Home economics

12th May 2000 at 01:00
THE wheels on the bus are going round and round too fast for local authorities. Ferrying rural pupils to and from school costs hundreds of pounds each, compared with under pound;50 a head for their townie cousins. And that money, says the Local Government Association, would be better spent in classrooms.

The apparently logic-defying conclusion the LGA reaches is that pupils should be removed from said classrooms for perhaps one day a week. The wonders of computer technology will allow them to work from home or elsewhere, saving a) money and b) the environment. Results, not bums on sats, would measure success.

Immediate practicalities aside, this is arguably brilliant rather than batty. The Internet's electronic tentacles are already transforming our lives: who knows what lies ahead? Home schooling is another growing phenomenon: one Internet search engine lists almost 25,000 related sites, while children from 75,000 Texan families are learning at home.

It's by no means the end of the road for teachers and schools, but an opportunity for imaginative exploration of the possibilities. Just don't be too surprised when an OFHOME inspector calls.


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