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31st March 2006 at 01:00
Devised by Becta and the National College for School Leadership (NCSL), the online tool will be familiar in general terms to schools which have used the existing Becta matrix and Naace Mark accreditation resources. It's broader in scope, however, and should become a major part of whole-school review and improvement.

It's main features are:

* Input from: Ofsted, the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA), the Training and Development Agency (TDA), the National Strategies, the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT), and Naace.

* Defines eight elements: leadership and management, curriculum, learning and teaching, assessment, professional development, extending learning, resources and impact on pupil outcomes.

Each element is divided and subdivided to create more than 80 items defining possible ICT developments in a school. For each item there are five possible self-evaluated levels. (5 is now the lowest. In the pilot version, 1 was the lowest).

The levels are defined as: 5. The school hasn't yet started to think about this area.

4. Made a start but still work to do.

3. An agreed strategy in place.

2. Most staff understand and work to the strategy.

1. The school is e-confident; can be held up as an exemplar.

The tool will provide action plans to help schools move forward, phase-specific examples of good practice, link to support materials, and space for schools to record evidence for their judgments. It will be a working tool, available for discussion with staff, governors, performance management advisers, ICT Mark assessors and, importantly, Ofsted inspectors.

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