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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 September 2005, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Online link for Scottish schools
Children using computers
It is hoped the system will revolutionise teaching
Scotland's 800,000 teachers and pupils are to be linked by one of the world's first schools intranet systems.

The Scottish Executive has announced a 37.5m contract to develop the system, which should be online by early 2007.

It will offer pupils and teachers video clips, high-quality graphics and access to learning resources from computers at school or at home.

Education Minister Peter Peacock said the hi-tech project would see Scotland leading the world.

Mr Peacock said the intranet was the final piece in the Scottish Schools Digital Network.

Learning will no longer end at the school gate
Peter Peacock
Education Minister

He said: "Behind the scenes, we have quietly been putting in place the necessary infrastructure - a large-scale broadband network linking all 32 local councils and a content delivery network providing access to 'rich' media such as video and audio clips - and now we are ready to take the next step which will revolutionise the way teachers teach and learners learn.

"Linking every school, every teacher and every pupil via a single intranet accessible from any computer means learning will no longer end at the school gate.

"Pupils will be able to do more meaningful work at home and parents will be able to take a much more active role in their children's learning."

Build communities

It is hoped the system will break down geographical barriers and increase potential for subjects such as Gaelic where distance learning is often a necessity.

The 37.5m contract has been awarded to IT firm RM to develop the intranet.

The Scottish Schools Digital Network interconnect component has been in place since November 2003.

The interconnect includes links to Learning and Teaching Scotland and the Scottish Qualifications Authority.

The executive said the national intranet will be the final piece of the secure online environment.

The system will also feature tools to help users share ideas, build online communities and to set up video and audio conferences in different parts of the country, or across the world.

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