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Primary teachers click with ICT

PRIMARY teachers are more confident about using computers in the classroom than their secondary colleagues, government figures show.

Fewer than one in seven lacks confidence in using information and communication technology compared to one in five secondary teachers, according to provisional statistics for 2003.

At Redhill primary in Telford, ICT is used in almost every lesson and as well as three computers in each of its 11 classes, every classroom has an activeboard, digital cameras and video-conferencing facilities.

Jenny Noel-Storr, the head, said: "I do not like the notion of a computer suite because then ICT becomes a timetabled lesson and very difficult to link to different parts of the curriculum."

Steve Bacon, general secretary of the National Association of Advisors for Computers in Education, said: "I suspect the fact that primary teachers are generalists means they will be using ICT in at least one or two areas of the curriculum, if not all.

"In secondary schools, where teachers have a subject discipline, not everyone has yet used ICT as a major resource."

A survey by the National Centre for Social Research found that 22 per cent of primary teachers used ICT in at least half of lessons, compared to 9 per cent of secondary teachers.

* Small schools will not have their progress statistics included in the new primary performance tables this year.

The Government has backed down on proposals to publish grades for hundreds of small schools for the first time.

It had proposed that all schools should have their value-added score made public. Now schools with fewer than 11 pupils will be exempt, as they are for the test results.

Value-added scores show how well children have done at 11 compared to what was expected when they were seven.

Unions have welcomed the idea in principle, but there are concerns that it does not take into account pupil mobility.

Helen Ward

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