communication technology (ICT) in teaching and learning makes an
important contribution to ICT in schools but the associated training
for teachers has not yet had an impact in classrooms, according to a
In April 1998, the National Grid for Learning (NGfl) earmarked£657m for the ICT infrastructure within schools and generic
training for teachers over a four-year period. In 2001, the NGfl
scheme was extended, with£710m of additional funding for
2002/04. From April 1999,£230m of lottery funds were made
available from the New Opportunity Fund (NOF) to help increase
teachers' competence in their use of ICT.
The report says that since OFSTED's first report, better publicity
and information for schools about the training scheme has resulted in
better understanding by teachers. There have also been some
improvements in the training, especially where providers have acted
on feedback from schools and from the Teacher Training Agency's
quality assurance advice.
As a result of these training improvements, especially where
providers have revised their materials, teachers have improved their
basic ICT skills and the extent to which it is used in classrooms has
risen. Pupils' ICT capability is improving throughout primary
schools, particularly in literacy, numeracy and other subjects. In
secondary schools, the incidence and quality of subject teaching
using ICT varies significantly. Where it is used, ICT has a
beneficial impact on teaching in four out of ten departments.
- There is now an unprecedented willingness in the teaching
profession to embrace ICT and newly qualified teachers accept ICT
as an integral part of their professional life. However, ICT has
continued to have a limited impact on teaching and learning in the
- in approximately six in ten schools, the training has failed to
adequately tackle issues relating to the quality of ICT;
- teachers left to their own devices to use distance learning
materials in their own time, have often made little headway;
- a significant number of teachers still experience difficulty with
- too many schools still have trouble in managing their ITC resources
and struggle to facilitate the full range of ICT work across other
The report notes that effective NOF training takes place where senior
managers in schools take an active interest in teachers' progress,
where there is effective peer support, and where groups of teachers
meet for part of the training.
The report acknowledges an overall, positive shift in LEA support for
ICT but with weaknesses remaining in a significant minority.
The report concludes that there is scope for further developments and
improvements in the government's ICT initiatives.
It says there is a need at the national level to:
- set out broad intentions with regard to any future specific funding
of ICT beyond 2004 to ensure that recent advances in ICT resources
in schools are maintained;
- develop a long-term national strategy for broadband services to
include libraries, community learning centres, museums and
galleries alongside industrial, commercial and domestic uses;
- integrate training in the strategic management of ICT into the
national training programme for senior managers in schools, by
building on the pilot courses run by NCSL and BECTa;
- develop further the role of ICT in the national literacy, numeracy
and Key Stage strategies;
Chief inspector Mike Tomlinson said:
'It is encouraging to see the developments in ICT training and
teaching since the last OFSTED report. With more work and subject
integration, further improvements should be attainable.'
1. ICT in Schools: Second Interim Report, Spring 2002, is available
from the OFSTED Publications Centre, Tel: 07002 637833; Fax: 07002
693274 or e-mail: email@example.com. It is also
available on the website .
2. This is the second OFSTED inspection report on ICT in Schools.
The first report was published in May 2001.
3. The inspection was based partly on the findings of OFSTED's
national programme of school and LEA inspections, but mainly on
visits to schools and LEAs by Her Majesty's Inspectors (HMI) and by
Additional Inspectors recruited by OFSTED specifically to evaluate
the impact of the initiatives.