Parents promised online reports on their children's progress

Parents will get regular electronic reports on their children's progress in future, schools minister Jim Knight has announced. Knight said all secondary schools will be expected to have 'real-time' reporting systems running by 2010, and all primary schools two years later.

Parents will get regular electronic reports on their children's progress in future, schools minister Jim Knight has announced. Opening educational technology trade show BETT 2008, Knight said all secondary schools will be expected to have 'real-time' reporting systems running by 2010, and all primary schools two years later.

Real-time reporting means parents will be able to access frequently-updated information on children's achievement, progress, attendance, behaviour and special needs wherever, whenever they want, using secure, online systems. Other systems could include text alert systems, school intranet, email, or even video-conferencing.

The government's schools technology agency, Becta, will be guiding schools to adapt their existing technology and advise them how to improve. Knight also announced a further £30m spend over the next three years targeted at low-income families to buy computers and connect to broadband Internet for school work.

Knight launched a £600,000 pilot, run by Becta with other industry players, specifically looking at lowering the cost of devices and connectivity, and informing parents about the educational benefits of a home computer.

He also confirmed that the government's Home Access Taskforce, which Knight chairs, will make clear recommendations in April on making universal home access a reality - particularly in disadvantaged areas - and how to provide the technical and maintenance support to back it up.

Knight says the government has invested £5bn in schools ICT since 1997, with another £837m earmarked over the next three years. www.dfes.gov.uk

Image: Schools minister Jim Knight: £30m spend will be targeted at low-income families to buy computers and broadband connections

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