Richard Hill is head of policy and public Affairs at the New Opportunities Fund (NOF).
Many of the first complaints about the teacher training initiative went straight to his desk. "When we started on the training initiative we were quite aware that there were a number of things that were large risks," he says. "One of them that worried us was whether there would be enough training capacity out there to deliver what we wanted. We are through that now. The other issue was whether the teachers and schools would actually want to do the training. We are not through that yet. That's still the big issue for us. Some of it is not to do with the training but with the context in which teachers work where there is a great deal of pressure for teachers to do many things. The whole work load issue is of deep concern to us."
Hill recognises that this is one of the most difficult projects the organisation has on its books. "Tis is a huge programme and it is longer term than most of our other work. We wouldn't want to sound complacent, but we are happy with the approved training providers, the take-up rate, the quality assurance set-up, the evaluation process that OFSTED are doing. There are still things to do, mainly getting the positive messages across to individuals."
NOF has listened to complaints about the way some LEAs have steered schools, and has restated the rules for LEAs in a document.
Hill believes that the key message to get across is that the training supports people in their teaching and is not an ICT initiative but a learning initiative. He recognises that they have not yet won the battle for the hearts and minds.
The NOF ICT training for teachers and school librarians programme - England and Wales Code of Practice for Local Education Authorities is available on the Online website www.tes.co.ukonline