Latest estimates from an NOP poll show that 51% of primary schools are now connected to the Internet. This compares with only 17% in 1997. The survey was commissioned by the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTa) to investigate information and communications technology (ICT) usage in schools. Other estimates and surveys undertaken across the education service indicate that 90% of secondary schools, 100% of colleges of further education and 100% of universities currently have Internet access.
Although no targets have been set for connection by the end of 1999, the aim is that all schools, colleges, universities, libraries and as many community centres as possible should be online and able to benefit from access to the National Grid for Learning by 2002. To help achieve this target funding of some 700 million pounds will be available.
In addition 230 million pounds will be invested in training teachers in the use of ICT in the classroom. This will help bring serving teachers up to the standard required of new teachers entering the profession from September 1999 who have followed the Initial Teacher Training National Curriculum, which includes the use of ICT in subject teaching.