ANCIENT axes and ceremonial swords could soon be battling for attention in the nation's classrooms.
Thanks to pound;2.5 million from Government coffers museums will be able to loan more of their exhibits to schools. The aim is to help illustrate and enliven lessons particularly literacy, numeracy and science; family learning and preparing pupils for adulthood.
The grant, announced by schools minister Charles Clarke this week, will fund a three-year programme to give priority for bids to develop loan services to schools.
The announcement was welcomed by Mark Taylor, director of the Museums' Association, as a recognition of the wider role museums could play in education.
"We have noticed a hugely different landscape in the museum world from two years ago. The education and culture departments are working closer together; civil servants chant mantras about access and education."
David Anderson, head of education at the Victoria and Albert Museum, was equally pleased.
"I'm absolutely delighted. It is a significant step for the DFEE and for museum education. The cooperation between the two departments bodes well for the future."
Project bids to last up to two years must be submitted by April. Details from the DFEE Orderline on 0845 6022260, or by post from DFEE Publications, PO Box 5050, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 62Q.