Council and computer-makers Gateway.

In an effort to remain at the forefront of technological change the town helped to set up a North West education authority consortium.

The consortium was forged to establish an innovative Regional Learning Grid to allow schools to pool resources and information with colleagues further afield.

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