ICTZINE 24th June 2010

Questions over funding

It seems as though the government has had to decide between reducing the nation’s debt and promoting growth, and by studying the ‘emergency Budget’, it appears that it has opted for the former.

One department caught in the middle is the Department for Education. Michael Gove laid out an ambitious programme of reforms when he took on the role of Secretary of State for Education, but could face a 25% cut in his budget. Teachers are some of the victims since they will be facing a two-year pay freeze from 2011, but it’s not entirely clear how Gove is going to fund, for example, his Free Schools. The £50m that has been reallocated (previously used by Becta to hand out in the form of grants), isn’t going to go far, and he has yet to explain what is going to happen to the Building Schools for the Future programme.

Then there are the usual question marks; for example, what are schools going to cut back on first when their own budgets get squeezed? While ICT forms a central part of modern education, it makes a significant demand on a school’s resources, and headteachers, governors and ICT managers could be forced into delaying those ICT overhauls; bad for pupils and bad for business.

While the government has taken “we are all in it together” attitude, it will be school children who ultimately lose out. Education is a vital part of our society, and for the last ten years the playing field has been levelled so that greater numbers can experience top-level teaching supported by modern technology. While Michael Gove claims to be offering a private school-style education to those less advantaged, if he isn’t careful, he could undo all the good that has been carried under the previous system, and create an environment that is even more disparate and unfair than the one he is trying to ‘mend’.

Nathan Bushell, editor

ICT funding diverted to set up free schools

The Department for Education’s news desk today confirmed that capital funding earmarked for the government’s Free Schools programme has been diverted from the Harnessing Technology Grant that was previously at Becta’s disposal.

ICTzine was told that the £50m will go towards the capital costs involved in purchasing land and materials. It will also go towards the ICT costs, but it is expected that this will be paid for by the per pupil funding. This figure will be reviewed on an annual basis, as the building programme progresses. Read More...

Oldham chooses Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty has been chosen to deliver Oldham's BSF programme.

Following a lengthy dialogue with the local authority, two final bids were submitted in May by BBE and Equity Solutions. These were then evaluated in terms of their partnering, design and technical specifications, ICT, financial, commercial and legal offerings. 

Councillor Jack Hulme, Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “I am delighted to confirm Balfour Beatty as our preferred bidder for the BSF programme.

“It is to the credit of both bidders that they put together strong consortia and took part in what was a very challenging and competitive dialogue with us. Read More...

Frog apps

Frog has unveiled a host of new features at its National Learning Platforms Conference 2010. These included Frog Apps, a concept that will be familiar with all Apple iPhone users and a revolutionary new product for primary schools.
Read More..

Design on, win one

Education company RM is launching a new competition called designOne to get schools across the country to design their own computer frontage, for the chance to win and help build their very own customised RM One PC. Read More...

CPDs promote effective use of ICT

The Western Mail has reported that a scheme which helps teachers develop their knowledge and skills has had a positive impact in the classroom, according to Wales’s education watchdog.
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.
Read More...

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.
Read More...

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.
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


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RM deals

RM has announced a series of project wins.

Firstly, the company has been selected to provide managed ICT services to Derby City BSF programme. RM will provide the services as part of the Balfour Beatty Education consortium, which has been appointed preferred bidder for the contract (as reported in last week’s issue). Read More..

Safeguarding children

The Safeguarding Children Conference 2010, will take place in London on 29th June.

e-safe education is among the delegates who will be attending the conference to discuss the latest advanced strategies for predator grooming detection and the education of children and young people.
Read More..



Granada Learning Acquires W3 Insights

The Granada Learning Group has announced that it has acquired W3 Insights, a provider of psychometric attitude measurements for schools.

Granada said the acquisition will enhance the company’s existing assessment and school self-evaluation offerings and give teachers additional tools to unlock their pupils’ learning potential.

W3 Insights’ measurements provide information that can help reduce the negative impact of disaffection and low self-esteem on a child’s attainment. Read More..



Tighter legal framework could stifle creativity

Doctoral research into media education and media literacy at the University of Leicester has highlighted how increased legislative control on use of digital content could stifle future creativity.
 
The Digital Economy Act 2010, alongside further domestic and global legislation – including the ongoing ‘Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA)’ – combines to constitute a very hard line against any form of perceived copyright infringement. Read More...



Get organised 

Crick Software’s writing support software, WriteOnline, now includes WorkSpace, a visual mind mapping tool that enables students to organise their thoughts and ideas into diagrammatic format before they start to write.
 
WorkSpace’s intuitive layout means that students can start creating mind maps straight away, and because it is fully integrated into WriteOnline, children still benefit from WriteOnline’s speech feedback, word prediction and Wordbar support as they work. Read More...


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