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Friday, December 4, 1998 Published at 08:38 GMT


The virtual education department

Site design is by London-based Thoughtbubble

The Department for Education has relaunched its Website - which gets a new look and is no longer hosted by the government's computer agency.

The department is understood to have been unhappy with the response speed of its site and has moved it to servers in Bath operated by the National Information Services and Systems (NISS) academic network.

This is something of a snub for the government's Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA), the gateway to more than 400 organisations, which boasts that it runs "Europe's largest public sector Internet Website".

In a new departure the Website is streaming live video, beginning with the visit to a school on Thursday morning by the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Next on the running order was the statement to the House of Commons by the Education Secretary, David Blunkett, setting out the government's Green Paper on the reform of the teaching profession in England.

After Mr Blunkett's statement, the DfEE Website began carrying his proposals in full.

The site is hosted on Sun SPARC server hardware running Solaris. As with all the national servers NISS hosts it has a fast direct connection to the SuperJANET national broadband network for the research and higher education community.

NISS also hosts sites for some other government agencies including the Welsh Office, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and the higher education funding councils for England and Wales.

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