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Education and employment Secretary Gillian Shephard has welcomed news that the UK is leading the world in the provi...
Education and employment Secretary Gillian Shephard has welcomed news that the UK is leading the world in the provision of information technology in schools.

A study by Research Machines on International Comparisons on IT in Schools has revealed that:

-- UK secondary school pupils have more access to computers than any other G7 nation

-- there are twice as many computers per hundred students in UK secondary schools compared to Germany, with the UK even further ahead of Japan, France and Italy

-- of the G7 nations only in England and Wales is IT a core element of the curriculum

Mrs Shephard said: 'This research clearly demonstrates what we have known for some time - that UK schools are leading the world in IT. It puts British education in a strong position to set standards for education systems throughout the world. However we must not be complacent. We must strive for even higher levels of IT provision to ensure that the UK maintains its place at the top the international technological tree.'

The research also showed that:

-- the UK is the only country to have at least one computer in all of its primary schools - with a UK pupil:computer ratio of 1:17 compared to Germany where it is 1:500

-- the UK has the best pupil:computer ratio in secondary schools - 1:8.5, well ahead of Germany, France and Japan, and with Italy trailing behind with a large proportion of secondary students having no access to computers

-- the UK is one of only three countries - alongside Canada and France - that is installing multimedia systems in any great number and using them as a creative tool

-- the UK is unique in having both an IT advisory service and an inspection service.

The study looked at five key factors: the National Curriculum and educational policies of the G7 nations; pupils' access to computers; multimedia systems and CD Roms on local area networks; teachers' confidence in using IT; and the age of computers in schools.

The RM International Report on IT Trends in Education was commissioned by RM plc, and has been researched and written by The Advisory Unit: Computers in Education.

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