Speaking at the National Union of Teachers conference in Blackpool yesterday, Mr Blunkett said:
'I am today releasing£100 million which will help enable schools to get wired up to the National Grid for Learning. The money represents the biggest ever investment in schools ICT in a single year and goes some way towards fulfilling our promise of modernising the classroom. It will provide the first stage of technical infrastructure underpinning the massive programme of teacher training in the curriculum use of ICT announced earlier this year.
'The Grid has enormous potential for improving attainment, for supporting our main goal of driving up standards in schools and for delivering material which is of immediate, practical and working use to schools. For example it will enable schools in Cumbria to build on a range of local initiatives including the CREDITS programme to promote community learning. It will also help to address the particular needs of rural schools by enabling them to access the county's Intranet system;
support improvements to Stoke-on-Trent's schools' ICT resources and enable them to benefit from an innovative public/private partnership to develop multimedia learning resources. It will also help to fund the development of a network of ICT-based 'Open for Learning' facilities;
'I am pleased formally to launch the Virtual Teacher Centre and the Standards and Effectiveness Database on the Grid. We need teachers to be in the vanguard as we move into the information age. And, earlier this year we announced that the New Opportunities Fund would support£230m of training for teachers in the curriculum use of IT until 2002. These tools enable teachers to share ideas and good practice, to learn quickly from each other, and find out which schools are doing well and why.'
1. The Virtual Teacher Centre and the Standards and Effectiveness Database will give teachers and senior managers a new and rapid way of accessing essential information. They are both available on the National Grid for Learning website and enable teachers to disseminate good practice and measures which raise standards. They can be accessed at http://www.ngfl.gov.uk
2. The Virtual Teachers Centre will become a place for teachers to go for inspiration and help in raising standards. Its use will be evaluated in 1000 pilot schools. There will also be discussion with teachers and further development work leading to a fuller roll-out later in 1998.
3. The Standards and Effectiveness Database is being launched in parallel with Virtual Teachers Centre and will disseminate good practice and include information on target-setting, literacy, numeracy and bench-marking.
4. At British Education and Training Technology (BETT) '98 Mr Blunkett announced a lottery-backed£230m training programme to train all teachers in the effective curriculum use of ICT by 2002.
ALLOCATION OF NGfL STANDARDS FUND GRANT IN 1998-9
LEA Grant Allocation
Barking and Dagenham £622,000
Bath & NE Somerset £350,000
Bracknell Forest £196,886
Brighton & Hove £769,000
City of Bristol £763,657
City of Kingston-upon-Hull £540,171
East Riding of Yorkshire £800,000
East Sussex £782,861
Isle of Wight £219,104
Isles of Scilly £10,412
Kensington & Chelsea £351,802
Kingston upon Thames £262,376
Medway Towns, The £456,300
Milton Keynes £396,465
Newcastle upon Tyne £1,016,000
North East Lincolnshire £520,000
North Lincolnshire £200,000
North Tyneside £563,533
North West Somerset £293,573
North Yorkshire £969,671
Nottingham City £564,834
Redcar and Cleveland £507,395
Richmond upon Thames £160,792
South Gloucestershire £533,455
South Tyneside £364,477
St Helens £700,000
Thamesdown (Swindon) £341,942
Tower Hamlets £400,000
Waltham Forest £391,431
West Sussex £1,000,000
Windsor and Maidenhead £268,168
Wrekin, The £322,792
*LEA has been invited to submit revised proposals.