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Making the right connections;Cover story

King Harold School in Waltham Abbey, Essex has an ambitious plan to link home and school. It's using RM's Personal Information Connection (PIC), remote access software that allows pupils, parents and teachers to connect their home PC to a school network. By using PIC, students can access their personal work files, or parents can log on to the school intranet for information or to communicate with a teacher via email.

At the end of last year, King Harold trialled PIC with its teachers by getting them to develop school work at home and then email it to school. It then asked parents if they would be interested in taking part in another PIC trial - 99 per cent were interested, says Malcolm Burnett, director of Lea House at King Harold. "We've chosen 12 families to take part in the trial. The children taking part will be able to pick up lessons from a shared folder area," he says.

The school has also embarked on a project to help parents develop ICT skills, with free evening training sessions. Burnett says that developing homeschool links using ICT means staff have to re-focus. "It's about people having their programmes of study on the system so that any parent can access them. It's about changing the culture for everyone - although pupils are more than happy to deal with it," he says.

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