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Online and in line for praise

HEADTEACHER Jackie Vincent-Jones once had a spacious office. Now it is the high-tech hub of her junior school, housing 15 computers and a school policy designed to foster a love of technology.

This is the sort of case The TES is spotlighting as an example of good use of information and communications technology in its support of the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA) ICT in Practice awards.

The fully-networked and Internet-compatible computers are now used throughout the curriculum at Harewood junior school, Stockton-on-Tees.

The school's 277 children receive timetabled ICT tuition and also use the computers for their literacy and numeracy hours and for other subjects. Pupils from the age of six at Harewood's feeder infants' school are also given an hour a week on the machines. The school was able to afford the machines - with support from the local authority - and te salary of a full-time ICT manager because its teachers are relatively young, meaning low staff costs.

Mrs Vincent-Jones, who now works from what was once an art cupboard, said: "The whole school has benefited from this, not least the teachers. When you come into the school and see this state-of-art suite, it gives you a real lift."

If your school is expanding the boundaries of what is possible in ICT, or just using technology very effectively, why not enter the BECTA awards?

The scheme, sponsored by BT, offers eight separate prizes for the use of technology, in categories ranging from school management to special educational needs and from primary schools to further education colleges.

Each individual award-winner will receive pound;2,500, with an additional pound;2,500 going to their school. Nominations should be made by July 28 through the BECTA website: www.becta.org.ukpracticeawards.

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