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Monday, September 27, 1999 Published at 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK

UK: Scotland

Pupils go online for learning

Every pupil will receive their own e-mail address

A Scottish local authority has linked all of its primary and secondary schools to the internet.

More than 1,000 computer terminals have been installed in 49 primary and eight secondary schools in Moray as part of the Moray Schools ITC Network.

The scheme, which was funded through the government's public finance initiative, is the first of its kind in the country and was launched by the Scottish Parliament's Deputy Minister for Children and Education, Peter Peacock.

ICL, the IT services company, won the £12.5m contract to implement the project, involving 14,000 pupils.

[ image: The new project should revolutionise learning]
The new project should revolutionise learning
The council said every pupil has received their own personalised e-mail address and has access to state-of-the-art computers and software.

They will also have controlled access to the internet, as part of the scheme to open up further educational opportunities.

The project was part of the UK Government's aim to ensure every school child in the country has easy access to worldwide communications.

Moray Council said the schools project has beaten Tony Blair's IT and education target by three years.

To ensure the initiative runs smoothly, each of the district's teachers is being trained to use the new equipment.

ICL has incorporated software aimed at complementing curriculum work, with assistance from the Scottish Council for Educational Technology.

Video conferencing

The new computers should also provide video conferencing and distance learning opportunities.

The system is capable of plugging into other networks, such as those belonging to libraries and will eventually be linked to the University of the Highlands and Islands.

It also promises to improve school security. CCTV links to the computer system will provide enhanced security for schools 24 hours a day.

And in the future it is envisaged that parents will be able to log on to the system from their home PC - giving them greater access to their child's schoolwork.

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