that virtually all schools are now connected to the Internet. Primary
schools have made excellent progress - with 96 per cent online
compared to just 17 per cent four years ago - and almost all
Catherine Ashton said:
'The government's£1.8bn investment in ICT is paying dividends
and we are equipping our future generations for the challenges of the
new century. We must ensure that all schools are connected soon and
we want to help any of those who are not yet there.'
Today's figures, taken from a sample survey of schools in England,
also show progress towards the national grid for learning baseline to
be achieved by 2002. The baseline represents the minimum level of ICT
each school should have in order to take advantage of the benefits of
new technologies and to ensure pupils can access these new
technologies. As well as an increase in the number of schools
connected to the Internet, there has also been an increase in the
number of computers per pupil - from one computer for every 17.6
pupils in primary schools in 1998 to 11.8 currently. In secondary
schools there is now one computer for every 7.1 pupils.
Catherine Ashton added:
'I am also very pleased to note that the survey tells us that 73.4
per cent of teachers - more than ever before - feel confident in
their use of ICT. I believe this is directly attributable to the
Computers for Teachers initiative and the NOF ICT training
Now that most schools are online, the focus is moving to content and
best practice - making the most of what the internet can do for
education and what it offers to individual pupils, teachers and to
Catherine Ashton said:
'The internet offers a bewildering choice of sites and it is often
difficult to find quality resources and information. Last year we
launched TeacherNet as a search facility for teachers. In response to
growing expectations we have redesigned and greatly extended the
website to provide clear and easy access to a huge range of materials
'This will be the first time that such a wealth of educational
material has been collated into one, user-friendly resource. The DfES
and partner agencies are committed to making TeacherNet the only site
teachers need to remember for official information. Over the coming
months the content of the site will be significantly expanded as
other DfES sites for teachers are incorporated and new products are
brought on stream.
'I am also delighted at the news today that the number of teachers
signed up for ICT training - run by the new opportunities fund (NOF)
is running ahead of schedule, with over 355,000 teachers across the
UK already signed up, over three quarters of eligible teachers.'
The improved TeacherNet site will include:
- regularly changing and up-to-date content, including more than 200
case studies, website reviews and news;
- an online version of DfES' mailings to schools which can be
customised and filtered to focus on relevant information;
- a new framework of professional standards for teachers so that they
can compare the skills they need for their job now against the
skills needed for other types of teaching post; and
- the latest information on pay and performance management.
The NOF training is UK-wide and the SFR applies to England only.
1. The new figures, taken from a sample survey, are contained in
'ICT in Schools' a Statistical First Release. The full survey
results are due to be published in a Statistical Bulletin, but not
until October 2001.
2. The NGfL baseline was announced in September 2000. It is: a
computer:pupil ratio of at least 1:11 in each primary and 1:7 in
each secondary school; a connection to the internet in each school,
with at least 20% of schools connected at broadband level; and at
least one networked computer with Internet access in each school
for management and administrative purposes.
3. The government is investing£245m through the Standards Fund this
year to bring all schools up to the baseline.
4. The New Opportunities Fund distributes lottery money to health,
education and environment projects across the UK. NOF is releasing
a press notice on the latest ICT teacher training scheme today at
9.30am. The press office contact is Monica Hicks on 020 7211 1788
or at email@example.com
The NOF press notice will be available here.
5. Research published by the British educational and communications
and technology agency (Becta) in January and February 2001 found
that there is a consistent trend for pupils in schools with better
ICT resources to achieve better grades for English, maths and
science. It also found that at key stage 2 schools with good ICT
resources deliver better results than schools with poor ICT
resources even when compared with schools of a similar type and
irrespective of socio-economic circumstances. The reports are
available from the Becta website.