ICTZINE 3rd June 2010

Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater

The government is still remaining tight-lipped about the future of the BSF programme, while diligently cutting away Becta, the Qualifications and Curriculum Development Agency, and the General Teaching Council.

BSF remains a valuable programme for many reasons. Primarily, it is lifting many schools out of the Victorian age and providing modern learning environments, which includes modern teaching equipment and technology. It is also providing a valuable source of income for the construction sector, which is still waiting for investors to start putting money back into property.

If Michael Gove continues on his current path, then there will be nothing left of a framework holding together the education system, except for a promise to pass all responsibility for education from central government to other interested parties. Babies and bathwater spring to mind.

I can understand why the government would want to flex its muscles by tinkering with high profile departments such as Education (why else did David Cameron refuse Gove’s offer to step aside for a Liberal Democrat minister?). But there comes a point when you’ve got to ask whether or not something is broken before you start trying to fix it. Our children need modern environments for learning, and BSF well on the way to providing them.

Do you think the academies’ route would be more effective at providing modern schools? I would be interested to hear your thoughts.


Nathan Bushell, editor

Will the BSF programme be abandoned?

he Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme may have to be scaled back to pay for the government's ‘free schools’ programme, the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has warned.

Building work on hundreds of schools may have to be abandoned, the IFS said, and that there was not enough money both to finish Labour's £55bn school renewal programme and fund free schools, the BBC reported this week.

The government's free schools policy encourages parents' groups, trusts, charities and other providers to set up their own schools, while Labour’s BSF programme promised to rebuild or renew every one of the 3,500 secondary schools in England by 2020.

Work is under way or finished in more than 400 schools, and another 1,000 are at various stages of planning.

Luke Sibieta, from the IFS, said it was "difficult to imagine" the government would be able to fund both projects and "something had to give somewhere" Read More...

Academy status applications ‘overwhelming’

The Secretary of State has outlined the number of schools which have shown an interest in becoming academies following the DfE announcement of the intention to expand the programme.

Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove said: “I believe that headteachers and teachers know best how to run schools, not local bureaucrats or politicians. That’s why last week I wrote to every school in the country inviting them to take up academy freedoms if they wished to do so. 

“The response has been overwhelming. In just one week, over 1,100 schools have applied. Of these, 626 are outstanding schools, including over 250 primary schools, nearly 300 secondary schools (over half of all the outstanding secondary schools in the country) and over 50 special schools. Read More...

PC trade-in scheme launched

Education company RM has announced the launch of a new PC trade-in scheme called ScrapIT, to raise money for ICT projects in Africa, as well as providing UK schools with the most up-to-date education technology.
Read More..

O2 Media Awards reward young communicators

O2 has introduced a new award category in this year’s Media Awards for Yorkshire and Humber. Aimed at 13-25 year olds, the award will recognise the work of young people who are using communication skills to make a difference in their communities.
Read More..

RM’s profits up 20%

RM has announced interim results for the six months to 31 March 2010

Its operational headlines are:
Strong revenue growth in Education Resources, BSF and US.
Read More..

Dell evolves

Dell has launched a number of new services and products, as part of its Connected Classroom learning environment.

“These help provide schools and teachers with the necessary technology and understanding to transform the traditional classroom into an environment in which students can be nurtured and prepared for life in the digital age,” Dell said in a statement. Read More...

Frog MD leaps to award nomination

Gareth Davies, managing director of Halifax-based learning platform provider Frogtrade, has been shortlisted as a regional finalist in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards 2010.

Applied learning centre

Fakenham & Wells Times recently reported how Fakenham High School is engineering a deal to take over one of the town's empty factory units as part of a £1m investment in education.
Read More..

Online safety prize

Year two pupils from The Prince of Wales First School, Dorchester have won an online safety competition, Dorset’s ‘View Online’ has reported.
Read More..

Dynamic Learning – anytime, anywhere

Dynamic Learning is an online teaching and learning resource. Combining award-winning quality content with easy-to-use tools, it supports teachers and encourages students to develop, progress and achieve.
Read More..

Award for RM

RM was recently awarded the title of Top IT Employer at the 2010 Top Employers United Kingdom awards, run annually by the CRF Institute.

