David Puttnam is creating space between the enamel gloss of Ministers and the stone walls of their apparatchiks, space where ordinary mortals can breathe. It is invigorating and packed with potential. The full text of his speech is available on the TES Online and Becta websites, as is that of kindred spirit Professor Stephen Heppel, with his challenge in our last issue of an e-Charter for Children. In our March issue he will develop his call for action research by teachers.
With the election in mind, BETT visitors were astonished when NGFL minister Michael Wills outlined the next stage of the Government's Computers for Teachers initiative. How could they get it so wrong to restrict the subsidies to some secondary maths teachers? While it may have seemed logical to an official to target the maths curriculum, only someone remote from a classroom could have failed to anticipate the frustration and disappointment of teachers who missed out (see news p4, letters p29).
A highlight of the BETT show was Becta's ICT in Practice Awards for teachers, supported by The TES and sponsored by BT. We are devoting our cover feature (p8) to the award-holders and runners-up. The consistency of the issues that emerged - particularly the cross-phase gap in ICT experience between primary and secondary, and the dubious merits of the ubiquitous computer room - was remarkable.
We are committed to spreading the good practice uncovered in this process and will be returning to participants in future TES Onlines. Meanwhile take some time to check out our website for the personal statements of all the teachers featured on these pages.
Merlin John, editor of TES Online