ON her recent fact-finding mission to Washington, school standards minister Estelle Morris boasted that more than half of secondary teachers now have their own e-mail address. "New technology has a great potential to make our working lives easier and more effective," she says. Doubtless, she feels she is effective enough already, as she is not one of the MPs who can be e-mailed from the www.parliament.uk website.
Of the seven DFEE ministers, only Jacqui Smith and Michael Wills offer the facility. None boasts a personal website (unlikethe redoubtable Ann Widdecombe and her astonishing "Widdy Web"). Anyone trying to communicate with teachers or schools electronically might too get lost in cyberspace. The Centre for the Study of Comprehensive Schools recently e-mailed 758 schools and found that more than half the messages were returned to sender - too many different e mail systems, apparently.
We trust this will not threaten the success of Easea.co.uk, the new "electronic in-tray" for teachers launched by Estelle "e-mail" Morris in the land of Bill Gates.