News bytes;Education

15th May 1998 at 01:00
A decision will be announced next week on voluntary redundancies at the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency (BECTA), the organisation responsible for developing the National Grid for Learning. Staff had been expecting the decision last month, but so many of them had asked to leave that the management delayed it until May 20.

Formerly known as the National Council for Educational Technology, BECTA is restructuring and the NCET staff who have remained must apply for new posts. Bad feeling over this led staff to pass a motion of no confidence in the restructuring process and the way it was beingmanaged. It is understood that BECTA is looking for at least 20 redundancies from its 90 staff.

A BECTA spokesman said that the process was running as expected and that there was bound to be some hurt feelings. He felt that so many staff had accepted redundancy because the terms were good, and that the decision was delayed because public money was involved and not everyone could qualify.

The TES Internet edition on the World Wide Web will be relaunched next month with more features, including The TES's full job ads service. It also has a new editor, Bill Hicks, who replaces Sean Coughlan. Sean has left The TES to take up a post as a journalist with the BBC.

The TES Internet edition remains a completely free service. You simply register at Research Machines has upgraded its popular Window Box PCs, computers that come ready to use with software tailored for the curriculum (plus training and support). The new RM Window Box 7 machines are said to feature easier management, improved software suites and Schoolshare technology that allows computers to be linked to share peripherals like printers and scanners.

Prices: Window Box Compact, pound;999 Internet Window Box, from pound;1,299

Infant Window Box, from pound;1,399 Junior Window Box, from pound;1,399. Super Window Box, from pound;1,499. Window Box Cymraeg from pound;999. RMhas also beefed up its online reference service, Living Library, with foreignlanguage, business and technology news services from Reuters, plus thousands of photographs from publishers and the National Monuments Record. The service has been supplied on every laptop issued in the Government's pound;23 million scheme for headteachers RM plc, 135 Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordhire OX14 4SE; 01235 826868. Website: e-mail:

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