Headlines: June 24th, 2003

A new partnership has been agreed by the Department for Education, Oracle, and the Specialist Schools Trust to boost ICT education in schools which apply to become Maths and Computing, Technology or Business and Enterprise Colleges under the Government’s Specialist Schools ProgrammeOracle, the world’s largest enterprise software company, will supply software, learning materials, and teacher training to 40 prospective specialist schools via its Internet Academy, a move estimated to be worth more than 100,000 pounds per school. Schools which benefit will be able to count the support as half of the 50,000 pounds total sponsorship they are required to raise before they can become specialist institutions. The schools will raise the rest of the sponsorship money themselves.

The Department says that in specialist schools that benefit from the sponsorship pupils aged 16 to 19 will be taught application development, database and business skills. The course is internationally recognised by industry and forms a strong base from which to progress into higher level qualifications in ICT.

The Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, welcomed the partnership and said a workforce with technological skills was vital to Britain’s success. “The children in schools today will be our teachers, computer technicians and web designers of tomorrow – by investing in the education of our children now, we are investing in the future of the economy and society as a whole,” he added.