Laptop pioneers lap up accolade

7th April 2000 at 01:00
THE head of Sawtry Community College in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, has won one of the country's most prestigious school leadership titles. Alan Stevens has been awarded the Leadership in Teaching accolade in the Education Resources Awards.

"It has been my job to develop projects in the wider community and to make sure we keep our status as a technology college," says Mr Stevens, who has been vice-principal for 10 years. "We've set up a day nursery, a public library, a leisure centre and a range of adult education services."

Formerly a secondary school, Sawtry is now a technology college for 980 students aged 11 to 18. It has earned a reputation for its work in the use of laptop computers and for extending training in ICT into the community.

The college has solved the problem of limited Internet access-ponts by arranging for transmitters to be installed in the local area, enabling students to use their laptops to gain cable-free access to the school's intranet.

Chris Thatcher, president of the National Association of Head Teachers, who chaired the judges panel, said: "There were lots of excellent nominees, but the judges felt that Mr Stevens' contribution was unusually and uniquely effective."

Other nominees were: Mike Butler of King Edward VII upper school, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire; Val Wigham of Lord Lawson of Beamish community college, Chester-le-Street, Durham; Marion Brooks of Cranford community college, Hounslow; Keith Nancekievill of Gosforth high, Newcastle upon Tyne; Dave Robbins of Intake high, Leeds; Sandy Young and Kathy Heaps of John Kelly Boys'Girls' technology colleges, Brent.

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