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Lazy Sundays thanks to technolgy

For the first time in her seven-year career, Sharon Allcock can sleep in on Sundays.

Since Prince Albert school, in Birmingham, installed new time-saving computer technology, the information and communications technology co-ordinator is free to enjoy her weekends and devote more of her working time to planning creative lessons.

The inner-city primary received pound;135,000 towards a new intranet service, laptops for teachers, a media learning centre and eight interactive whiteboards.

It is one of 32 pathfinder schools which piloted ways to cut workload. The equipment saves time spent on about 30 laborious administrative tasks such as photocopying and documentation.

Miss Allcock said: "I have got my Sundays back. I probably work up to 55 hours a week but I save about five hours a week because I do not have to plan all my lessons from scratch each time."

The four newly-qualified teachers joining the school this term have access to lesson plans, presentations, information on school trips, work sheets and school policies via the intranet.

A recent visit to Aston Hall country house museum has been documented on the website. Digital pictures and interactive videos of the rooms enable children to revisit the house on-line.

David Brodie, headteacher, said the new technology surpassed his expectations, but he is not sure if it actually reduces workload.

He said. "Teachers tend to use saved time for something else. But they have a lot more freedom."

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