§ Mr. Swayne
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to include school librarians in the Computers for Teachers scheme; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Wills
[holding answer 22 March 2000]: The scheme, as currently constituted, is focused upon serving teachers in state maintained schools. Schools have a legal obligation to teach Information Technology, both as a curriculum subject in its own right and across all other subjects. The burden of this teaching role falls largely upon the classroom teacher.
In order to provide teachers with the skills to discharge this responsibility, the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) ICT Training programme was developed specifically for teachers in schools, and it aims to give serving teachers the opportunity to raise their pedagogical capability to that now required of newly qualified teachers. The purpose of the Computers for Teachers initiative is to complement that training by raising teacher competence and confidence in their personal use of ICT. Given the access which school librarians generally have to ICT within the school library, the Government have decided to give priority for the funding available under this initiative to teachers.