Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Leave it Phil, he ain't worth it...

[Warning: this post contains a few quotes from, and a link to, a government funding document. Your mileage through it may vary... use image at right if necessary]
One of the things about the [Word document alert!] Funding Guidance for Schools and Local Authorities (apart from its snazzy title, obviously) is that I think lots of people had subconsciously thought "that'll be for secondary schools then..." - hence when a room full (or even half-full) of primary school heads hear that it means "every school" then there's a mixture of reactions... "a what?" "money?" "not in my school" - well, maybe not verbally but I'd imagine those would be my reactions if my school (and every other) was expected to provide access to something I'd never heard of in two years time...
Grant 121 is where the action we're concerned with is at. (Part of me wonders if Grant 121 is really an intimate mobile phone conversation with the slimmer Mitchell brother) This is entitled the Connectivity and Learning Systems Grant for 2006-07 and says that its aim is

for LAs (through RBCs) to ensure that all schools have available to them a learning platform service with at least core functionality (defined at 6.17 below) by spring 2008.

[Actually, is it just me, or does that paragraph imply that schools don't necessarily need to use the learning platform, but just have one "available"? Errr... ]

Anyway, I hear you cry, what's core functionality? Well, lets tickle 6.17 below and see if it squeals...

6.17: If a school or institution has not received an allocation of eLC funds, it should contact its Local Authority and speak to the individual or team responsible for distributing Standards Fund money received from the Department for Education and Skills.

What? That's clearly wrong... oh, hang on, evidently someone's not proofread this before putting it on Teachernet... never mind, let's skip further down to 7.16. Ah yes, that ought to do it...

LAs have been funded to ensure availability of a learning platform with at least core functionality to all schools by spring 2008. Basic functionality should consist, at the minimum, of:
Communication and collaboration tools e.g. web-based email to enable peer/mentor dialogue;
Safe and secure, individual online working space for the school workforce and pupils enabling anytime, anywhere learning;
Tools to enable teachers to manage and tailor content to user needs and learning styles, and track user progress.

You know, sometimes I just wish that someone, somewhere would create a tool that was easy to use that could do all those things. Maybe they'd make it so it could fit in with our existing way of working. Maybe, in a parallel universe, they'd make it really easy to get hold of and use...

Hang on just a minute...


  1. The file has now been removed but archive.org still have a copy at http://web.archive.org/web/20060221085835/http://www.teachernet.gov.uk/_doc/9499/ICT+FUNDING+GUIDANCEv.1.doc

    Just in case anyone wanted it

  2. ...and the Teachernet copy was only a draft, so here's the full version on the DfES/Teachernet Publications site:
    Learning, Teaching and Managing with ICT: Funding Guidance for Schools and Local Authorities 2006-2007