Inspectors visited more than 400 schools and talked to more than 3,000 teachers and school librarians taking part in the pound;23 million training programme in information and communications technology, which is funded through the lottery-backed New Opportunities Fund (NOF).
Douglas Osler, senior chief inspector, stated in the report issued yesterday (Thursday): "The quality of implementation of the training programme and its subsequent impact vary considerably across the country. There remain issues to be resolved in terms of the management of the initiative if the programme is to achieve its overall aims within the allotted time-scale."
Some 87 per cent of teachers had signed up for the programme by the March deadline and most are expected to have completed training by next June. The programme is currently delivered by 10 "approved providers" to ensure there is enough capacity.
But HMI found that two main problems stopped the programme reaching its potential. The first was that money could not be used for cover costs to enable teachers to be released during the school day.
The second problem emerged from "long-term and current problems" with hardware and internet connections. Not all teachers and librarians had "sufficient or consistent access to the technology".
The report says that a key ingredient is the commitment of heads. It is not enough for them to ensure staff turn up: they have to ensure training is making a difference in the classroom. Principal teachers also need to play a stronger role.
HMI concludes that, while the training programme overall has had "a positive impact", there had only been "fair success" in tracking its impact on professional practice. Providers are urged to check whether participants are able to demonstrate changes in their thinking and practice.