Future laptop opportunities

9th February 2001 at 00:00
THE article and your leader that highlighted concerns about the Computers for Teachers scheme (TES, January 26), do not seem to have registered properly what I said at the BETT exhibition.

I made it clear that this is part of an on-going commitment and that although not all teachers will benefit in this round, there will be similar opportunities in the future.

I understand that some teachers are disappointed that they cannot get subsidies straight away, but all governments have to make hard choices about how to allocate limited sums of taxpayers' money. More money for the scheme means less elsewhere for schools.

The decision to focus the limited funds available on maths at KS3 reflects the Government's drive to improve standards at this level. It recognises the importance of maths teachers and the need to support them. The funding we have allocated will support up to 17,000 teahers.

Currently we are investing in providing both additional computers and increased access to the Internet for all maintained schools as well as in a range of other related content developments such as Grid Club for 7 to 11-year-olds and KS3 trials of online courses. Indeed over the six years from 1998 to 2004 we will have invested more than pound;1.7 billion in supporting ICT in education.

Michael Wills Under-Secretary of State Department for Education and Employment

l A FEW days ago I was in a London hotel which was hosting a teachers' conference. With 40 minutes to go the atmosphere was evangelical. I was reminded of the vision held years ago by David Hargreaves of a "curriculum centred around the great issues of the day". The course's title? "How to turn your grade D geography students into grade Cs".

D Lancaster 150 Bridgewater Road Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire

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