South Shields Grammar-Technical School for Boys  
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ICT & Lifelong Learning Suite to be built

3 February 2003

After a wait of almost five months, Harton School has secured over £250,000 to allow it to go ahead and build the ICT-Lifelong Learning Suite, in partnership with South Tyneside College. The Suite will be used for staff training and for pupils, and to allow the College to run numeracy, literacy and job search courses through the Learn Direct scheme.

£100,000 has come from the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, with £65,000 from the Single Regeneration Project and £90,000 from the Neighbourhood Renewal fund.

Work on the Suite, which will be an extension to the library, and include a cyber cafe and computer suite, will begin in March, and the extension should be ready to be used by the start of the new school year in September.

Headteacher Ian Tunnicliffe is quoted in the Shields Gazette as saying:
"This is a partnership between the college and the community to improve information and computer technology skills among people in an area with high unemployment. It is going to be a great boost to the school and hopefully to the community. It will improve employment prospects for people in the area and will allow us to improve the curriculum and links with the college."

Brian Steele is the project co-ordinator (and assistant deputy head):
"Everything will be information and communication technology led, because we are a specialist technology college, but we will be offering expertise to cater for all. We will be extremely active in the community, and the attraction as far as social inclusion is concerned is that we will provide a one-stop shop in the area, addressing the issue of poor computer access."

Lifelong Learning is an initiative supported by the Department of Education and Skills. It is just as it suggests - a programme to enable learning throughout life. One of its significant areas is that of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), which seeks to develop computer and Internet skills for the nearly 10 million of us with access to the Internet. Of course, if you're reading this, you've probably got some of those skills already. If you want to read more about the subject, visit the Lifelong Learning Web site.

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