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Thursday, 7 November, 2002, 16:15 GMT
Schools get 30m for digital curriculum
school computer room
Schools' spending on ICT has soared
Schools in England are due to get 30m this week to be spent on curriculum software.

Another 20m will go out next April.

The money, part of the government's Standards Fund, is in the form of "e-Learning Credits" which can only be spent on certified products and services, identified by a special logo.

These are from suppliers who have registered to provide materials for the Curriculum Online initiative.

Quality checks

The registered content providers have to show that their products support the curriculum as taught in England, that at least 80% is digital, and that the products work well technically.

e-Learning Credits logo
Look for the e-Learning Credits logo

The government computer agency Becta is vetting them.

The money went to local education authorities in September, and the authorities were due to release it to schools on Thursday.

Curriculum Online is designed to give teachers easy access to a wide range of digital learning materials, which they can use to support their teaching across the curriculum.

The Curriculum Online website is supposed to have a "portal" for schools to access the available material but that is not yet functioning.

Digital delivery

The credits were first announced in December 2001.

They were in part a response to industry fears that the BBC would dominate the digital curriculum business.

A report commissioned by an industry pressure group this July said the educational software industry in the UK could lose 400m worth of work if the BBC were allowed to dominate.

RM, a leading supplier of ICT to schools, says it is offering more than 250 certified software products and resources.

Research published by Becta, based on a study of 60 schools, has indicated that those which make heavy use of information and communication technology (ICT) generally outperform those that do not.

See also:

01 Nov 02 | Education
16 Jul 02 | Education
10 Dec 01 | Education
10 Apr 02 | Education
09 Jan 02 | Education
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