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Online Learning

Volume 447: debated on Monday 5 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) what plans he has to extend access to personal online learning space as outlined in the Schools White Paper to the further and higher education sectors; (72803)

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure all schoolchildren have access to a personal online learning space by 2008 as outlined in the Schools White Paper.

The Department is working closely with Becta, JISC and other stakeholders to establish the extent to which the approach to providing access to a personal online learning space in schools can be shared with further and higher education, and what can be learned from these sectors' experience with learning platforms by schools.

DfES will provide funding to local authorities in 2006-07 and 2007-08 to provide access to a personalised online learning space (through a learning platform) for all their schools by 2008. Our expectation is that local authorities will use the expertise of Regional Broadband Consortia to make best use of the funding (for example, through aggregated procurement) and to make sure that schools' needs are met effectively. Guidance has been made available to local authorities and schools to allow them to plan and meet their requirements in time to meet the 2008 personal online space target. Becta is procuring a national framework (with preferred suppliers), which will help purchasers to select appropriate learning platforms. This framework will be available to all educational institutions from January 2007.