Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point
On Air
Low Graphics

Thursday, January 28, 1999 Published at 07:40 GMT


Grid for Learning 'too limited'

A survey claims councils are failing to bid for money for computers

The National Grid for Learning, which will link every school to an Internet-based information network, is suffering from under-investment in some regions.

A survey by the National Association of Head Teachers, two years after the launch of the Grid for Learning, claims that there is a "scandalous" level of variation in the amounts spent on educational technology across Britain.

For instance, while spending on software and computers in Dudley in the West Midlands is over £35,000 a year per school, in Derbyshire the average spent per school was only £3,300.

[ image: David Hart:
David Hart: "Scandalous" that funds are not being taken up
The NAHT says the great differences in spending are a consequence of local education authorities failing to bid for the government money available for developing the Grid for Learning and connecting schools to the Internet.

Local authorities which were "lagging behind" were "failing schools in the drive to raise standards", said the NAHT's general secretary, David Hart. Such an unwillingness to fund the Grid for Learning was "nothing short of scandalous".

"There is a real danger that a significant number of schools will not receive the cash they need to modernise. Local authorities which block schools' access to adequate funding are doing a grave disservice."

In response, the government has said the Grid for Learning project was still on course.

"This is a five-year programme, not a two-year programme. We do recognise the need for local education authorities to provide high quality bids and we would certainly encourage them to do so," said the Schools Minister, Charles Clarke.

"The government is investing £1bn in improving access to, and teacher training in, information and communications technology.

"The money available up to 2002 will ensure every school will benefit by connections to the National Grid for Learning and every teacher who needs it will have access to the right training.

The NAHT published its survey results showing the local authorities that had spent the most and least as an average allocation to schools:

Top 10 spending authorities per school:

    Dudley £35,714
    Telford and Wrekin £25,057
    Knowsley £25,785
    Barking and Dagenham £19,080
    Birmingham £17,131
    Newcastle upon Tyne £16,532
    Bristol £16,469
    Kensington and Chelsea £15,936
    Brighton and Hove £15,894
    St Helens £15,582

Bottom 10 spending authorities:

    Derbyshire £3,335
    North Lincolnshire £4,118
    North Yorkshire £4,244
    Gloucestershire £4,310
    Wiltshire £4,637
    Northumberland £4,740
    Sandwell £5,515
    Enfield £5,608
    Essex £5,738
    Cornwall £5,779

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

18 Dec 98†|†Education
Local connections to Grid for Learning

17 Aug 98†|†Features
Powering up the Grid for Learning

06 Nov 98†|†Education
Boost for Net learning

06 Nov 98†|†Education
£700m boost for Net learning

28 Aug 98†|†Education
Wiring Scotland's schools

Internet Links

National Grid for Learning

British Educational Communications and Technology Agency

National Association of Head Teachers

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'