Top award for TES website

14th October 2005 at 01:00
Its staffroom is a hive of activity but there are no dirty mugs. Teachers can admit their mistakes without fear for their job prospects. And whatever the problem, advice is always at hand.

A dream school? No it is The TES website, chosen as the editorial team of the year by the UK Association of Online Publishers. Judges praised the site's "sense of humour and real personality" and its thriving community of online users.

The TES staffroom has become a debating ground for concerned, inquisitive and downright disillusioned teachers wanting to share experiences with colleagues. Hot topics this week included the educational, the controversial and the downright silly.

There were more than 100 posts, discussing the problem of homophobia, whether we should fly the union flag in schools and whether the theory of evolution is supported by the fossil record. Meanwhile, a contributor responding to a request for silly things that make you cry offered "my old head of faculty couldn't watch the guys who run the marathons in rhino suits without crying".

The range of debates, advice and information was praised by judges. They said: " knows its business. The site brings you into the world of a teacher and the team injects a sense of humour and real personality into everything it does. The team has created an accessible environment that is relevant and of enormous value to its thriving community of users."

The number of individual users visiting the site increased by almost a quarter in the past year, and page impressions have doubled to 4,284,757 a month.

Bill Hicks, editor of The TES website, paid tribute to staff and contributors. He said: "Editorial team is an interesting concept for a site that is so clearly the product not just of us, the journalists and web designers and developers, but also of you, the readers and users."

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