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European Information Technologies Research Project

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the President of the Board of Trade what steps she will take to ensure that the ESPRIT programme of the European Union maintains political impartiality in schools; and if she will make a statement on the experimental schools environment project.[13851]

[holding reply from 30 October 1997]: The ESPRIT Programme, the European Information Technologies research programme, is impartial in its content and management. All European Union Member States contribute to the development of the Programme's technical scope through a range of technical, industrial and academic experts. The funds are allocated to proposals from collaborative European consortia through a competitive selection process, using published criteria. This process has been designed to avoid any bias whether political, national or commercial. My Department will continue to represent UK interests in the management of the ESPRIT programme, assuring impartiality for all participants. The Experimental Schools Environment is an initiative within ESPRIT, calling for proposals to research new kinds of Information Technology based tools or environments designed to enable new approaches to learning for young children in the age range of 4 to 8 years. Further information is in the ESPRIT Information Pack in the Library of the House.