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Thursday, 16 April, 1998, 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Laptops for school heads
laptop user
The government's vision for education is hi-tech heads
The government is continuing its drive to "wire-up" schools by supplying 9,000 laptop computers to head teachers and other senior staff.

Education Secretary David Blunkett announced the 23m initiative at the National Association of Schoolmasters and Union of Women Teachers' conference in Scarborough.

"Teachers will be in the vanguard of our information age," he said. "They need to be able to inspire young people and show that they too can use IT."

Mr Blunkett also announced further private investment to help repair crumbling schools.

sink
Help for shabby schools
He said 500m was being released by the government. Of this, 257m is part of the 1.3bn New Deal for schools announced last summer by Chancellor Gordon Brown and funded by the windfall tax on public utilities.

He also revealed details of 200m from partnerships with business and 50m from National Lottery funding and disposing of schools' surplus resources.

The Education Secretary told the NASUWT the first phase of the New Deal had improved conditions in 2,000 schools and the new cash would benefit another 4,000 over the coming year.

The public-private partnerships will operate in Cornwall, Tower Hamlets in London, Stoke-on-Trent and Sheffield. Projects range from improving five of Sheffield's most dilapidated schools to work on 126 in Stoke.

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