New targets to reduce the number of children who share a computer in school have been set to support higher standards in primary and secondary schools. The targets for 2004, which use a 1998 baseline, are to reduce sharing in secondary schools from one computer to nine children to one to five and in primary schools to reduce from one computer to eighteen to one to eight.The new computers will be used to raise standards across the board and not just for teaching Information, Communication and Technology skills. New technology will be brought into everyday lessons and enhance teaching in traditional subjects such as Maths, English, History and Geography. Computer learning has an impressive record in raising basic skills – in one study a literacy class packed over five months of progress into just one month when new technology was brought into lessons.
Latest figures show a rapid growth in schools connected to the Internet. Some 12,500 primary schools have gained web access since 1998. This represents a rise from 17 per cent of schools with access in 1998 to 86 per cent today. Growth in secondary school connection has risen to 98 per cent compared to 83 per cent in 1998, leaving some 80 secondary schools to be connected.