Headlines: May 14th, 1999

The first 25 Education Action Zones are putting into effect their diverse plans to raise standards with the stamp of approval from Education Minister David Blunkett. The zones provide an opportunity for parents, businesses, local education authorities and other in the community to work with groups of schools to pioneer new approaches to improving education.

The plans include working with a local cable company, to bring the classroom into the home, by making educational TV programmes using people and schools in the Zone; developing a website and Zone intranet based on schools sharing curriculum materials and information, linking with community groups and commercial organisations and developing a radical new secondary curriculum based on the needs of individual pupils, which includes a Young People’s College for 14 -16 year olds.

Applications for the second round of zones closed last month and the successful bidders will be announced in June. Zones receive up to 20,000 pounds to put their plans into action.