Skip to main content

Ministers make the connection

* There was more concrete news for the Executive in the progress made to link schools to the wired world. The target of one computer for every five secondary pupils has been achieved a year early, and all secondaries are connected to the internet.

Progress in primaries has been more patchy. The proportion connected to the internet has risen from 49 per cent in 1999 to 84 per cent and there is now one computer for every 11primary pupils compared with 1:28 three years ago (thecurrent target is 1:7.5).

But, as Mike Russell of the SNP pointed out, only 38 per cent of primary teachers have an e-mail address, against 80 per cent in secondary. Sixteen per cent of primary pupils have an e-mail addresss compared with 68 per cent in secondary.

* The picture of a female-dominated profession continues, as does the tale of women's failure to break through the glass ceiling. They account for 65 per cent of secondary classroom teachers, but only 60 per cent of senior teachers and assistant principal teachers, 43 per cent of principal teachers, 36 per cent of assistant heads, 26 per cent of deputes and a lowly 13 per cent of headteachers.

A similar picture emerges in primary schools where the total workforce is 93 per cent female but 21 per cent of heads are male. Only in special schools are the figures in balance - 83 per cent of teachers are female and 79 per cent of heads.

* The overall picture from the census shows a decrease of 4,698 primary pupils to 420,523, and a reduction of 140 teachers to 22,289 (in terms of full-time posts). The secondary figures show a fall of 1,336 pupils to 316,368, and an increase of 27 in the number of teachers which now stands at 24,552.

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you