E-MAIL for every school is one step closer after a decision to create 25,000 address slots on the Internet, writes Chris Johnston.
England's 25,000 schools will get a "domain name", which will eventually allow them to set up a website, and to use e-mail.
The move has been recommended by the Government's electronic mail in schools taskforce, set up earlier this year.
The taskforce's decision means schools will be sent a letter in October with a suggested Internet address to follow the format of "william-fletcher-primary.oxon.sch.uk". The second element will usually be the name of the local authority.
The report says this is the first step towards eliminating paper-based communication between schools and central government.
The taskforce found that e-mail has numerous educational benefits although some schools continue to ignore its potential.
The report adds that guidance for teachers is needed as their lack of experience with the technology is a major barrier to progress.
It is estimated that about 5 per cent of pupils have an e-mail address, a figure that should double by the end of the year.
Ministers are considering whether e-mail targets should be set for local authorities.The Government wants 75 per cent of teachers and 50 per cent of pupils to have their own e-mail addresses by 2002.