Headlines: August 8th, 2003

Eighteen local education authorities will share a 10 million pound fund to develop areas in school to support the changing nature of education. The individual projects will be designed around the Government’s workforce reform agenda in which teachers are freed of administrative tasks, and the role and responsibility of support staff is boosted.Some projects will provide enhanced staff facilities for planning, preparation and assessment, on-the-spot work bases and creches for teachers’ children. Other schools will be constructing new e-learning and resource centres for staff and pupils, while another project will provide an improved working environment for education and health professionals in a special school.

Schools Minister Stephen Twigg said: “We are pleased to give the green light to a number of exciting projects demonstrating how teaching environments could be in the future. They will explore the contribution that design can make to school workforce reform – such as new training centres for teachers and technicians, and areas that will support new methods of teaching, and multi-functional teaching and learning spaces.”

Two pilots have also been launched to develop security measures for schools to tackle criminal and anti-social behaviour. This is part of an initiative which also includes hospitals and the ambulance service. The pilots focuses on practical measures such as door locks opened by swipe cards or PIN numbers, panic alarms, improved lighting and fencing, and CCTV systems that will deter criminals and assist security staff.