Local strength, global reach

Focus Educational Software, based in Truro, is a BETT Award winning publisher of 22 interactive digital learning resources for primary and secondary education.

Free digital presenters for lucky schools

Ten lucky schools recently learned that they had been successful in their application for a free SDP-860 Digital Presenter.

RM announces strategic forums

'Inspirational and challenging'. That was the verdict on the Learning Spaces RM created at BETT this year, RM announced recently.

New maths practice software from DLK

DLK has just released a new suite of eight Maths software titles called MathaMax.

MathaMax complements its successful MathsWork suite, and the company is offering all schools in the UK one free title from the suite with a full site licence. Just send them an email to sales@dlk.co.uk asking for one. Read More...

School AV / Digital Media Technician

Our outstanding school is looking for a vibrant person to support both children and adults with moving forward in digital communication.

The ideal candidate would display a passion for ICT and the ability to motivate others in this area with particular emphasis on:
- Managing and developing communication within and from the school including MLE (Managed Learning Environment), website and display screen
- Using film/photography, including editing, display, supporting pupils and staff
- Troubleshooting on a daily basis ensuring effective and efficient use of technology across all aspects of school life.

Call 0208 502 4947
or email: info@edurecruitment.co.uk for more information

School ICT technician

Our Client, an ICT support organisation dedicated to supporting Schools ICT systems and Networks is currently expanding and looking for additional members of staff either contract or permanent with skills and experience of dealing with Schools Networks, SIMS, CC3 / 4 and possibly experience of installations and support of Whiteboards.

We look forward to hearing from you if you are located in the South / South West London area. We also have roles similar to this throughout the UK, call for more information.

Call 0208 502 4947
or email: info@edurecruitment.co.uk for more information

Education ICT Support Service is currently looking for a Field Based ICT Engineer

You will be working alongside Schools in maintaining and developing ICT in line with the Becta Frame Work.

You will be responsible for visiting Schools and carrying out hardware, software installations, basic administration, health checks, fault trouble shooting, minor repairs and maintenance of peripherals.

Applicants MUST have previous experience supporting ICT within an education establishment and possess an understanding of Windows hardware and software, networking, educational software and knowledge of RM CC3 / CC4 is highly desirable.

Call 0208 502 4947
or email: info@edurecruitment.co.uk for more information

notgoingtouni's mission is to help today's young people make informed career decisions and realise there are great opportunities outside of the traditional university route. We feature apprenticeships, training providers, distance learning, A level schemes, employer funded degree's, course listings, advice, jobs and more.

Internet paedophiles targeted

Four out of five children can’t tell when they are talking to an adult posing as a child on the internet, according to researchers working on software to track paedophiles online.

Computer Scientists at Lancaster University have been working on a tool which can work out a person’s age and gender using language analysis techniques. They hope it will eventually be used to help police and law enforcement agencies spot when an adult in a chartroom is masquerading as a child as part of the victim ‘grooming’ process. Read More..

Becta Home Access Assistive Technology service manager

Becta has awarded a contract to Vangent to provide bespoke Assistive Technology solutions for those learners with the most profound disabilities or Special Educational Needs under the Home Access programme.

Home Access is a government programme managed by Becta which aims to ensure that more children in state-maintained education in England have access to technology at home to support learning. Eligible low-income families can apply for a grant to purchase a Home Access computer and internet package. Read More..

Play versus computers

The Telegraph this week reported claims made by Besa that under-fives are being exposed to modern technology at the expense of traditional play-based activities.

Under the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), children are supposed to hit a series of targets covering literacy, numeracy, problem-solving and social interaction by the age of five – a policy that has, according to the Telegraph, been criticised for being too restrictive and forces children into inappropriate early learning before they are ready. Read More..

Call for papers

The call for papers process is now live for BETT and the Education Show 2011.

BETT: 12-15 January 2011 at Olympia, London (www.bettshow.com). Education Show: 17-19 March 2011 at NEC, Birmingham (www.education-show.com).


Books gather dust

National Literacy Trust research reveals more young people own a mobile phone than a book.

Findings from new National Literacy Trust research to be published on Wednesday 2 June 2010 reveal that 86% of young people in the UK own a mobile phone, while only 73% have books of their own.



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