Headlines: September 1st, 2003

The Education Secretary, Charles Clarke, will today take part in a webcast available to all of England’s 25,000 schools. It will herald e-consultation, as it has been dubbed, organised by the National College for School Leadership to mark the beginning of the new school year.The ten minute webcast begins at midday today as the curtain raiser to the secretary of state’s week-long presence in the NCSL website’s hotseat when the 26,000 registered members of the college’s online communities will have the chance to debate educational issues directly with Mr. Clarke.He will use today’s opportunity to welcome school staff back from their summer break and to outline his plans for the coming school year. He is expected to raise key issues on reform, including the teaching profession driving change and school remodelling. A recording of the webcast will be available via the website for anyone who misses the live event.Mr. Clarke says the webcast and the online consultation are a good example of the value that information and communications technology can bring to education. He wants every school to make use of these opportunities. Heather Du Quesnay, the NCSL chief executive, says the events are part of the college’s ongoing development of innovative ways to help school leaders work more collaboratively.Details of how schools can access the webcast and the online hotseat are available at the NCSL website – http://www.ncsl.org.uk%3Chttp://www.ncsl.org.uk/