ICTZINE 27th May 2010

Time will tell

The reality of the government’s headline priority of cutting spending is beginning to hit home. No government department has been spared, and education has been forced to do its fair share of the housework – namely £670m of savings to be made this year.

We’ve been assured that funding for the Sure Start programme will remain untouched during the next year, as will the planned spending for 16-19-year-olds. However, the schools techonology agency, Becta, has been closed down, with the loss of 240 jobs; does the government’s hasty closure of Becta signal a broader distaste for technological resources in schools?

The way schools are managed, and funds controlled, is being looked at more closely with the government’s aim to push more schools down the ‘academy’ route. How with this affect spending on ICT resources? Will it open up access to new funds as schools are no longer required to ringfence certain pots of cash? Or will the opposite be true, as this apparent freedom to manage schools also allows the government to restrict funds?

Only time will tell if the government’s haste to cut back on spending doesn’t result in a decline in standards. If it does, then the ripples will be felt well beyond the school gate.

Nathan Bushell, editor

The demise of Becta

Becta has been closed as part of the new government’s plan to cut spending. The closure of the schools technology agency will save an estimated £80m from the education budget.

In response, chairman Graham Badman, and chief executive Stephen Crowne, said: “Naturally we are very disappointed at the government’s decision. Becta is a very effective organisation with an international reputation, delivering valuable services to schools, colleges and children. Our procurement arrangements save the schools and colleges many times more than Becta costs to run. Our Home Access programme will give laptops and broadband to over 200,000 of the poorest children.”

About 240 jobs are expected to be lost, and Graham and Stephen promised “an orderly and fair process for staff”. Other priorities are that “as far as possible schools, colleges and children continue to benefit from the savings and support that Becta has provided. We will be talking to Government Departments and our other stakeholders including the industry about this.” Read More...

Route to academy status made easier

Providers of technology to schools will be weighing up the possible consequences of the secretary of state for schools’, Michael Gove, decision to invite all primary and secondary schools to apply to become academies, especially since it comes in the wake of the closure of Becta.

Schools that are rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted will be fast tracked through the process.

Subject to Parliamentary approval of the Academies Bill, introduced in the House of Lords today, the first tranche of these academies will open in September 2010 and schools that become academies will enjoy:

freedom from local authority control
the ability to set their own pay and conditions for staff
freedom from following the National Curriculum
greater control of their budget
greater opportunities for formal collaboration with other public and private organisations
freedom to change the length of terms and school days
freedom to spend the money the local authority currently spends on their behalf. 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.

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). 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..

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. The study of over 17,000 young people reveals a strong link between both young people’s reading ability and access to books at home. Read More..

Social networking more important than family

Facebook has become one of the biggest influences on the lives of girls, according to a recent survey conducted by National Family Week.

A study of 8-15-year-olds for National Family Week found 40% of girls identified Facebook as one of the most important things in their lives – compared with 6% of boys. Parents were found to underestimate the significance of technology. Read More...



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