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Thursday, 18 November, 1999, 19:27 GMT
Web funding for specialist teachers
The ASE's good site may be about to get better

Groups representing specialist subject teachers are to be given up to 8,000 each to help develop websites.

The Schools Minister for England, Jacqui Smith, said that about 20 subject associations were expected to bid for the money to help them enhance websites on subjects they represent, such as science and history.

"My department is committed to working closely with subject associations in recognition of the important role they play in providing teachers with advice and classroom resources," she said.

The Minister for Learning and Technology, Michael Wills, said: "We recognise the key role that subject associations play in developing educational content for the National Grid for Learning in schools.

"Their websites encourage communication between teachers and allow them to contribute their own ideas of how best to teach particular subjects.

Encouraging dialogue

Some subject associations, such as the Design and Technology Association and the Association of Science Education, already had good sites which gave more effective support for the use of information and communications technology across the curriculum, he said.

"This money should accelerate the progress of online services and dialogue among the subject associations, and stimulate better use of ICT in teaching.

"The subject association websites are easily accessible to teachers from the Grid's Virtual Teacher Centre, which provides information on all areas of the curriculum."

The associations will have to get approval for a plan setting out how they would use the funds to build on their current state of development. The bids have to be in by 3 December.

They will get guidance from the British Educational, Communications and Technology Agency (Becta), the agency overseeing development of the learning 'grid'.

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