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Web starts to take learning home;News

THENUMBER of schools putting curriculum materials on their websites for students to access from home is increasing sharply.

This year's British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) survey of ICTin schools finds that 37 per cent of secondaries and 27 per cent of primaries are expected to use the Web for extended learning by April. Forty-four per cent also put information for parents and governors on their sites.

The survey indicates that a growing number of teachers have a computer at home -about 140,000 have one, with roughly half having Internet access.

The survey reveals there will soon be more than one million computers in British schools. There are 363,000 computers in primaries, predicted to increase to 404,000 by April. For secondary schools, the figure should rise from 510,000 to 565,000.

Almost half of the 1,883 schools surveyed now have networks - 37 per cent of primaries and 95 per cent of secondaries. Internet connections are also up: 65 per cent of schools are linked to the Net, rising to 80 per cent by April. An estimated 75 per cent of primaries will be Net-connected by April, compared with 34 per cent last year. The figure for secondary schools is 97 per cent, up 10 per cent.

Eileen Devonshire, BESA deputy chief executive, said there was good reason to be positive but warned against complacency. She said the challenge was to ensure equipment and Internet links helped raise standards.

* Survey synopsis: www.besanet.org.uk.

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